SCHEDULE FOR AUGUST 2016
Saturday, August 6, 2016 – Beat the Heat
Figure 8 from Trippet Ranch via the Musch Trail to Eagle Rock, to Hub Junction and back via Eagle junction
Distance: ~7 Miles total
Gain: ~ 1300′
Hiking Time: ~3.5 hours
Rating: Moderate – (due to periodic elevation gains and overall mileage)
Description: This weekend we hope to escape the August heat of the low desert by heading- closer to the ocean. We have been in this area before, however, this time we start from Trippet Ranch and travel NE along the shady and winding single track Musch trail, until we meet a portion of the Back Bone trail at Eagle junction. From here, we travel along the Eagle Rock fire road and make a stop at Eagle Rock.
Here, in addition to the views, and a chance to catch our breath and snap selfies, we will visit the Keystone 7, Memorial bench. Then it is on to Hub Junction, where we hope to catch up on the latest Hollywood gossip and catch a little shade. From here, we turn around but return to Eagle junction via another route. Then, after the junction, we head down hill and past “the meadows” on the fire road to complete our figure of 8 and we should be back at the parking lot.
Carpool from Santa Clarita Valley:
Meet at Towsley Canyon, outside the Towsley gate at 6.45 AM. We will organize carpools and leave at 7:00AM SHARP, for the Trippet Ranch trailhead. 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 Carpool meeting spot in Santa Clarita Valley: Exit the I-5 freeway in Santa Clarita Valley at Calgrove Blvd. Turn West and follow Calgrove around a curve and through one light on to The Old Road. You will now see the gate to Towsley Canyon on your right. Park and look for a group of hikers/ leader.
Directions to the trailhead at Topanga State Park from Towsley Canyon, Santa Clarita Valley, (32 miles, ~40 mins): Merge onto I-5 South. Keep right to continue on the I-405 S/San Diego Fwy, following signs for Santa Monica. After 9.0 miles, take the exit to US101 N, towards Ventura , drive 8.2 miles on the 101 freeway, and exit at California 27 S/Topanga Cyn Blvd. Merge on to Topanga Cyn Blvd and drive 7.8 miles south on Topanga Canyon Blvd until you see Entrada Road on the left – this road is twisty, so be on the look out for it! Turn East (left) into Entrada Road and drive up the mountainous neighborhood for 1 mile , following signs for Topanga State Park / Trippet Ranch, until you see cars parked on the left side of the road.
NOTE: There is a $10 Park Service day-use fee to park in the Trippet Ranch parking lot, which is open from 8:00AM to sunset. They have lots of spaces and immaculate modern bathrooms; so if you carpool and want to support their upkeep, go for it (I usually do) – IF SO, BRING $10 in CASH FOR THE SELF-SERVE (i.e. ENVELOPE) PAY SYSTEM! Alternatively, a few hundred yards outside the park, there may be some free parking left along the road. Watch for No Parking signs and leave nothing showing in your car.
Meet the Hike Leader: At Towsley Canyon to carpool (see details above) or at the Trippet Ranch Trailhead, by the parking lot bathrooms. We plan to be at the trailhead by 7:45M so the group can start up the trail at 8:00M SHARP. Note: Only if you have already checked in at Towsley Canyon, and are delayed in traffic, can we plan to wait for you.
Bring: Plenty of water (3L), electrolytes such as Gatorade, a snack, and shoes with good tread. Poles would be helpful as trail is hilly and sandy in parts.
Hike portion is ~ 3.5 hours, so we hope to be back to Towsley by 1:30PM approx.
Dogs: Unfortunately, dogs are not permitted on this trail by the park staff .
Adventure Pass: Not Required.
Leader: Steve I.
Sunday, August 7, 2016
King Gillette Ranch Photo Excursion
8:00 – Towsley Cyn outside the gate to leave in Carpools at 8:15
The Santa Clarita Community Hiking Club is hosting a photo and art contest to celebrate the National Park Service’s 100 year anniversary. Photos must be taken in any of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area locations. Dianne will be leading several hikes to help you out in these locations prior to the event. The photos/paintings will be on display at King Gillette Ranch from September 14 to September 21. There will be an artist’s reception for all artists who submitted their work.
Bring your camera and your imagination. This hike will be approximately 3 miles long, and it will be very slow paced so that all participants can find wonderful things to photograph…..anything from birds, bugs, hikers on a trail, mammals, reptiles, or landscapes are acceptable. Framed photos are due to Dianne no later than September 9. Email Dianne at email@example.com for applications and contest rules.
