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SCHEDULE FOR MARCH 2017

****** RAIN FALLING CANCELS ALL HIKES ******

Saturday, February 25, 2017 – Chumash Trail to Fossil Ridge

Distance: ~8.0 miles (out and back style)

Gain: At least 1100′ on the way out

Rating: Moderate

Description: The Chumash Trail is located in the Rocky Peak Park in the Santa Susana Mountains , East of Simi Valley. Although relatively short, there is a fair amount of gain in a short period. Once you reach Fossil Ridge you will see Paleocene marine fossils that were deposited 60-64 million years ago. Most of the fossils are mollusks (think Shell Oil shape). Please do not take any of the fossils. Leave them behind for others to enjoy. We are doing this hike at this time of year as it can get very hot in Summer.

Carpooling from Santa Clarita Valley (Advisable, see “READ” below): If you wish to carpool, meet at Towsley Cyn (24255 The Old Road, Newhall, CA) outside the entrance gate at 7:45AM for an 8:00 AM SHARP departure to the trail head. Please be respectful of your driver’s support by contributing something at the end of your carpool to help defray the cost of gas – THX.

Directions to Towsley Canyon Carpooling spot:

Exit the I-5 freeway in Santa Clarita Valley at Calgrove Blvd. Turn West and follow Calgrove around a curve and through one light. You will now see the gate to Towsley Canyon on your right. Park and look for group of hikers/ leader.

!!!!!READ !!!! Directions to the trail head: Take the I-5 South to merge into the 405 South. Get off at the 118 freeway towards Simi. Exit at exit 29, Yosemite Avenue. Drive 0.4 miles North on Flanagan Drive and turn right. Continue 0.8 miles to the trailhead at the end of the road.

Meet your leader at the trailhead (closest address: 3191 Flanagan Dr, Simi Valley, CA 93063):

Meet at approx. 8:30AM for a 8:45AM SHARP departure up the trail.

Bring: Lots of water, a hat, sunscreen, a snack and hiking poles if you have them. Camera. Good shoes with tread are a must – no flip flops or tennis shoes please. Likely the day will be cool and windy, so bring an extra layer to avoid a chill at the top.

Adventure Pass: Not required

Dogs: OK, if on a leash and well-behaved with other dogs / people carrying poles.

Leader: Lise M

Saturday 4 March, 2017 – Switzer Falls to Bear Canyon trail

Distance: ~ 7 miles total , out and back . It’s a reverse hike – you start by going down and come back uphill at the end.

Gain: ~ 600 feet (very doable and it is all at the end)

Rating:  Moderate  (Note: There are some steep areas and overlooks during this hike – if you have an issue with heights!)

Description:  This is a moderate hike into one of the loveliest sections of the San Gabriel Mountains. The hike meanders back and forth across the stream running down the spectacular Arroyo Seco Canyon.  The stream is lined with oaks and a lot of alder, many of which have fallen across the river.  In many places the water cascades over granite into mirror-like pools.    The hike emerges from the trees and travels high above the 50 foot high Switzer falls with a view of where the Switzer resort stood before dropping back to the stream.

We continue down Bear canyon a mile or so, taking in several pools and the beauty of the canyon.  There is plenty of boulder hoping but not much scrambling.  We will stop along the way for a snack before turning back.  This time we go back up stream until we are standing at the base of the falls. We then backtrack a little and return up the hill from stream level to the track above and follow the stream back up to the parking lot.

BRING:  Hiking poles, if you have them, an extra layer in case it gets hot/cold, lunch/snack, water (2 – 3L), hat and sunscreen.  We will be near water/ shade – long pants and sleeves are STRONGLY advised as poison oak, stinging nettles and overgrown trail conditions are very likely on this hike (although we will try to point them out so you can avoid them).   Bug spray / a bug net is recommended in case black flies drive you nuts.  We have extra bug Nets – $5, if you need one.

