Road Trip Day 1: Wildwood Park

I get itchy if I don’t travel every 3 months. 2 1/2 months is the longest I can go happily with my daily routines. After that, I need to have a getaway plan to get through the routines. Couple weeks ago, I packed my bags for a long weekend at Pismo Beach in San Luis Obispo County. I was happy that my sister could join us.

1st Day –

First Stop: Wildwood Park in Thousand Oaks

Since I hiked here first week of April and wanted to go back and explore more. It was Hazel’s first time so I was excited for her. We began our hike from the main parking lot off W Avenida De Los Arboles at 9:25 am. From Mesa Trail, we took N Tepee Trail toward Tee Pee / Paradise Falls at 0.4 miles. Then, we took Stagecoach Bluff Trail.

wp-1462229424455.jpeg

View of N Tepee Trail and Mesa Trail from Stagecoach Bluff Trail

We hiked 0.2 miles to the top of the (little) hill (elevation: 730 ft) and enjoyed the view. We could see the Tepee Trail and the creek straight ahead. That’s where we were going.

20160502_192149_1793615205.jpg

View of Tepee Trail and the creek below

If you stay on Stagecoach Bluff Trail and continue on, you will eventually meet Mesa Trail. But, that was not my plan. We retraced back to a junction where Stagecoach Bluff Trail splits. This trail is a triangle shape here so both trails will take you back to N Tepee Trail. We chose the trail we haven’t been on yet. I am so glad we did because it was so pretty with wildflowers next 0.25 miles.

img_20160506_165459.jpg

img_20160502_212436.jpg

We met up with N Tepee Trail and hiked down towards Tee Pee. As I promised in my previous post, here is a picture of a close-up Tee Pee. It’s huge! One of the things I really like about this park is, it has many places you can relax and enjoy yourself. And the best part is, in my opinion, these areas are spread out all over the park. Note: there is a water fountain here if you need to fill up your bottle.

20160502_205340_-1889221908.jpg

paradise_falls_teepee

While listening to the waterfalls, we continued on Tepee Trail towards Paradise Falls. When we came to a path to the waterfalls after 0.13 miles, we ignored the sign and stayed on Tepee Tr. We could see the top of the Paradise Falls from the trail. The picture below was taken with a telephoto lens.

wp-1462230714881.jpeg

At 1.6 miles, we met up with Wildwood Canyon Trail and turned left. It led us to a spacious picnic area with a water fountain and a restroom. There were many picnic tables in the shade. Check out that cool BBQ!

paradise_falls_picnic_area

After passing the picnic area, there was a little bridge so you can cross over the creek. At 2 miles, we reached at Paradise Falls. Since it was a weekday, we had the waterfalls all to ourselves. In fact, we were alone pretty much the entire time we explored the park. Aren’t the rocks behind the waterfalls beautiful?

wp-1462246480814.jpeg

1462244836838-1.jpg

Whenever you are ready to continue, go up and take Wildwood Canyon Trail again. This is the trail above the waterfalls with a fence to keep you safe. It leads you to a small picnic area next to the creek. It’s secluded and inviting. So we played there a little and worked on Xena’s fear of water. She is getting better. Yay!!

 

1464124572101-1-1.jpg

Once we were on Wildwood Canyon Trail again, we followed the sign for Indian Cave and at 2.5 miles, we took a single track to the cave. I’d like to check out Meadows Cave next time.

indian_cave

From Wildwood Canyon Trail, we took Moonridge Trail to go back to the trailhead. All of sudden, now we were in a land of cacti. Every trail on this hike had a different personality and kept us interested. Even though the loop we made was only 3.5 miles, it was full of outdoor fun! Our road trip started on a fabulous note!

20160503_191115_1354556379.jpg

Good to Know:

  • Hike date:  4.14.16
  • Trailhead:  928 W. Avenida de los Arboles, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
  • Distance (RT) and type:  3.5 miles, loop
  • Elevation change:  485 ft
  • Family-friendly
  • Restroom at the BBQ area (at 1.65 miles)
  • Xena’s wearing a Ruffwear Swamp Cooler cooling vest.

Next Stop: Santa Barbara ~ to be continued

Paradise Falls

Wildwood Park is in Ventura County. I loved this place so much, I went twice this month! Since I extended the route for our second hike, I decided to write two separate posts. This is a 3-mile loop hike that includes a tepee and waterfalls. We arrived at the parking lot just a little after 7 AM. The sun was still rising and the morning sunlight made everything look soft and warm like a baby blanket.

1461184090571-1.jpg

Right away, I knew I was going to like this park. It was beautiful. The park was huge and open and there were signs showed that it was well-maintained. And Arizona-like rock formation surrounding the park on the right was impressive to say the least.