Directions to King Gillette Ranch if you don’t want to carpool: From Santa Clarita, go south on I-5 to the 405 freeway south. Take the 101 freeway North to Las Virgenes exit. Exit and turn left on Las Virgenes. Go to Mulholland Drive and turn left. King Gillette Ranch will be about 25’ ahead on your right hand side. Enter the drive way, go to the Visitor’s Center and park.
We will meet at the Visitor’s Center at 9:15 for our hike.
Note: There is no fee to enter this contest.
Saturday, August 13
Water Hike Adventure – Piru Creek/ trail, from Frenchman’s Flat
Distance: ~ 7 miles RT (out and back style)
Rated: Moderate (some water if you are not careful or just want to get wet/ minor bouldering / maybe a little bushwhacking)
Time: ~ 4 hours
Description: Piru Creek is a Native California Fishery fed by Pyramid lake. We will hike a trail past camp sites and follow the canyon / creek bed, heading West/ South downstream toward Piru Lake. There will be overhanging trees, some boulder hopping and we will cross the creek several times. You can definitely be in and out of the creek at several stages, if you want to get wet. We will see some amazing rock formations, bird life, maybe a deer or two and a few wild flowers. It is usually easy enough, with care and some bouldering, to stay dry if you like. However, you can easily tramp in the stream or even swim some (water is maybe 3 – 4 feet in some short stretches). If you want to walk in the river, water hiking sandals are highly recommended for their convenience/ your toe safety. We recommend you wear synthetic materials that you do not mind getting wet, so they dry fast on your way back.
The canyon is narrow in many places, so there will be a sense of adventure…… We cannot make it all the way to Lake Piru in the time we have but we will hike ~2 hours in (until the trail gets pretty overgrown), have a snack and then return the same way.
Carpool to Trailhead: We will meet at the outside gate of Towsley Canyon ( 24255 The Old Road, Newhall) at 6:45AM for a 7:00AM SHARP departure to the trail head. We will carpool to the trailhead above Castaic on I-5, about 25 minutes away.
Bring: Lunch/ snacks, more water than you think you will need (3 liters is recommended), SUNSCREEN, hiking poles, and boots you do not mind getting a little wet or better still – water sandals. Bug spray and a bug net ($4 at Walmart) are also recommended as there are black flies. Please bring a couple of supermarket / garbage bags to help (on the way back) to remove recyclables and miscellaneous trash that are left by uncaring folks.
Directions to Frenchman’s Flat trail head (Frenchman’s Flat Campground, Castaic, CA 91384): Go north on I-5, exit Templin Hwy, turn left. Go under the freeway, and turn right. Follow this road until it ends at a white forest service gate, park.
Meet at the Trailhead: We will meet at Frenchman’s Flat at the white gate at ~7:45AM for a 8:00AM SHARP departure up the river trail.
Adventure Pass: Required! These can be obtained at any BIG 5 Sporting Goods store (Valencia or Canyon Country); $5 for a day pass, $30 for a year pass.
Dogs: OK, on a leash and well-behaved around other dogs and hikers with poles. If bringing your dog, please drive yourself and go directly to the trailhead. Bear in mind, there will be poison oak on this trail. If it is looking hot, it may not be the best day for Fido to be out.
Leader: Steve I.
Sunday, August 14, 2016
Palo Comado Photo Excursion
7:00 – Towsley Cyn outside the gate to leave in Carpools at 7:15
The Santa Clarita Community Hiking Club is hosting a photo and art contest to celebrate the National Park Service’s 100 year anniversary. Photos must be taken in any of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area locations. Linda will be leading this slow paced hike so you can take your time shooting your prize winning photos. Dianne will be sweeping. The photos/paintings will be on display at King Gillette Ranch from September 14 to September 21. There will be an artist’s reception for all artists who submitted their work.
Bring your camera and your imagination. This hike will be a 5 mile loop with 800 ft. gain. It will be very slow paced so that all participants can find wonderful things to photograph…..anything from birds, bugs, hikers on a trail, mammals, reptiles, or landscapes are acceptable. Since Palo Comado and Cheeseboro Canyon are part of the wildlife corridor between the Santa Monica Mountains and the Santa Susana Mountains, it is possible that we will see some wildlife while we are there. There are also some very interesting rock formations that will be perfect in photographs. Framed photos are due to Dianne no later than September 9. Email Dianne at firstname.lastname@example.org for applications and contest rules.
