Today I enjoyed a more than casual stroll up Sisar Canyon in Santa Paula. In lieu of yesterday’s post regarding heart rate, I decided to push myself to my anaerobic threshold (over 80% of my MHR/target heart rate). I tried to push myself to stay above 3mph while hiking up a consistent 500-600′ gain/mile grade.
I parked my car at the top of Sisar road, down about a block of dirt road. There were only a few cars there, which isn’t bad for a Sunday morning at 745 a.m.
I followed the dirt road up. The road is somewhat steep for a fire road and immediately begins its elevation gain. The nice thing about this hike is that the road is well travelled enough and its a relatively nice grade…so I won’t turn my chinsy right ankle 🙂
About a quarter of a mile up, there is a gate. Some people with 4WD park here. Also, some people with 4WD drive can get through this gate with a key and permit from Los Padres N.F.
Shortly thereafter, I hit my first of two water crossings. It’s easy during the summer but does get a bit higher during the winter months, due to snowmelt and rain accumulation coming down from higher elevations. There were a whole bunch of bees and wasps flying around the water surface, but they didn’t seem to mind me. Neither crossing is tough.
Just before the road opens up and becomes exposed, I hit a cool little water fill up hole. Of course, just under two miles in, most people usually don’t need to re-up their water. But still, I like to make notes of this kind of thing.
And then it got hot. Now, fortunately for me, I was planning well and it was early morning…and only 72 degrees or so. In the mid afternoon, it gets really hot out here. I don’t mind it but some people can’t take the heat. Remember that when considering this hike.
Even though its exposed and can be a little monotonous, the view of Sisar Canyon is beautiful and gets even nicer the higher one hikes up.
(Cool little lookout point that marks 1 more mile until the White Ledge Trail/Red Reef Trail gate)
And then I made it. This is where the road bends, right near a big road gate. You can go straight on the single track trail (unless you’re on a bike). This trail is really beautiful and goes through White Ledge Camp about a mile in. That’s a great spot to fill up on water before an ascent to Hines, Topatopa Bluff, or beyond. You can also elect to follow the road up further; it adds mileage and exposure, but presents awesome views of the Ojai Valley and is a nice, gradual climb. Either way, I made this spot my turnaround point for the day, about an hour and 20 minutes in.
I hung out for a few minute at this spot and chatted with a couple hikers who were training for a trip in the Sierras. After consuming some water and a pack of Sport Beans, I turned around and headed back down the mountain. On the way, I found these guys: Red Velvet Ant? (Definitely an aggressive and non-friendly creature)
Tarantula! Total opposite of the first creature; fun, social, and pretty!
And then this crap. If you see this stuff, don’t don’t don’t don’t don’t touch it (unless you like to feel itchy!).
(Do you guys like the inline photo trip report style? Or prefer the usual slideshow?)
Time: 2:51:00 – 1:20 up, 10 minute break, 1:20 down.
Distance: 7.5 miles r/t
Elevation gain: 1718′
Calories burned: 2,218
Calories consumed: 150 (100 from Sport Beans, 50 from Hammer HEED drink)
Water consumed: a little over 2L
Getting there: Take 150 east of Ojai or north of Santa Paula. Turn north on Sisar Road, next to the general store. Drive up the narrow road for a mile or so. The road curves left but don’t follow that curve. Instead, keep straight on the road to where it becomes a dirt road. Park at the big power station structure thing. I’m not sure if an Adventure Pass is needed – I don’t think it is because it’s right on the border of Los Padres – but just be mindful of this.