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Ventura River Preserve Lollipop

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.4 (7) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Enjoy lots of terrain variety and views of Lake Casitas and Ojai.


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Map Key

10.0

Miles

16.2

KM

60%

Singletrack

1,277' 389 m

High

620' 189 m

Low

1,280' 390 m

Up

1,280' 390 m

Down

5%

Avg Grade (3°)

23%

Max Grade (13°)

Dogs Leashed

E-Bikes Unknown

Features -none-

Occasionally parts of this trail are closed when rain has fallen. They do this to protect the trail. Also, the gate closes at 7:30 p.m. Don't get locked in!

Overview

This ride has super varied terrain (forests, river crossings, meadow, no-shade climbs) and lots of ups and downs. It is great for riders of all skill levels.

Need to Know

Two water crossings. Main one being at the start. Do not attempt if the Ventura River is rushing.

Description

Start out from the trailhead and go down the path to the Ventura River. You may need to walk across the rocks at this point, and avoid the crossing if the river is rushing (spring, winter).

From there, you'll begin a varied climb through meadow and forest along the fire road after you pass the aqueduct. As you continue, the trail splits, and you can either continue to truck along Rice Canyon Trail or head down the path of the El Nido Meadow (on the left). This is a speedy bit of singletrack that ends with a small water crossing down a steep ravine. Continue to the left, and you'll be on the Wills Canyon Trail and shooting through the forest as you follow the stream's path.

Once you've hit the end of the trail, hang a right and you can either take a breather down the paved road or turn slightly before that for some more speedy singletrack. The trail also crosses over the road and then heads down into the river valley on West River Trail for some rocky ventures before meeting back up with the trail. Continue climbing and descending on the Oso Ridge Trail, climbing and descending, until the view opens up and you can spy Lake Casitas in the distance.

The downhill through the next section is frequently overgrown (and was at time of this writing), so take care through the high grass as the trail is quite rutted and it's harder to spot areas where small crevices open up. Once you've made it down the Wills Canyon Trail west side, you'll meet back up with El Nido Meadow where you hung a left earlier (if you took the proposed route), and you can make your way back the way you came in, or take Rice Canyon Trail for a short alternate route before it reconvenes at the start of the short Nido Trail.

All in all, a fun ride that has a lot to offer riders of all skill levels. Be warned that Ojai gets very hot during the summer months, so bring plenty of water.

Contacts

Shared By:

Kurt Canfield

Trail Ratings

  3.4 from 7 votes

#2794

Overall
  3.4 from 7 votes
5 Star
14%
4 Star
43%
3 Star
29%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
14%
Recommended Route Rankings

#358

in California

#2,794

Overall
200 Views Last Month
4,368 Since Jun 15, 2017
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
0%
33%
0%
67%
0%

Photos

Wills Canyon Trail Video
May 18, 2018 near Meiners…, CA
Looking up the mountain at the top of Wills Canyon Trail
May 17, 2018 near Meiners…, CA
Looking east towards Ojai from top of Wills Canyon Trail
May 17, 2018 near Meiners…, CA
The view inside the Nature Conservancy area of the trail. Just beautiful!
Dec 1, 2017 near Meiners…, CA

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Check-Ins

May 23, 2020
Tyson Cline
May 3, 2020
Marco Sulin
Apr 30, 2020
Marco Sulin
Feb 8, 2020
Pavel Stamboliyski
Sep 21, 2019
Melanie Rosenberg
went up oso and down Willis as recommended. rice canyon was closed. oso was a brutal uphill. I'd recommend going up Willis and down willis.
Mar 31, 2019
David Cover
Mar 23, 2019
Casey Price
Dec 30, 2018
Erica Binns-Restivo
4.9mi