Directions to Palo Comado if you don’t want to carpool: From Santa Clarita, go south on I-5 to the 405 freeway south. Take the 101 Freeway North to Agoura Hills. Exit at Kanan Road. Head north 2.2 miles to Sunnycrest Drive, and then turn right. Continue 0.8 miles to the “Public Open Space” sign on the right. Park along the curb.
We will meet at the trail head at 8:00 for our hike.
Note: There is no fee to enter this contest.
August 20, 2016 – Beat the Heat
NEW ADVENTURE: Cerro Noroeste (a.k.a Mt. Abel) to Grouse Mountain and Sawmill Mountain
Distance: ~ 8 miles, out and back.
Gain: ~ 900′
Time: About 4 hours, including a 20 minute lunch break. Expect to be back to SCV by ~ 4:00PM.
Description: Escape the heat of SCV and hopefully find temperatures ~20 degrees lower high up in the Los Padres National Forest with this Alpine style hike. Listen to the wind gently caressing huge pines and drink in some views. This is a new shorter approach for us to Cerro Noroeste, meaning northwest mountain. Usually we come from Mt Pinos. Previously this peak was known as Mount Abel after county supervisor Stanley Abel but was changed due to his KKK affiliation. Also, this weekend, the Community Hiking Club will be camping in the Mt Pinos area (see separate listing), so this hike will bring together campers and hikers for a day in the mountains
The first summit we will cover is Grouse Mountain (8586 ft.), before proceeding to Sawmill Mountain (8818 ft.). Most of the gain will be in summitting these two mountains and on the return trip to Cerro Noroeste Mountain.
Bring: Poles if you have them, lunch/ snacks, bug spray and bug net, 3 liters of water, electrolytes, sunscreen, lip balm. Expect spectacular views – bring your camera.
Adventure Pass: Required , when parking at the Mt. Noroeste trail head (These can be obtained at Sports Chalet in Stevenson Ranch or any BIG 5 Sporting Goods store; $5 for a day pass, $30 for a year pass.
Directions (from Santa Clarita Valley): NOTE Allow 1 3/4 – 2 hours to get to the trailhead from Santa Clarita. Take the I-5 North ~ 40 miles to the Frazier Park off ramp. Exit, turn left under highway. Go West on the Frazier Park Road for about 12 miles along the Cuddy Valley Road, passing Lockhart Valley Road (on the left). You will eventually see a brown sign on the right for Camp Bethany Pines. Stay to the right at that fork and follow the road (Mil Portero highway). The road twists and turns another 6 miles to the village area of Pine Mountain Club. Pass through Pine Mountain Club and travel West through Los Padres National Forest. The first street sign on the left is Cerro Noroeste and on the corner is a USFS fire station. Turn on to Cerro Noroeste, go through the open chainlink fence (between two old boarded up USFS homes). Drive 11 miles up to the top of Cerro Noroeste mountain.
Carpooling: If you wish to carpool – meet at Towsley Canyon at 6.30AM to check in for a 6.45AM SHARP departure. It is early due to distance to trailhead. 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.
Meet your leader at the trailhead: Meet at a brown trail head sign on Cerro Noroeste at the Camp-o-Alto campground at ~ 8:45AM. Look along Cerro Noroeste (near the summit) for a group of hikers and cars. We plan to depart up the trail toward Sawmill Mountain at 9:00 AM SHARP (or when the SCV carpooler group, who have signed in, get there).
Leader: Dianne Assistant Leader / Sweep: Steve
August 27, 2016
Day trip / Hiking on Santa Cruz Island
***You must pay the concessionaire, Island Packers, yourself (details below), to reserve your place.
Space is limited and fills up fast***
NOTE: There are limited sailings and return seating availability (due to campers returning). A seat out in the morning will not guarantee you that one is available for the return voyage that day, so book now if you want to go and not get stranded. There are no block reservations – FCFS!
Island packers site states that you must cancel at least 72 hours prior to your departure time to receive a refund, so bear this in mind.
Description: There is no better place to beat the heat than out on the water. This is an all day event. I have been out here twice and it is always a great day. From the trip out and back (with seal lions, porpoises, and seabirds accompanied by great commentary), to the wide open spaces of the island itself, with cliffs overlooking clear blue water far below. Then there is the more than likely encounter with unique little island foxes (cute and the size of a cat).
Hikes: There are several hikes of varying lengths to pick from and there is usually just enough time to catch the interesting ranger overview once we arrive, do one hike, grab lunch and maybe knock out one more or have a quick swim if you are brave.
If all goes well, we should be back in Santa Clarita by ~ 6:30PM.
