Oso Ridge Trail
1) Oso Ridge Trail is best accessed from either the Riverview Trailhead or Old Baldwin Road Trailhead. If using the Riverview Trailhead proceed south and follow the trail markings toward Oso Ridge Trail. If using the Old Baldwin Road Trailhead follow the trail north toward Oso Ridge Trail. Although it’s not marked as such you’ll be on West River Trail. A fenced in drainage area will be to your north as you hike up switchbacks. After the switchbacks you’ll cross Cooper Canyon Road onto Oso Ridge Trail. Follow Oso Ridge Trail north to the Chaparral Crest Trail junction proceeding north to Oso Ridge Trailhead.
2) The first leg of Oso Ridge Trail gradually ascends then dips up and down. As you climb you’ll see views of Rancho Matilija and the surrounding area. Once you are high enough you can see parts of Lake Casitas and after you make it over some thin switchbacks you’re close to the preserve’s high point. At about 1.3 miles you’ll reach the high point of the entire Ventura River Preserve at 1,320 feet. This is a wonderful opportunity to take in a panoramic view of the preserve and Ojai Valley.
3) As you head down a slight decline the Oso Ridge Trail is coming to an end. When you reach the trail junction you have a few options: hike east on Chaparral Crest Trail back to the Oso Ridge Trail, or head north toward Wills Canyon Trail for more spectacular views of the canyon below.
Note: These trails are exposed with little shade, so it’s best to go in the early mornings or during cooler months of the year.