Adventure Pass: Yes, for those who drive – they do ticket ($5)!  Passes can be obtained at any BIG 5 Sporting Goods store; $5 for a day pass, $30 for a 1 year pass.  They do ticket ($5) big time at this trailhead.

Dogs: OK, on leash and if well behaved around people / other dogs.  If you bring a dog, you will need to drive yourself.

Meet your Leader:  At 6:45AM outside Towsley Canyon gate in the street Parking lot for a 7:00AM SHARP Carpool departure. Alternatively, meet at the Trail Head for a 8:00AM departure down the trail.

Please be respectful of your driver’s support by contributing something at the end of your carpool to help defray the cost of gas – THX.

Directions to Towsley Canyon carpool meeting spot:

From North (Valencia) – Take the I-5 South to the Calgrove exit. Exit, turn right. Go through the signal and immediately turn right into the driveway for Towsley Canyon. Park OUTSIDE the gate. Look for the hiking club members and leader there. Please be on time.

From South (LA) – Take the I-5 North, kept left at HWY 5/14 split until next Exit (Calgrove Blvd.). Exit, turn left at bottom of ramp. Go through the signal and immediately turn right into the driveway for Towsley Canyon. Park OUTSIDE the gate. Look for the hiking club members and leader there.

Directions to Switzer Trail head:   From the 210, take the Hwy 2 exit toward the Angeles Crest Highway / La Canada Flintridge.  Continue east on CA-2 for 9.8 miles. Pass the Clear Creek Ranger Station, then look for the Switzer Falls sign on the right – carefully descend to the parking lot below.

Leader: Steve i.

 

** Note: Rain falling at trailhead at start of hike will cancel the hike**

Saturday March 11, 2017  – Sierra Madre to Orchard Camp

Distance:  9 miles,  In and Out

Gain: ~ 2000 – 2200′

Duration: 4 – 5 hours

Rating:   Moderate / Strenuous, due to substantial elevation gain.  Suitable for experienced hikers in good physical condition.

Description:  Following an old Indian trail, Benjamin Wilson built a trail in an effort to obtain timber from the top of what is now called Mt. Wilson.  Harvard University telescope was carried up this trail to occupy the first observatory on Mt. Wilson.  As the trail, and later the observatory, was being built a construction camp was built in a secluded glen called Halfway House. After the observatory was built Halfway House was homesteaded by two mountaineers named George Aiken and George Islip.  They planted a small grove of apple, cherry, plum and chestnut trees and the location became known as Orchard Camp.

Later Orchard Camp became a trail resort for 50 years.  Today the buildings and tents are gone, but the enchanting stream side spot still holds appeal for day hikers.  Our hike will follow this historic footpath from Sierra Madre to Orchard Camp and back.

Information about the trail:  Our hike starts at the junction of Mira Monte Avenue and Mt. Wilson Trail Drive a private road in Sierra Madre.  We will walk a short distance up Mt. Wilson Trail Drive and turn left onto a well marked trail.  In a short distance the trail becomes a dirt road and later a single track trail.  The first 1.5 miles are in the sun and steep, a great workout.  Then we come upon a trail junction, we go straight until after a short distance we stop for a rest at Quarterway House or First Water as it was once called.  In a short distance we will welcome the shade of a live-oak forest and a enjoyable hike from Quarterway House to Orchard Camp.

NOTE: Remember we are climbing a mountain so there are drop offs on the downhill side of the trail.  If heights or drop offs are an issue for you, you may want to give this hike a miss.

Carpooling from Santa Clarita Valley:  Meet in the front parking lot at Towsley Canyon in the front parking lot at 8:00 AM for a 8:15AM SHARP departure, arrangements for carpooling will be made there.

The hike leader will meet you at the meeting spot at 09:00 A.M.

Please be respectful of your driver’s support by contributing something at the end of your carpool to help defray the cost of gas.

