Lion Canyon NPLD Project FINAL UPDATE

Hello Everybody,

We are now a day or two (depending on when you plan on arriving) away from our National Public Lands Day trail maintenance project on the beautiful Lion Canyon Trail in the magical Ventura Los Padres Backcountry.  Included here is hopefully everything you’ll need to know about the weekend but if I forgot anything, please don’t hesitate to email or call me directly (805.405.8628).  Here we go…….

The project will be based out of Middle Lion Campground, which is located about 40mins up Hwy 33 from Ojai.  Take Hwy 33 north, turn right on Rose Valley Rd and then follow the signs to Middle Lion Campground, which is located on the right fork end of the road.  Google Directions here and lat/long here.  There is no gas once you leave Ojai.

The Forest Service is reserving the campground for us starting Friday at noon.  They’ll be clearing out all the non-NPLD campers and dropping off a 250 gallon water tender.  You are free to arrive anytime tomorrow.  Camping is available for Friday and Saturday nights, both or none.  We’ll be there.

There are about 8 individual campsites within Middle Lion Campground.  While we have all the sites at our disposal, we’re going to put a little method to the madness and keep the scouts sequestered near the restrooms.  See the attached map ‘Middle Lion Camp Map.pdf’.  The sites in green and blue are for the scouts, yellow are reserved for the cooks and tools, feel free to grab any of the gray sites when you arrive.  It will be snug but we’re all on the same team.  Parking may be an issue, so if you can, drop your stuff off and then park along the road outside of camp and walk back.  That would work well.

We’ll be providing:

  • A light breakfast and coffee on Saturday morning.
  • An early dinner on Saturday which will be served at 3pm.
  • A light breakfast and coffee on Sunday morning.

Bring dinner for Friday night if you are camping.  Bring snacks and lunch for Saturday.  If you are camping Saturday night you might want to bring some extra food for normal dinner time or a late night snack.  We will have a camp kitchen setup with stove that you can use but it might be easier to bring your own camp stove.  No campfires are allowed at this time but stoves are fine.  PLEASE bring your personal cutlery, dishes and cups.

The Forest Service is providing us with 250 gallons of potable water.  We’ll be using this water for camp kitchen stuff, coffee, some showers and of course to drink.  Surf Brewery in Ventura was nice enough to donate a pony-keg of fantastic cold beer for the volunteers.  We’ll tap the beer on Saturday afternoon once all the work is completed and everyone is back in camp.  As mentioned, coffee will be provided each morning.  You are on your own for any other drinks or beverages that you might need/want/crave/etc…..  PLEASE bring a cup, mug, glass, etc…..

The trail project will start promptly at 8am on Saturday morning.  Please try to get up to Middle Lion around 7:30 in order to get signed in and coffee’ed up before the 8am safety talk.  We’re planning on all work wrapping up at 1pm on Saturday and hope to have everyone back in camp shortly after 2pm.

The forecasts are calling for lows in the upper 40’s and highs in the upper 80’s.  This means pretty hot during the hottest part of the day and pretty cool in the evenings and mornings.  I was out at Middle Lion on Wednesday morning and it was cool up until 9am or so.  The canyon is also very well shaded by the steep mountains, so plan on it being a little chilly at times.  The winds are forecast to kick up a little this weekend as well.  That might keep things a little cooler during the day and should knock away any flies or other bugs that are out and about.  There were no flies on Wednesday.  Be sure to drink lots of water in the days leading up to trail projects.  Hydration is key and starts days before you are actually in the heat.

I hiked the trail yesterday to take a look at the current conditions and put together a gameplan for how to attack 3miles of trail with 100 volunteers.  The trail was looking really good but certainly brushy in sections and could use some TLC.  The trail gently climbs Lion Canyon with great views and some diverse plants along the way.  It’s going to be perfect for our crew.  You can see pictures here.  After the safety talk we’ll be breaking into 5 groups and starting work on the trail.  The scouts will be working the farthest section of trail up by the backpacking camps and then the rest of us will break into 4 teams that are assigned specific sections of trail with 1-2 designated leaders on each team.  See the attached map for the breakdown.  It should work out great and we’ll do our best to accommodate and special needs or preferences you might have.  That’s the fun part!

There are some Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) items that each of us will need to bring.  These include long pants, sturdy boots, eye protection (sunglasses are fine), work gloves and head protection.  We’ll have some hard hats and gloves available but it would help a lot if you could PLEASE BRING PERSONAL WORK GLOVES AND/OR A HARD HAT/BIKE HELMET.  And if you have A FAVORITE PERSONAL TRAIL TOOL, PLEASE BRING THAT AS WELL.  We’re hoping to outfit each worker with 1 tool for the project but could always use more.

That should just about cover it but a few other things…….

  • DOGS: While I am a huge dog lover and have two of my own, they are not good to bring on the trail project.  Feel free to bring your pooch but please keep them tied up at camp while you are on the trail project.  We’ll have someone in camp the entire time who can look after your dog but we really can’t have them up on the trail while the work is going on.  Call me if you have any questions or concerns.  And of course all the dogs will be well-behaved and perfect gentlemen/ladies.
  • POISON OAK: There is a little PO along the trail but it is avoidable.  If you are super allergic we can find places along the trail where you can work away from the PO.
  • DIETARY CONCERNS: If you have any special dietary concerns or needs, please provide your own food.  I’m sure the cooks will have something you can eat and of course you are welcome to eat what you can but we’re not designing the menu around special needs.  Cool?
  • CREEK: The creek is flowing pretty nicely above the camp and there are even some smallish pools about 1/4 mile up-canyon.

So much for the quick email, why does this always happen to me?  Thank you all in advance, we’re looking forward to hanging out this weekend, doing some great work along the Lion Canyon trail and most importantly having a good time.  Let me know if you have any questions and see you soon……

middle-lion-camp-map lion

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