Hike starts on Mesa Trail.

1461468746938-1.jpg

Mesa Trail

At 0.4 miles, turn left on to N Tepee Trail toward Tee Pee / Paradise Falls.

1461184202195-1.jpg

N Tepee Trail

1461453093693-1.jpg

Tee Pee would be a good place for a break if you need one. There is a lot of seating spaces inside. I will share a photo of the inside in Part II.

1461184343289-1.jpg

Rule #15: ChuckIt goes where I go

1461184437555-1.jpg

From Tee Pee, I could hear the waterfalls. We followed the sign for Paradise Falls. After going down on Tepee Trail for 0.13 miles, there was a little sign for the falls. Turn left and follow that path. There were two picnic tables near the falls. How lovely!

1461454289750-1.jpg

paradise_falls_7

Not a bad shot considering this was taken without a tripod.

Whenever you are ready to continue, go back up and take Wildwood Canyon Trail. This is the trail above the falls with a fence to keep you safe. It leads you to another picnic area next to the creek at 1.38 miles. This is where I found a green heart-shaped rock. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know I have a thing for heart-shaped rocks. I was thrilled to find this one! It always feels like nature is sending me love. And the feeling is mutual.

paradise_falls_1

At 1.5 miles, we took Lynnmere Trail, just to see where it takes us. We had to cross the creek via a wooden bridge. Shortly after, we came out to a meadow and there was a use trail on the left. I could hear the water flowing. We took the use trail and found this place. Clear shallow water was inviting us to play fetch. So we did. I worked with Xena on her fear of water and we made a huge progress that day.

1461550527299-1.jpg

When we had our fill, we backtracked to Wildwood Canyon Trail then followed the sign for Indian Cave. We didn’t explore the Indian Cave that day because it started to get too warm. Instead, we stayed on the fire road until we met up with Mesa Trail again. From here, the trailhead is only 0.25 miles away.

Good to Know:

  • Hike date:  4.2.16
  • Trailhead:  928 W. Avenida de los Arboles, Thousand Oaks, CA 91360
  • Distance (RT) and type:  3 miles, loop
  • Elevation change:  354 ft
  • Family friendly
  • No restroom on this route
  • Trail rules and map

 

Happy Hiking!

*Follow us on Instagram

Rocky Peak in Simi

For my first hike in Ventura County, I chose Rocky Peak and I was not disappointed.

Winter Hike #8: Simi Valley, CA

As you already know from my last post, this hike was (and always will be) a memorable one. Now, I get to share with you the beauty of the trail.

The distance to the peak is 2.5 miles from the trailhead, which makes this a 5-mile out and back trail with elevation gain of 1056 feet. Rocky Peak fire road has a steady incline until it reaches the peak at 2636 feet. Unfortunately, the peak isn’t nicely marked so you can easily pass by it without realizing it. I had a few people asking me where the peak was after they passed it. When the incline finally flattens out and there are big rocks on your right, you are at the peak. You will have the view below.

View of Simi Valley, CA

View of Simi Valley and Moorpark from Rocky Peak

View of Simi Valley from Rocky Peak

View of Simi Valley and my happy feet well protected in the new hiking shoes

The fire road continues when you reach the peak so you can continue on if you like. In fact, that’s what I did with Xena. The rocky terrain was fascinating since it was new to me. The views throughout the hike was was beautiful and addicting. Rocky Peak fire road can be reached from other trails nearby such as Hummingbird Trail starting from Canyon Oaks Dr and Chumash Trail starting from Evening Sky Dr or Flanagan Dr. One hiker told me that if you come from Yosemite Ave (He must be talking about Chumash Trail), you can see deers at times. Oooh.. That sounds soooo much nicer than having a face-to-face with an agitated rattlesnake! I have PTSD! It could be another topic all together. 🙂

Found a heart shape imprint on the trail. Someone traced the line with something red (not sure what)

Found a heart shape imprint on the trail. Someone traced the line with something red (not sure what). I was happy to find it.

Sylvania and Lisa - Two nice ladies I met on the trail and shared a rock together at the peak

Sylvania and Lisa – Two nice ladies I met on the trail and shared a big rock together at the peak

 

Good to Know:

Take Rocky Peak exit from Freeway 118 (Ronald Reagan Fwy). It takes you right up to the trailhead where there is a tiny parking lot. Instead, if you turn left at the end of the ramp and drive above the freeway, there is free street parking on Santa Susana Pass Rd. That’s where I parked. There were plenty of parking spaces at 7:30 AM.

Take lots of water for you and your pup as there is not much shade on this trail.

Details on the Hike:

  • Date: 02.16.15
  • Distance: 8 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1318 ft
  • Dogs on leash

Happy Hiking!