Directions to Towsley Canyon carpool meeting spot:

From North (Valencia) – Take the I-5 South to the Calgrove exit. Exit, turn right. Go through the signal and immediately turn right into the driveway for Towsley Canyon. Park OUTSIDE the gate. Look for the hiking club members and leader there. Please be on time.

From South (LA) – Take the I-5 North, kept left at HWY 5/14 split until next Exit (Calgrove Blvd.). Exit, turn left at bottom of ramp. Go through the signal and immediately turn right into the driveway for Towsley Canyon. Park OUTSIDE the gate. Look for the hiking club members and leader there.

Directions to the meeting spot/trail head from Towsley Canyon:  From the 5 Freeway take the 210 FRWY East.   In Arcadia, exit the 210 at Baldwin Ave and drive 1.5 miles towards the mountains.  Turn right on Mira Monte Ave.  Go two blocks east on Mira Monte until you reach the intersection with Mount Wilson Trail Drive.  Park on the street, and meet your leader at 9:00AM, at Lizzie’s House (Museum), located at this intersection.

Hike Leader Notes:  There are no restrooms at trail head but there is a park with restrooms close to Lizzie’s House. This is a popular trail, so allow time to park and walk to Lizzie’s House to meet your leader.

Bring:  Lots of water (2-3L), some Electrolytes like Gatorade, a hat, sunscreen, a snack and hiking poles if you have them.  Good shoes with tread are a must – no flip flops or tennis shoes please.  Bring a BUG NET just in case.

Adventure Pass:  N/A, not required

Dogs: OK, if on a leash and well-behaved with other dogs / people carrying poles.  If you bring your dog, please drive yourself.

Leader:  Steve

Saturday, March 18, 2017 – Backbone trail to Sandstone Peak; completing the Mishe Mokwa trail loop via the Split Rock and Balanced Rock

Distance:  ~ 7 miles

Gain:  ~ 1300′

Rating:  Moderate + (for distance / gain – this is not one for Beginners, you need to be in good general condition to enjoy this hike).

Description:  This is one of the most varied and beautiful loop hikes in the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation area, near the Boney Mountain State Wilderness.

Highlights include a visit to Sandstone Peak (3111′), view of Boney Peak (2825′), Balanced rock (a house sized boulder delicately balanced on a small rock beneath), and the giant Split Rock.  As we head back up the trail to the trailhead we get great views of the spectacular Echo Cliffs and the valley stretching out to the South.

We will see many stunning giant sandstone and volcanic formations, and (depending on visibilty) take in some ocean views from the top of Sandstone Peak and Inspiration point.  We will travel along the Mishe Mokwa trail and parts of the Backbone trails.

Bring:  2 – 3L water, plus some electrolytes, a lunch / snack, sunscreen, a hat and shoes with good tread, poles recommended. trail is rocky in places.

To carpool from Santa Clarita Valley (Towsley Canyon Parking lot):

Meet your hike leader at Towsley Canyon, 24255 The Old Road, Newhall, CA, outside the gate at 7:00 AM to organize carpools.  At 7:15 AM SHARP, we depart for the trailhead.

Alternatively, you can plan to meet the leader at the Sandstone Peak Trailhead by 8:15AM, details below. As always, we recommend carpooling.  Please be respect­ful of your driver’s sup­port by con­tribut­ing some­thing at the end of your car­pool to help defray the cost of gas — THX.

Directions to the Sandstone Peak trailhead from Santa Clarita Valley:   (This route is a tad longer but in fact faster / less stressful). Take 5 Freeway North from Towsley to the Newhall Ranch exit (CA-126, heading West toward Ventura).

Follow CA-126 W, 34.9 miles until Exit 5 from CA-126 W to merge on to CA-118 East, toward Saticoy. Continue until the road T’s .  Turn right on to Santa Clara Ave, which becomes Rice Ave and eventually merges into Route 1 (PCH) turning South.

