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Saturday, September 30, 2017 – Figure of 8 – from Topanga S.P. to Eagle Rock and Hub Junction, then back via the Musch Trail

Distance:  ~7 Miles total

Gain: ~ 1300′

Hiking Time:  ~3.5 hours

Rating: Moderate + (due to periodic elevation gains and overall mileage)

Description:   We have been in this area before, however, this time we will start from Trippet Ranch and head up past the infamous “meadows”  (inside joke) to make elevation gains early (while it is cooler) before arriving at Eagle junction. Then we head from Eagle Junction up our biggest hill of the hike to Eagle Rock to take in some views.   We also pay a visit at Eagle Rock to the Keyhole 7 Memorial bench. Then we head across to “the Hub” where we should meet many more hikers and bikers.  Finally, it is down and around to Eagle junction again.  Here we head down the winding single track Musch trail and enjoy a little shade before we head back to the parking lot.

Carpool from Santa Clarita Valley:   Meet at Towsley Canyon, outside the Towsley gate at 7.00 AM.  We will organize carpools and leave at 7:15AM 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 or Lyons Avenue, if Calgrove is closed.

Calgrove:  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.

Lyons Ave:   Turn left (West), over the highway and then next left. Follow this to Old Rd., turn left and follow the Old Road to a light and take a right (on to The Old Road). You will now see the gate to Towsley Canyon/ Rivendale 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, ~45 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 Entrada through the hilly neighborhood for 1 mile , following signs for Topanga State Park / Trippet Ranch, until you see cars parked on the left side of the road.

Continue up the road to the State Park parking lot.   If the lot is open, it is most convenient to park there, have $10 ready for the machine or ranger in the kiosk.We will meet by the 5 star bathrooms in the lot.  Alternatively, park anywhere outside on the road, but 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 8:00 AM so the group can start up the trail at 8:15 AM 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 liquids (i.e. 3L), (2L water and 1L 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 should be back at 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



Saturday 7 October, 2017 –  Colby Canyon to Red Box:
All the saddles and views but none of the peaks

Distance: ~ 9.3 miles total , U-shaped loop with a 4 mile car shuttle

Gain/ Loss: ~ 2500′ Gain; 1700′ loss

Rating:  Moderate +++

Note: There are some narrow trail portions and overlooks during this hike – if you have an issue with heights!

Description:  From the Colby Canyon trailhead, the first 15 mins are steep following a stream along a narrow canyon trail in shade.  Then we transition to switchbacks and loose rocks in a gulley, emerging after an hour at Strawberry Saddle after 1600′ of gain. Here we enjoy views of Mt Wilson, Josephine Peak and LA in the distance.  Next we follow a gently sloping narrow trail, for another 300′ gain, as it winds behind Strawberry peak. Eventually, we are confronted by the 400′ sheer granite face of the north side of Strawberry peak, as we descend into an abandoned campground, followed by Strawberry Meadows.  We will snack hereabouts (flies permitting) before climbing out the 2 miles and 600′ to reach Strawberry saddle.  After a brief rest to enjoy views of the San Gabriels and the valley below, we will descend 800′ over 2 miles to reach Red Box, before shuttling back 4 miles to the trailhead.

BRING:  Hiking poles, if you have them, an extra layer in case it gets hot/cold, lunch/snack, water (2 – 3L), hat, bandana, camera and sunscreen.  Hiking boots with good tread. Bug spray / a bug net is recommended in case black flies drive you nuts when we get to the Strawberry meadows area.

Adventure Pass:  No, there are no facilities at the trailhead.

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

Carpool:  Meet at 6:45AM outside Towsley Canyon/ Rivendale in the outside Parking lot, for a 7:00AM SHARP departure from Santa Clarita.

Directions to Carpool – Towsley Canyon/ Rivendale  (24335 The Old Rd, Newhall, CA 91321) 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 Colby Canyon Trail head:

Take the 5 South to the 210 Hwy, heading East toward Pasadena, for 19 miles.  Get off the 210 at the Hwy 2 exit, toward the Angeles Crest Highway / La Canada Flintridge.

Continue up the mountains east on CA-2 for 9.8 miles until you see the junction with Angeles Forest Highway come in on the left. Pass this junction (Clear Creek Ranger Station) and the Switzer Falls sign on the right , until after 0.4 miles the trail head will be on the left on a bend.  !! It is not marked – look for other hikers parking!!

Leader: Steve i.


Saturday 14 October 2017 –  Jackson Lake to Vincent Gap

Distance: ~ 9 miles total, this is an Out and Back style hike

Gain:  2000′ total; 1300′ gain on way out and 700′ coming back.

Rating: Moderate +++  (slightly higher altitude means air is thinner and cardio tougher)

Description:  Jim will lead you on one of his favorite “Go to” hikes in this area.  You will start at the parking lot at Jackson Lake and hike up to Vincent Gap and back, via several trails he stitched together.  At Vincent Gap you will chill / snack in the cooler mountain air.  From here, the group will return to Jackson Lake.

Santa Clarita Carpooling Meet Spot:  Starbucks   16548 Soledad Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA 91387.  !!!! DO NOT GO TO TOWSLEY CANYON (our usual spot)!!!

Meet at the Sand Canyon & 14 Fwy Starbucks. It is in the Sand Canyon / Soledad Canyon Road junction Vons Supermarket strip mall parking area, off the 14 Hwy.

