On this gorgeous morning back in January, we took a day trip to Ojai, CA.
Ojai is about 1.5 hours northwest of Los Angeles and east of Santa Barbara. Located in Ojai Valley, this area is too hot for hiking for us during summer months. However, this hike makes a great hiking option this time of the year!
Free street parking is available leading up to the trailhead. After you park, walk toward the gate for Valley View Preserve. The official trailhead is inside of the preserve. Go around this gate and begin the hike on Shelf Road Trail.
The fire road seemed to be popular with trail runners. As I said before, it was a gorgeous day!
This hiking guide loops around the Valley View Reserve clockwise starting from Fox Canyon Trail. Shelf Road Trail will take you right to the trailhead.
Fox Canyon Trailhead
At the 0.2-mile mark, take Fox Canyon Trail and leave the fire road behind. The trails here are well-maintained and easy to follow, thanks to the signs on each junction.
Fox Canyon Trail is uphill with switchbacks with no shade. This is the most challenging part of the hike but it’s very doable if you are in decent shape. Enjoy the view of Ojai Valley below as you climb.
When you reach the 0.9-mile mark, the trail splits. Take the sharp right turn. After 0.1 miles, Fox Canyon Trail splits again. Remember, you are doing this loop clockwise. So, take the trail on the right again. Now, you are on Foothill Trail.
From here on, we did not see anyone until we were back on Shelf Road. Not only Foothill Trail was less traveled but it was also beautiful! Although all the trails in this hike are pretty in their own way, Foothill Trail was my favorite.
I think it was Xena’s too judging by her smile.
Stay on Foothill Trail until you see the sign for Luci’s Trail. This steep downhill will take you back to Shelf Road Trail.
There were wild mushrooms when we were there. If you run into them, make sure your dog doesn’t consume these.
On Luci’s Trail, I liked the sign that said: “Keep your tail on the trail”. 😁
When you reach Shelf Road Trail, go to your right toward the trailhead.
We all enjoyed this little hike. Although it was a short hike, with the leg workout on Fox Canyon Trail, I felt satisfied at the end of the hike. It was fun!
One recommendation for you guys. Since there is no shade, I recommend starting the hike early in the morning.
Good to Know:
- Hike Date: 1.4.20
- Distance: 2.6 miles RT
- Elevation Gain: 820 ft
- Maximum Altitude: 1,665 ft
- Difficulty Rating: Challenging
- Trailhead: 34.462290, -119.245875 (copy/paste to your GPS)
- Fee/Permit: None
- No toilet
- Notable: Exposed, moderately trafficked, family-friendly