MARCH 25, 2014 – Upper Las Virgenes (Ahmanson-west)

March 25, 2014

I hadn’t hiked in over a month. So it was a relief to ditch my responsibilities for a few hours and cache a counter clockwise loop at the North end of Las Virgenes Boulevard. The temperature was in the mid 70’s and a slight breeze kept me from overheating in the bright sun.
It was great to hike in an unburned area. There was even water at a crossing. But it was just a big puddle from the rains 3 weeks ago and not the usual flowing stream that’s there in non-drought years.
Beyond the single puddle, the ground was dry.
My first stop after a left (West) turn was Not a mammoth mountain (GC2Z2ZQ) above the main trail. There was an unexpected mini-trail system up top. It even led to MY cache, Crossover to Cheeseboro Canyon (GC16V89). I didn’t have to do my planned cache maintenance because the temporary replacement left by gcstraggler was better than the one I brought. Thanks!! The cache is within 1 foot of the picture.
This is the view from ground zero.
At the Northwest part of the loop a sign read that Juan Bautista de Anza did NOT pass this way in 1775-1776. I didn’t either. I made a left (S) turn onto the Cheesboro Ridge Trial.
Dark brown ants covered this tree and the ground around it. I couldn’t get close enough to grab the cache inside.
Farther along the loop the trailside was littered with calabazilla Coyote Gourds. The reason for the Latin species name “foetidissima” became apparent. PU! Oh and there’s a cache where the trail meets the water tank at the top of the picture.
Just before the tank a 2’ gopher snake basked in the middle of the trail. I hope it moved before bikers ran over it.
Finding BWidget caches along the way, I kept going on the up and down switchbacks. Near the end of the hike there was an interesting depression in the trailside rock wall.
I emerged at this trail head on Las Virgenes Boulevard, 200’ from my car after 3-1/2 hours and 6.8 miles.