03 February 2018

Oak Tree Downs Trail in Carbon Canyon

One of the many great aspects about living in Chino Hills is that there are many miles of trails, some of which range across the upper elevations of our hills and provide great views and some good exercise.

This view looks from the upper elevations of the Oak Tree Downs Trail and looks southwest towards Sleepy Hollow and the Brea portion of Carbon Canyon.
Earlier today, a fine little ramble off the north end of the canyon was enjoyed on the Oak Tree Downs Trail, which runs between the community of that name and the Elements at Pine Valley up the hills and ends just south of the end of Eucalyptus Avenue.  It is notable that this is the only official city-administered trail in Carbon Canyon.

The trail winds up from its southern trailhead towards the top with portions of Carriage Hills, Western Hills Oaks and Mountain View Estates in Carbon Canyon in view.
It's not a particularly long trail, though there is a decent, if short, elevation gain up from the trailhead to the ridges of the hills.  Because we're having unprecedented record temperatures this winter, it felt like summer and the sun was pretty intense, but it's an easy way to get to spots where views of the canyon, the Inland Empire and the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountain ranges are pretty impressive.

This view to the southeast takes in the summit and Western Hills Mobile Home Park at the left, Carriage Hills at the center and Western Hills Oaks to the right.  Way off in the distance are parts of the San Jacinto (left) and Santa Ana (right) mountain chains.
Even though we've only had just a little over an inch of rain this winter (which raises the likelihood of another return to drought), there is still a bit of green carpeting of grasses on the hills, though if we don't get some decent rainfall soon, it will turn brown quick and be a concern for later in the year with respect to wildfire risk.

To the northeast are housing tracts off Eucalyptus Avenue and in the distance the San Gabriel Mountains with Mount San Antonio (Baldy), Ontario Peak and Cucamonga Peak as standouts.
As the accompanying photos show there are some very nice views from the upper elevations, including areas of the canyon ranging from the summit near the Summit Ranch and Carriage Hills subdivisions and westward towards Sleepy Hollow and the Brea portion of the canyon.

At the left is a portion of a ranch, with a home at the top of the hill at the upper left, that was later largely sold off to create the Oak Tree Downs and Oak Tree Estates communities, with much of the former in this view, which looks northwest.
To the northwest is a remnant of the old ranch that was subdivided into the Oak Tree Downs and Oak Tree Estates communities, while moving to the east looks over those neighborhoods north of Eucalyptus and out towards the mountains.

This is the large transfer site where the above-ground towers and lines of the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project moves underground through a portion of Chino Hills before reemerging to above ground along Pipeline Avenue and the 71 Freeway.  This view looks northwest.
Not that it's an attractive view, but the scale and scope of the transfer yard of the Tehachapi Renewable Transmission Project (TRTP) that was the subject of a remarkable decision by the state's Public Utilities Commission requiring that sections of the line be moved underground through a portion of Chino Hills is quite a sight, as well.

Standing at the higher elevations of the route and looking across the canyon, the thought came that it would be nice to see more trails in the area.  This might be easier (but certainly wouldn't be easy) on the south side, especially along the open space that runs from the southwestern corner of Carbon Canyon Road and Chino Hills Parkway and then behind Carriage Hills and the several neighborhoods (including the proposed 107-unit Hidden Oaks, which is to come before the planning commission and city council this year) through to Sleepy Hollow and the county line.  The north side, because of existing development reaching deep beyond the canyon towards the north and the topography, would pose significantly more challenges.

Here was an interesting site of pinecones (the pine trees are all down at lower elevations in surrounding areas) piled against a trail sign near the top of the route.
As this post started off noting, there are many advantages to living in the city and the trail system is one of them.  Today's walk was a reminder of just how unusual this is, as most cities in our area do not have the range and scope of this recreational amenity.


Todd said...

I’ve been walking a lot for distance lately and recently discovered the Oak Tree Downs trail. I’ve walked it down to Carbon Canyon road via Cannon. As I stood at the corner of Cannon and Carbon Canyon, I’ve wondered if there is a trail that would take me from there up to the top of Peyton. Are you aware of anything? What is the best way, in your opinion, to get back to the Chino HIlls Community Center from the Cannon/Carbon Canyon corner? I’ve just been going back to Eucalyptus.

BTW, I just discovered your blog right now. But the few entries I’ve read have been very interesting and helpful. I’m looking forward to reading back what you have wrote. Thank you for your hard work!


prs said...

Hi Todd, sorry for the late response to your comment. There is no other way to get, by a trail, from Canon and Carbon Canyon Road to Peyton and the return back to Eucalyptus is the only route to return to the CH Community Center. Glad you discovered the blog, enjoy its contents, and hope that you'll check it out from time-to-time. Thanks!

Todd said...

Thank you for your response. This is what I thought from looking at the satellite maps, but I figured you would know for sure. I’ve been reading back through your blogs. Very good work. I’ve learned a lot about where I live and have enjoyed the variety of the topics. I will definitely be a faithful reader from now on. Thank you, again.

prs said...

Thanks, Todd--glad that you'll be supporting the blog.