Use the northmost parking lot (Oso/Meyer Rd.). Please drive SLOW into the lot over the speedbumps, I got chastised today. You will be heading up to the ridge to the north, cross the river, and right after you cross the fish passage diversion and plant nursery make a right at the sign, Rick B has done a heck of a job with the signs no?
Anyway this is my favorite hike if you want an intense but short workout. The trail is steep and pretty exhausting in some spots. Some shade, but I wouldn’t count on it. About 1.5 miles to the ridge with some impressive elevation gain (I promise I will start bringing my GPS). Everything is sooooo dry. Was ready to take pics of all the nightshade, wishbone bush, ceanothus, peony, but everything looked sad.
Cool bear track:
I’ve actually run into 2 bears in all my Ojai hikes. Trust me they don’t want to run into you any more than you want to run into them. Once you get up to the ridge take a deep breath. Make a left and you can walk along the ridge for quite a while. There is a surprising array of plant ecosystems up here, from some very deep shade with Hummingbird Sage, to a small Manzanita forest, and eventually tons of Bigpod Ceanothus. Some very nice prickly phlox was generous enough to give a little show:
Eventually the trail starts heading north again and you can actually reach El Camino Cielo with this trail, but it’s still pretty rough, I wouldn’t advise it on your first try. Anyway the scenery is pretty awesome up here… careful on your way down..