Meet at Starbucks at 6:45AM for a 7:00AM SHARP departure to the Jackson Lake trailhead.  Final carpool arrangements will be made there, at that time.

Directions to Trailhead  (Jackson Lake Picnic Site, Valyermo, CA):  (Use these directions, do not follow the Google Maps route unless you want to get lost on the backroads)

From North end of Santa Clarita Valley – Take the 14 Fwy North to the Pearblossom Hwy turn off. Go 22.6 miles East on 138 through Littlerock and Pearblossom until you pass 195th St E and see Largo Vista Rd (N4) on the right. Make a right turn and continue all the way on Largo Vista up toward the mountains until you come to thefirst stop sign at Big Pines Road, and make a hard left. Continue on curvy Big Pines Rd for 3.6 miles until you come around a bend and see a Angeles forest sign for Jackson Lake. Turn in on driveway (it is just before the lake on the right).  Park in the day use parking lot (not camping).  There are restrooms at this lot.

Meeting your leader:  At the Jackson Lake trailhead at ~ 8:00AM  for a 8:15AM departure up the trail.  Please do not be late. We will only wait for the carpool/ caravan from Starbucks, SCV.

Bring:  Lots of water (3+ L), Electrolytes (like Gatorade), a hat, sunscreen, a lunch/ snack and hiking poles.   Watch the weather forecast and dress accordingly.   Good shoes with tread are a must – no flip flops or tennis shoes please!

Adventure Pass: You will need one to park here. They are $5/day; $30/ year from Big 5 Sporting Goods or any Ranger station.  The Ranger patrols 2/day, so……. Alternately, you could also park out on Big Pines Hwy and walk in.

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

Leader:  Jim Hazard



Saturday, October 21,  2017 –  NEW hike:   Happy Canyon Loop (Moorpark), in the Santa Susana Mountains

Mileage:   ~ 10.5 miles – loop style

Gain:  ~ 1200’

Rating:  Moderate ++ (this hike is long with a tough 600′ incline, mid-hike). You need to be in good physical condition for this hike.

Hiking time: ~ 4.5 hours

Description:  OK, so this hike does not have the views of one in the San Gabriel’s but it has a unique rustic charm of its own …. so let’s give it a chance to shine.  After all, it is close to home and we will probably have the trail all to ourselves!

Happy Camp Regional Park is a canyon located in Moorpark, Ventura County. From the Broadway trailhead, we start hiking through some pretty unimpressive grass lands of purple needlegrass overlooking a local golf course.

However, WAIT UP!!…….. after a little over a mile on an old ranch road, we transition into a remote canyon of riparian oak woodland mixed with chaparral. Continuing up a gentle incline, we follow the creek bed.  After 4.5 miles, we enter a grassy oak grove with picnic tables and horse corrals.  Here we will relax, snack, and enjoy some quiet,  away from suburbia.

After recharging our calories, we continue South East, and tackle a steep 600′ half mile to the ridge line of Big Mountain.  We follow Big Mountain’s chalky ridge trail for 5 miles, enjoying views West to Oxnard, North to the Sespe Mountains above Filmore, and South to Thousand Oaks and the Simi Hills.

We complete our loop by descending back to the trailhead kiosk and the parking lot.

Carpooling from Santa Clarita Valley to the trail head:  WE ARE NOT MEETING AT TOWSLEY CANYON!!!

Meet at Walmart parking lot (27931 Kelly Johnson PKWY, Valencia)

Meet in the Southwest corner, at 7:15 AM for a 7:30 AM SHARP departure to the 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 Trail head:  From Santa Clarita/ Walmart – Take Newhall Ranch Road / Highway 126 West (Direction = Ventura) and continue ~20 minutes / 21 miles from Walmart on the 126 West to Filmore.

In Filmore, turn left at A Street light and drive 9 miles on highway 23 through orchards and hills. It becomes Grimes Canyon Road and then after a sharp left-hander, it becomes Broadway Road.  Continue straight until approaching a hard right hand curve. Do not follow the curve (Walnut Canyon Road) but continue straight, into the continuation of Broadway (watching for traffic as you cross Happy Camp Road).  Continue on Broadway a 1/4 mile until it deadends in the trailhead parking lot.

From LA / Moorpark –  Exit the 118 West in Moorpark at Princeton Ave. and head West.  Turn right at the first major intersection – Spring Road and head North until, turning right, it becomes Walnut Canyon Rd. Continue out of town into farm land and at the first sharp left hand bend, bear slight right / go straight onto Happy Camp Road but taking an immediate right onto Broadway. Drive a 1/4 mile until it deadends in the trailhead parking lot.  (The distance from the 118 to this parking lot is ~ 3 miles).

Meet your leader:  At the Broadway Trail head parking lot (Happy Camp Regional Park) at 8:15 AM for an 8:30AM SHARP departure down the trail. (Do not go to the Rustic Canyon Golf course parking lot!).

Bring/ Wear: Shoes with good tread, camera, snacks, LOTS of water/ electrolytes (2 – 3 Liters), an extra layer (windbreaker) in case it is windy. Hat and sunscreen.

Adventure Pass: Not required

Dogs: Not allowed, trail is shared with horses.

Leader’s Note:  There is a port-a-potty at the trail head.

Leader:  Steve i.

tent  October 2017 Camping Trip to: Pinnacles National Park