Shelf Road Trail: Gridley Side

Shelf Road Trail: Gridley Side


February 2011

Elevation gain: 125-150 feet.

Distance: 1.5 -1.75 miles.

Time: Under an Hour.

Rating: Easy to Moderate

Nearby Cities: Ojai

Directions: Google Maps

Drive to the near top of Gridley Road.  After the long straight away the road will start to turn to the right uphill, it bends around a small ranch property near the trail.  You should see a few cars parked on the left in front of a gate.

This is a very popular spot; eight cars lined up and not much room for more.  That is Gridley Road heading toward the top where Gridley Trail is.  This is one of my favorite trails.  If I have one complaint about this hike its parking.

I went with some friends this time.  I recommend hiking with others more often than not.  There are too many reasons to list here, perhaps in a future post or page I’ll cover the topic in detail.

When it nature calls…

Anyway, great view eh?

People like to decorate the sides of trails around Ojai and other areas.  Although used for nothing but fun in this case, you can use stacks of rocks in this fashion to mark your way through unfamiliar territory.  With the proper knowledge, we can use common things found in nature to help us in many ways and possibly get us out of bad situations.

What the grass has in numbers, the flower has in attitude.  I’d say the fight is pretty even.

A few more scattered flowers contending with the grass for the light.

Here is a typical view of the east end of Ojai from the trail.  Ojai is truly a magical place and this a great hike that anybody can do.

I really like these trees.  I wish there were more of them around Ojai.  There are a few scattered around but not like there used to.  Up Thatcher trail, which I’ll cover soon; there is a grove of pines about 4 miles from the trail-head.  This is a great camping spot for anyone who is willing to hike for it.

Here is a host of wildflowers silently absorbing the rays of the sun and drinking in the nutrients from the air.

The valley below glowing with the fading light.  There are times when it’s almost as if I can feel the view radiating up at me from below.

I just thought this was a pretty picture.

This is a wide trail.  It used to be a road until the city shut it down and left it to the slow decay of time.  There are still fragments of asphalt in areas of the road.

Watch out for the giant Poison Oak Monster!  This is a very big plant.  I’m not sure if I’ve seen one bigger.

Peek a boo!

A great example of a rock pile stacked off to the side.  All at once making it fun and unique while adding diversity to the landscape of the trail.

I think this is a weed someone would pick in their garden, but out here it’s allowed to flourish.

This was looking back toward the beginning of the trail.  It’s nice how it meanders lazily around the base of the foothills.

The grass here is still vibrantly green from its last feast from the rain.  That is my good friend Dylan standing there, wondering what I was doing.

There is a tiny bee-like insect on the flower if you look close enough.

A typical view of the hillside.  Lots of dense brush and rocks scattered here and there, with the occasional patch of grass holding its own against the encroaching chaparral.

Here are some giant rocks that most likely came from the hill on the other side of the trail, knocked loose from hard rains and high winds.  They were most likely moved there with a backhoe by a local crew.

Some mushrooms push their way up through the mulch.  I never touch wild mushrooms.  I don’t know enough about them to identify which ones are poisonous or not.  Besides, they have literally no nutritional value so I don’t bother.

Here are some people just getting ready to leave the bench as we arrive.  You can see the silhouette of someone on the ridge in the middle if you look close.  It’s easy to climb up there if you’re spry enough and provides a slightly better vantage of the valley.

There are two benches located at the middle of the trail; a few feet down the hill, under the one we sat on was a nice bush with these beautiful yellow flowers.

This is when Sadie, my friends Samoyed decided I was probably up to no good, lurking around below the trail and wanted to join me.

Mellow Yellow.

Here is a nice view of the east end of Ojai.  Sometimes when the sun is setting the mountains if not the whole valley glow pink for a few minutes.

There it is.  The Ojai Valley.  Some of the streets run right up to the first foothills of the mountains.  It’s nice to look down and see such a great ratio of houses to trees.

I leave you with sun and cloud.

Feel free to leave comments.




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