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