Best Easy Day Hikes Ventura  by Monique Riedel

Best Easy Day Hikes: Ventura Guide Book

by Monique Riedel (Falcon Guides)
Best Easy Day Hikes Ventura  by Monique Riedel
Best Easy Day Hikes Ventura features concise descriptions and easy-to-follow maps of twenty easily manageable hikes through the natural beauty and historic attractions of Ventura County—from the San Buenaventura Mission to off-shore islands and mainland sandy beaches, from the peaks of the Los Padres National Forest to the glamorous Santa Monica National Recreation Area. Look inside for: • Half-hour strolls and full-day adventures • Hikes for everyone, including families • Hikes ranked from easiest to most challenging • GPS-compatible trail maps

© 2009 Monique Riedel/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Best Easy Day Hikes: Ventura" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 20.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 20.

Hike to see a historic lighthouse and outbuildings while enjoying the amazing views of the coast and the inspirational grandeur of Anacapa Island. While the mainland visitor center in Ventura is readily accessible by car or public transportation, the islands are only accessible by Island Packer park concessionaire boats, planes, or private boats. Therefore, advance planning is required. There is no food or water provided on the island, so it is important to bring along adequate supplies.
Ventura, CA - Backpacking,Hiking - Trail Length: 2.4
Take a stroll through lovely hillsides to a nice overlook in the verdant setting of Arroyo Verde Park. Arroyo Verde Park is located between Foothill Road just above Ventura College and the San Miguelito Hills. At a total of 132 acres of relatively undeveloped land, this park offers an enormous fourteen-acre stretch of grassy picnic area, as well as two children’s play areas, individual and group picnic and barbecue areas, and several miles of hiking trails that snake back into canyons. This park also features a nature center and restrooms.
Ventura, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
Take a seaside stroll beginning at a charming beachside park and play area complete with a pirate ship and sandy beach and ending at historic Ventura Pier, which is purported to be California’s longest pier. Marina Park is a seaside park that offers something for everyone. A grassy lawn perfect for kite flying and picnicking is bordered by a sandy beach. There are two play areas for children of all ages, one of which includes a pirate ship equipped with a very popular rope tow. Marina Park has bathrooms, barbecue pits, picnic tables, and benches both seaside and throughout the play area.
Ventura, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.5
Hike to a beautiful promontory with an incredible overlook of the Pacific Ocean and the Southern California coastline. Enjoy birds and wildlife as well as some of the island’s history. Some antique ranching equipment lines the way along with several outbuildings still enduring from the days of yore. These are worthwhile diversions in their own right, complete with plaques and a brochure describing how they were used in addition to some tidbits about the modern history of the island.
Oxnard, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
Hike along the beautiful contours of Lake Casitas, enjoying lakeside views and outdoor ambiance. Lake Casitas is a manmade lake created to provide water and irrigation for local communities. Therefore, swimming is prohibited. If you wish to venture beyond the shore, you may enjoy a boat ride around the lake or to the small island in the center of the lake.
Oak View, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 6
Enjoy pristine wetlands, bird watching, and ocean views along this lovely coastal stroll. This beachside sanctuary will offer you a glimpse of several ecosystems protected by California in the Santa Clara Estuary Natural Preserve. This hike is ideal for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts, as it is home to over 245 species of birds, some of which are endangered or threatened such as the least tern, the brown pelican, and the snowy plover. Aside from the myriad of natural vegetation and birds, wildlife abounds in this area as well, such as raccoons, gray foxes, and even bobcats! Even though this hike is beachside, it is not advisable to succumb to the temptation to go for a swim.
Ventura, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.6
Hike through a changing landscape marked with various points of interest and featuring incredible views of the surrounding parkland. It is generally considered to be one of the best hikes in all of Southern California. This is one of the most beautiful trails in all of the Santa Monica Mountains. The distance alone probably makes it closer to a moderate-level hike, but the gradual nature of the climb and the sheer magnificence of the region lessens the overall difficulty. The variety of scenery is really what makes this hike a spectacular one. It seems that nearly every half mile along the way, there is a different formation, ecosystem, landmark, or other point of interest to keep everyone in the group thoroughly engaged.
Malibu, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.7
Hike up the Chumash Trail to reach Mugu Peak for an awesome panoramic overview of the Santa Monica Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Enjoy wildflowers and incredible vistas. This trail is classified as easy for one reason alone, and that is because it is very short. However, there is a caveat attached with this hike; it is an absolute no-nonsense elevation gainer, gaining nearly 800 feet of elevation in the first quarter mile alone. At that point, the hike plateaus for a quarter mile before starting on a gentler ascent, only to rise more steeply again closer to the summit of Mugu Peak.
Oxnard, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
Hike through a quaint city park to a lovely isolated windswept beach and harbor. Oxnard Beach Park is an out of the way destination, not readily on the radar for most beachgoers. There are no volleyball nets, lifeguards, or hordes of sunbathers. More than likely, there will be a few people strolling along the coast and the occasional sun-worshipper may be lying out on the sand, but usually this little section of oceanfront can be walked in relative isolation and solitude. The beach access is not obvious from the roadway, so perhaps many people simply overlook this little gem of a park.
Oxnard, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 4
