Overview of Los Padres National Forest Trailhead
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Great Hike. On-Leash dog 🐕 Friendly. Not very challenging. But it's a nice calm and quiet hike. There's a parking lot at the trailhead.
Love hiking Pratt trail, good climb and workout.
We went up the Pratt Trail to Fuel Break Road, and down the Ridley Trail to Gridley Rd, where we stopped in town. All told, it was about 9 miles, and a lovely hike. There was a crest-top view of the entire valley, a highlight of the morning. And yes, you should start your Ojai hikes EARLY! It gets hot.
Some of the best hiking trails. Great for all levels
You have to go early! I mean early like before 9. This is an all day hike. And my experience is what you SHOULDNT do. Better known as the Punch Bowls... There's SOOO many paths that it's inevitable to get lost or turned around but that the fun part. But try to stay on the trails. The path is clearly visible and once you climbing through canyons of jagged rocks well you can assume you are off the path. I went this past weekend 4/19 and the weather was wonderful. The first mistake is we went after 1pm. The sun isn't as hot but we did got all turned around and it took us more that 2 hrs to find the correct path to the punch bowls. Around 3ish we started making our way to the punchbowl. You will know you are going the right way because you will see ppl, you are by the stream/river and you will see makers on tress and rocks. There's arrows pointing the correct way on rocks and tape on branches indicating you are on the right path. Getting to the Punchbowl's will take about 2-3 hrs depending on the trail and how many breaks you take. I suggest following other hikers who go there often. About 4 I did notice a bunch of ppl heading back which would of been a good sign to turn back but nope we were determined to get to the bowls. (2nd mistake) The most crucial mistake we made was we went toooo far and didn't really anticipate the long journey back. We headed back around 7 (DO NOT stay that late unless you plan on camping. We did notice a couple of campers). Sundown was 730 and by 8 it was pitch black. We had to navigate the dark eerie mountains with no light and no way of seeing the trails. Highly dangerous and not fun!! We survived by staying extremely close and using a single cellphone flashlight to try and navigate back. It took us about 3 hrs to get back to the oil fields (10pm) where a sheriff car met us to take us back to our car. We were lucky to get out alive. This place at night is no joke. There's tons of nocturnal animals and we heard all types of creatures with no way of seeing what was out there. It all felt like a cross between the hills have eyes and Blair Witch Project. I say don't go that late, let ppl know you are going hiking (we were with another group who informed the law enforcement we were still out there) and come prepared with water, snacks, a compass and flashlight. The views are breathtaking. There wasn't much trash as suggested in other posts. Its not the easiest hike so know your limits. Also running shoes will be destroyed by the rocks, rivers and dirt so don't come in your new kicks. Worth getting lost in the dark plus i never seen so many beautiful stars..... Final damage 9hrs 10.68 miles and 26k steps (according to FitBit)