The creek is named for Jeff Howard who came to the area in 1875 and established a mountain cattle ranch in 1877. Jeff shot and killed a Basque sheep herder who had run his sheep on Jeff's pasture on Rock Creek. Sentenced to prison, he escaped and fled to Arizona. He was returned to Ojai and then once again escaped and never was captured again. He died near Prescott Arizona in 1910 at the age of 92 years.
This steep trail starts on the south side of the road from Highway 33 to Rose Valley just west on private property named Rancho Grande on upper Howard Creek. The trail climbs up to join the Rose Valley Road to Nordhoff Ridge Road. It is a northern route to reach Nordhoff Peak. A part of the trail was constructed by a U. S. Navy Construction Battalion commonly known as Seabees who had a training base located at Rose Valley. As part of their training they built numerous roads, trails and the Rose Valley Iakes.
Turn right on Rose Valley Road and drive .4 miles and park on the right. The trail starts on a dirt road behind a locked gate. This is one of the shortest hikes to Nordhoff Ridge where there are fantastic views of the coastline and the Ojai Valley.