Hike through the lovely and federally protected Wild and Scenic Sespe River region to an awesome outcropping of beautifully sculpted and smooth white sandstone. Follow the trail as it drops into Sespe Creek, which is protected under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968. Similar in scope to the Wilderness Act, the act preserves free-flowing waterways that provide outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational value for the enjoyment of present and future generations. The Sespe was officially protected under the act in 1991.
Ojai, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 2
Wander through lovely pine forests and enjoy magnificent vistas atop the highest and southernmost ridgeline in the Los Padres National Forest. Half of the fun of the hike along Pine Mountain’s illustrious ridge is just getting there. The drive through the beautiful Los Padres National Forest is stunning, but after turning off onto Pine Mountain Road, the views become quite expansive and simply breathtaking. Most people will want to stop along the way to take pictures even before beginning the hike. While not a requirement, high-clearance vehicles are better suited to the half paved/half dirt travel along the route.
Ojai, CA - Climbing,Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 5.4
Hike along an old ranch road to the top of Santa Cruz Island and take in wondrous views of the island, its mountains, a potato-shaped harbor, and the Southern California coastline. Some antique ranching equipment lines the way along with several outbuildings still enduring from the days of yore. These are worthwhile diversions in their own right, complete with plaques and a brochure describing how they were used in addition to some tidbits about the modern history of the island.
Oxnard, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.5
This hike traverses two lovely canyons and their seasonal streams in the enormous Dick Smith Wilderness. Enjoy a lovely meadow, rock formations reminiscent of southern Utah, and an old cowboy campsite. Getting to the trailhead requires at least a high-clearance truck, though four-wheel drive is highly recommended. The road into Rancho Nuevo Campground crosses the Cuyama River, which does not normally flow heavily, but flows enough to make it difficult for those not experienced in driving off road and crossing waterways.
Ojai, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 5.5
Hike to the base of a 70-foot waterfall, following a creek full of spots for water play and relaxation on warmer days. Rose Valley Falls is an amazing destination. There are actually two falls, an upper and lower set, with the upper set being far more beautiful, higher, and dazzling than the lower falls. This simple, short, and very easy hike leads to the base of the lower falls and returns via the same route, because the upper falls are very difficult and even dangerous to reach.
Ojai, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1
Hike past Aquinas College, through lovely riparian habitats into Santa Paula Canyon, and to perfectly formed swimming areas at the appropriately named Punch Bowls. During the floods of 2005, much of the trail and road was eliminated by high waters. There are orange markers for ambiguous parts of the trail, so it is a good idea to be watchful of these and stay on the well-worn trail. The trail itself requires a few jaunts over Santa Paula Creek. Be prepared to get your feet wet. Many people pack a pair of reef shoes or water shoes for this part of the trail; these may come in handy later in the day when you have reached the swimming hole and waterslide. PLEASE BE AWARE OF RECENT WILDFIRES IN THE AREA.
Santa Paula, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 8
This is an easy hike and a wonderful trip for people of all ages, with excellent opportunities to see a variety of wildlife. Enjoy both Native American history and the story of Spanish ranches on the property at the interactive center. Satwiwa/Rancho Sierra Vista is an amazing place. Integrating and preserving the history of both the Spanish land grants and ranching acquisitions with the local Gabrielino/ Chumash/Tongva cultures, the interactive center is a must visit and sure to fascinate young children.
Oxnard, CA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Trail Running - Trail Length: 2
From the seaside to the hilltops, hike up one of the most popular trails in the city of Ventura to a spectacular vista. Like a crowned jewel, the Serra Cross sits majestically on its summit, providing amazing views of the city, the sea, and surrounding hillsides of the Ojai Valley. The Grant Park–Serra Cross trail is a wonderful introduction to the best the city of Ventura has to offer. This trip offers something for just about everyone, from those wishing to stroll along the beach and enjoy the ocean breeze to history buffs interested in stopping at the historic San Buenaventura Mission to hikers seeking picturesque views offering a postcard-like appeal. This hike is without a doubt Ventura’s premier destination.
Ventura, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
This is a peaceful streamside stroll along Santa Paula Creek, abundant with shade trees and a charming watershed. Steckel Park is located along the hillside of the interior woodlands of Santa Paula just beyond Ojai. This park is ideal for casual hiking and recreational activities such as picnicking, softball, and horseshoeing. The park itself offers a playground, restrooms, water, and a clubhouse with a kitchen that can be reserved for a fee. Car camping and RV camping are also available. The campgrounds are managed by Far West Resorts, located at the east end of Santa Paula Creek.
Santa Paula, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.4
Ascend creekside under a canopy of sycamore and oak trees along idyllic Sycamore Canyon in Point Mugu State Park. The gate is locked to prevent unauthorized vehicles from traveling on the road, but there is an opening for hikers. Depending on the season, the water level may be high, so make sure to be prepared to get your feet wet while crossing the creek.
Malibu, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 6
This interpretive trail travels along a lovely creek, exploring riparian and chaparral ecosystems, while offering incredible views of the surrounding mountains and countryside. The Wheeler Gorge Nature Trail starts 0.5 mile north of the entrance to the campgrounds that share the same name. The campgrounds are incredibly popular and require a twonight stay on weekends, and a three-night stay on holiday weekends, so plan ahead if an overnight is in the itinerary. The trail actually sits adjacent to the northern edge of the camp and can be reached from the roadway that runs next to the sites.
Ojai, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.7
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