Ticket Costs (from website):
Adults (13 – 54 ), $29.50 EACH WAY; Seniors (55+) , $27 EACH WAY
When making your reservation: It is VERY important to PICK THE FOLLOWING FERRIES , so the group can stay together!
Call (805) 642 1393, or Go on-line at http://islandpackers.com/santa-cruz-island/
> 1. Cange the schedule from July to August
> 2. Reserve Outbound – Departure = August 27, 2016, at 9AM from Ventura, to East Santa Cruz (Scorpion), arriving on island at 10AM.
> 3. Hit “Next”.
> 4. Reserve Return – Departure = August 27, 2016 at 4PM from Santa Cruz (Scorpion), arriving back into Ventura at 5PM.
> 5. Complete all the other details.
Carpooling from Santa Clarita: For those wishing to carpool, meet at the South west corner of the Walmart parking lot (27931 Kelly Johnson Parkway, Valencia (off Newhall Ranch/ the 126) at 6:45AM to leave at 7:00 AM SHARP. 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 Island Packers in Ventura (1691 Spinnaker Drive, Suite 105B,Ventura, CA 93001)
Interstate 5 North through Santa Clarita Valley to the 126 West. Go all the way to Ventura (~ 1 hour).
In Ventura, the 126 ends and merges into the 101 heading North toward Santa Barbara.
Almost immediately, you will see the Seaward Ave. Exit ramp. Take it and cross the highway.
Turn left at the light onto Harbor Boulevard, heading South.
Go approximately 1 ¾ miles, turn right on Spinnaker Drive.
Follow the Drive 1 mile around harbor. Island Packers is near the end of Spinnaker Drive, in on Spinnaker Drive, on the right.
Look for the “Ventura Harbor Village #4” entrance sign.
Check-In for ferry: At Island Packers office, quayside, at ~8:30AM.
Bring: (Poles will probably only get in the way). Hiking boots, Lunch, snacks, 2 liters of water/ 1 liter electrolytes, sunscreen, hat, lip balm. Money to spend on the boat. The views are spectacular, so bring binoculars/ camera.
Leader: Steve I.
Sunday, August 28, 2016
Solstice Canyon Photo Excursion
6:30 – Towsley Cyn outside the gate to leave in Carpools at 6:45
The Santa Clarita Community Hiking Club is hosting a photo and art contest to celebrate the National Park Service’s 100 year anniversary. Photos must be taken in any of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area locations. George will be leading this slow paced hike so you can take your time shooting your prize winning photos. The photos/paintings will be on display at King Gillette Ranch from September 14 to September 21. There will be an artist’s reception for all artists who submitted their work.
Bring your camera and your imagination. This hike will be a 3.6 mile loop with 600 ft. gain. It will be very slow paced so that all participants can find wonderful things to photograph…..anything from birds, bugs, hikers on a trail, mammals, reptiles, or landscapes are acceptable. Solstice Canyon is an awesome place for photos. You will start going up up up the Rising Sun Trail (moderate) to Roberts Ranch House Ruins. This stone and brick house was designed by architect Paul Revere Williams. He was the first African American member of the American Institute of Architects. Just above these ruins you will find the waterfall which also makes for lovely photos. Just to the right of the waterfall, you will find remnants of a religious prayer area. These are also in ruins, but they are in better shape than the house. Be careful walking in this area as foot stones are loose. You will return to the parking lot via the Solstice Canyon Trail where you will find the Keller House Ruins, a 100 year old stone hunting cabin. It was damaged by fire in 2007. You should get some awesome photos here as well. If you wish to remain, there are several other trails here that might interest you…there is Dry Canyon Trail, TRW Loop Trail, and Sostomo Trail/Deer Valley Trail. Framed photos are due to Dianne no later than September 9. Email Dianne at email@example.com for applications and contest rules.
Directions to Solstice Canyon if you don’t want to carpool: From Santa Clarita, go south on I-5 to the 405 freeway south. Take the 101 Freeway North to Las Virgenes Road. Exit. Turn left and follow this road all the way to the Ocean. Turn right on Malibu Canyon Road. Turn Right on Coral Canyon Road. At a 180 degree turn, you will see the entrance to Solstice Canyon. Turn left here, onto Solstice Canyon Road. Take any parking that is available, and walk to the upper parking lot.
We will meet at the upper parking lot for our hike at 8:00. Parking is VERY limited here. We suggest that you all carpool together from Towsley Canyon.
Note: There is no fee to enter this contest.