Stay on PCH and pass Point Mugu Naval base on the right, until you are by the ocean.  Follow PCH south until you see the Neptune Net Restaurant on the left and Yerba Buena Rd. next to it.  Turn left, following Yerba Buena Rd up a very curvy 6.3 miles to the parking lot/bathrooms/picnic table for the Sandstone Peak Trailhead, on the left side of the road.

NOTE: For anyone that is susceptible to car sickness, we encourage you, to pop a Dramamine/ Bonine or drive yourself – Yerba Buena Road is a twister!

There are other ways to get to the trailhead but they are more complex.

Meet your Leader:   Meet at the Sandstone Peak Trailhead at 8:45AM to start up the trail at 9:00AM sharp.

Adventure Pass: Not Required.

Leader: Steve

 

Saturday, March 25, 2017 – Boy Scout (Oak Flat) Trail to Whitaker Peak – Woodlands, Views and Solitude …. so close to SCV!

Distance:  ~ 9 miles, out and back.

Gain: About 1400′ (most of it is at the beginning)

Rated: Easy++ / Moderate (due to gain at start and overall distance)

Time: About 4 hours, including a 20 minute snack break.

With all the rain we have had this year, the wild flowers should be more spectacular than ever on this hike!

The trail departs the mellow Oak Flat Campground and climbs along switchbacks through woodlands and a geologically fascinating area to a ridge-top viewpoint. The hiker’s reward for this short but stiff climb is a bird’s-eye view of some of the Southland’s great public works projects (Pyramid Lake, old Highway 99 and Interstate 5) and inspiring natural wonders: the dramatic gorge sculpted by Piru Creek and the mountains fractured by the San Gabriel Fault.

Along the fire road at the top, outcrops are visible (see below) — these are pudding-type conglomerate of fragmented brown rock filled with embedded stone.  These enable geologists to trace displacements that occurred along the San Gabriel Fault, an early and active member of the San Andreas Fault system.

We will continue along the fire road and turn West to Whitaker Peak.

The first part of this hike is on single track, and then we proceed on fire roads.

Meet:   At Towsley Canyon Gate, 24255 The Old Road, Newhall, CA.  Be there at 7.30AM for an 7:45AM SHARP  departure to the trailhead.

If you carpool from Towsley, be so good as to share the cost of gas with your driver.

Want to Meet at the Trail head?

Oak Flat Fire Station:  Lat: 34.598538  Lon:  -118.719182  (About 25 mins North of Towsley Canyon).

Go north of Santa Clarita on the I-5, North of Castaic, exit at Templin Hwy. At the bottom of the off ramp, turn left. Go under the 5 freeway and turn right on the road immediately past the freeway, proceed for approximately 3 miles. Watch the potholes!  Stay on this road until you see a brown forest sign on the left side that says Oak Flat (be sure to ignore the Whitaker Peak sign that precedes it).  Turn in to Oak Flat and carefully go up the driveway.  Park on the gravel lot on the left in front of the Fire Station.

If you meet at the trail head, please be there at 8:15AM as we will be heading up the trail at 8:30AM SHARP.

Bring:  Lots of water (2 – 3 liters), some electrolytes, and a lunch/snack. There is not much shade on the second half of this hike, so sunscreen and a hat are essential.  Poles are helpful on this hike, especially the first 1/2, when we are climbing. Bring your camera.

NOTE: There may be small biting flies out and about, so please wear long sleeves/ bring insect repellent.

Adventure Pass:  Yes , 1/car  ($5 a day/ $30 a year). Available at Big 5 sporting Goods, REI Nothridge, Acton Ranger Station, the Little Tujunga station, or any other Ranger Station.

Dogs: OK, if well behaved around other dogs and people with hiking poles / sticks and on a leash.

Leader:  Jenn

Sweep:  Steve


Camping April 6-9: at the Mojave Preserve. Get INFO Here!


MARCH 3-4, 2017: St. Francis Dam Graffiti Removal