Awesome post profiling some of Cozy Dells native plants.

The Ojai Rambler

Nice job Giants!  A whole weekend without a ramble, I know my fawning minions were getting antsy so here we go:

One of Ojai’s more popular trails, Cozy Dell starts at Route 33 and eventually connects to the Pratt and Foothill trails which will take you up to the ridge and the Topas.  It truly has something for everyone.

The Basics : Leave the directions and maps to the experts at Ventura County Trails (trail 6).   A nice quick workout, strenuous first mile, then some amazing views, then a hilly mile down into the canyon ending at a seasonal creek and the Pratt/Foothill road.  Some sections get extremely muddy after rain, about 3/4 of a mile up before you hit the first peak.  Rarely see any horses or bikes up here, which I love, sorry riders sometimes we like to have the trail to ourselves.  Poison oak is pretty…

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Ventura River Bottom Preserve

Ventura River Bottom Preserve. 

Elevation Gain: maybe 500ft.

Distance: 3-4 miles round trip.

Time: 2-3 Hours.

Difficulty Rating: Light to Moderate.

Nearby CIties: Mieners Oaks


Take highway 33 North from the US 101.  Drive until you pass through Oak View and Mira Monte.  You will pass a few gas stations on your left in Oak View and a Circle K on your right as you enter Mira Monte.  After you pass a few other fast food places; McDonalds then Wendy’s turn left on Highway 150 or Baldwin Road.  You will then take a right on Rice Road after a few blocks down the road.  Drive down Rice Road until you come to the trailhead on the left as you enter Mieners Oaks.

 From the parking lot you can see the beautiful mountains that frame the north side of the Ojai Valley.

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Horn Canyon Trail: To The Pines

Horn Canyon Trail: To The Pines

Elevation Gain: Nearly 1800ft.

Distance: 4-5 miles round trip.

Time: 3-4 hours.  (We stayed for about two hours at the campground)

Rating: DIfficult

Nearby Cities: Ojai

Take highway 33 north from 101 in Ventura. Stay on the 33 until it turns off from highway 150. Then bear right and take the 150 (Ojai Ave.) east through the city. Drive all the way through town, turn left on Reeves road (You should see a great pizza place called Boccalis. Follow Reeves about a mile to McAndrew Road and make another left, heading towards Thatcher School. Another mile up the road, go straight through the gate into the school grounds. Stay to the right and follow the signs to the gymkhana field. Park near the fire gate at the trailhead.

This is the trailhead.  There isn’t a lot of parking but I’ve never had any problems.  I actually had to take this shot at the end of the hike because I forgot to when we got there.

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Why I’m dedicating my life to advocating for travel in America and the outdoor lifestyle

Awesome post!


Growing up, my parents planted the travel seed in me at a young age with camping trips to Yosemite, excursions to England, and a bevy of outdoor pursuits. During my college days, fellow students regaled me with their experiences studying abroad in places like Florence and Valencia. Recently , mingling with fellow bloggers has exposed me to an industry loaded with hostel hounds, overseas corporate escapees, and every passport-toting persona imaginable.

Travel has always been one of my biggest passions – but it wasn’t until last night that I consciously settled into my own traveler’s nook. Looking back at my recent trips, one thing is clear:

I am in love with America – and the outdoors.

Take me to the sweltering depths of the desert in Moab, the misty morning forests of Sequoia National Park, the swampy Everglades wetlands near my hometown in Miami, the rocky outcrops of climbing crags…

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Pratt Trail

Pratt Trail

Elevation gain: 700-850ft.

Distance: 3-4 miles round trip.

Time: 2-3 hours.

Rating: Moderate-Difficult.

Nearby Cities: Ojai.

Directions: From the 101 take the 33 north.  Follow it until you come into the town of Ojai itself.  After passing Starr Market on the right, you will come to the traffic light at Signal Street.  You should see the iconic Bell Tower of the Ojai Post office on your right.  Turn left here.  There’s a really nice natural food store on the corner of Signal and Matilija called Rainbow Bridge.  There you can stock up on anything needed for the hike.  You’ll keep going up N. Signal Street until it turns sharply right into grand,, there you’ll want to take a left to stay on N. Signal.  Drive up the hill for few hundred meters and you should see a sign for Pratt Trail on the left hand side.  You’ll be driving down a rough dirt road and see an aqueduct on your left eventually.  The trailhead itself is another left off the dirt road, if you go straight you’ll run into private property.  

There is plenty of parking here and behind where I’m standing in this picture.  It’s a loop that you can park along as long as you don’t block the path for other cars.

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Taking trailblogs off the shelf.

Okay I admit it.  I’ve been a bad owner of my pet project here.  But there is good reason.  I’ve been going through a lot of stress from a transition of employment.  In short, I realized I was unhappy where I was at and needed a change.  These things are painful.  I cannot pretend to not be affected by this.  It is never easy to leave a place you love even if it’s the right thing to do.

However, this is a perfect opportunity to pick up trailblogs and dust her off and take her for a ride again.  Hopefully steadily now.  I am also looking for anyone interested in helping me contribute to trailblogs.  You must be articulate and in shape.  Also interested in possibly taking this further into a business in the future.

Stay Tuned for more posts soon!  And If you’re on Twitter or Facebook and not following me feel free!


Trail Tips: General Hiking Advice

Here I want to give some basic advice that applies to hiking in general.

Basic Gear: 

There are a few things to remember no matter if you are taking a short walk around town, or hiking all the way into the back-country.  Things like water, sunscreen, and good shoes.  The needs for different hikes will vary but to be best prepared one should always have:

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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.

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Gridley Trail.

Gridley Road Trail

February 2011.

Elevation Gain: Around 4000 feet.

Distance: Around 7 miles up. 14 Miles round-trip.

Time: All day (8-9 Hours).

Rating: Moderate to Advanced to Insane (Depending on when you stop).

Nearby Cities: Ojai.

Directions: Google Maps

Note:  If you drive up to the top of Gridley Road, you should find it. Once you come to a private gate and a bunch of cars parked around, you’ve found it. There is another trail-head on the way; it’s for The Shelf Road Trail, pass it up and park at the end of the road. As with any other place keep everything locked in your trunk to avoid theft.

This is what you should see right as you step off of the road. There are a few signs for trail distances and information, as well as some trail-maps for when anyone wants to use them. Please put them back as the Forestry Service doesn’t have the budget to keep up these stations as well as they should.

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