Visit Ventura County - Cuesta Grade and the Channel View

The expedition traveled northwest, and descended a steep grade (cuesta) where they encountered the Chumash tribe for the first time, as well as a good-sized spring of asphalt. They continued west to the the Santa Clara River and marveled at the sight of the Channel, the sea and the waterfowl nearby. Traveling along the coast, they crossed the Ventura River and camped at the northern border of Ventura at Rincon point.

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Driving Directions for Auto Route

Continuing on the route from Los Angeles County, from US 101 north, after entering the area of Thousand Oaks, take the Westlake exit east to Lang Ranch Parkway and the Oakbrook Chumash Interpretive Center. Continue north on US 101 to the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Traveling onward on 101 north, look for signs to the beaches as you cross the Santa Clara River and come to the coastline in Ventura. Trails within these state parks provide an experience on the historic route of the Anza expedition. Near the Ventura marina, visit the Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center. Continue north on US 101 towards the City of Santa Barbara. To continue on the route, see Santa Barbara County.

Hiking/Biking Ideas

Hikers can enjoy Point Mugu State Park and the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The latter contains nearly 17 miles of trail designated for the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail. The coastal parks of San Buenaventura and Emma Wood State beaches, the Faria and Hobson County Parks and the recreation trail on the Ventura beach boardwalk all provide memorable ocean views.

Points of Interest

Expedition Campsites
  • The Santa Clara River Area - Expedition Camp #74
    On February 23, 1776, camp was at the Santa Clara River, where Font describes the river area as having many geese, ducks, cranes, and other fowl. Near their campsite are the McGrath State Beach Campground and Santa Clara Estuary Natural Preserve, hosting one of the best bird-watching areas in California. The Channel Islands National Park Visitor Center, at the river's outflow to the sea, provides information on Chumash culture and the pristine islands located offshore. It is located at 1901 Spinnaker Drive. A short distance inland is the Olivas Adobe (located at 4200 Olivas Park Drive). This restored adobe was the home of Don Raimundo Olivas, husband of the great granddaughter of Ramón Borjorques, an Anza expedition member. Cyclists can get to the area via the Pacific Coast Bike Route.
  • Coastal Parks and Beaches - Expedition Camp #75
    The expedition traveled along the coastline, and crossed the Ventura River. A few miles further, Camp #75 (La Rinconada) was made near a Chumash village at Rincon Creek (Rincon Point) at the border with Santa Barbara County. Its Chumash name is believed to be Shuku. Several parks along the coast are directly on the historic route. These are San Buenaventura and Emma Wood State Beaches, and Faria and Hobson County Parks.

Additional Resources

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