It was rather chilly when I got to Sulphur Mountain road, although it was close to 9 am on a Saturday morning. I decided to drive up a little further to Ojai first and parked near a Starbucks to prepare with a very large coffee. I finally got moving around 9.30 and took the bike path south to Sulphur Mountain. Sulphur mountain road is a dirt road and I saw 3 other bikes and maybe a dozen hikers on it.
|view towards the ocean and Ventura, with two islands sticking out ( I think they are Anacapa and Santa Cruz)|
The hills were green and that made it so much more attractive than later in the year. I went up there once before, many years ago, and didn't like it then because on its own it isn't an interesting ride. Gentle climb, a bit over 2000 feet with a fairly steady 5-7 percent gradient.
|Sulphur mountain climb|
The descent back into the valley is paved and fast. There is a store at the intersection of highway 150 and Sisar road. Kathy and I did a short night hike last year up Sisar, but that was all I've seen of it (so not much in the dark). The beginning is shady and the surface is a bit more broken up than a typical dirt road, but it becomes a wide dirt road before too long. Most hikers are around the first part and after about half an hour, I didn't see anybody all afternoon, despite it being a Saturday with very nice weather.
|bottom of Sisar road|
|but most of the climb is more like this|
|Lunch break at Big Chief mountain (2.30 by now)|
That was largely it for the aerobic part of the day, a bit meandering on the top of the ridge and then trending downhill. I had all those mountains to myself. No other people in sight, no noise, no barking dogs, just open mountains. I stopped a few times just to enjoy that.
|Single track descent|
Finally, near the bottom, the very end is some more technical single track that gets out on Highway 33. Very fun, but something to do in daylight as it has big rocks and drops. It was about getting close to 5 and there were a few hikers on that trail, first time I saw anybody else after the the bottom of Sisar. Then a quick road ride back to Ojai and I was back at the car before it got dark.