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Saturday, 2 December, 2017 – A 9 Mile loop: Liberty Cyn, Phantom Trail, Century Lake to Malibu Creek and the Rock Pools

Distance:  9 mile (loop)

Gain: ~ 900 ft (mainly in one section near start and again near the end)

Rating:  Moderate + (not for beginners, due to the overall distance and the gain sections). You need to be in good general condition to enjoy this hike.

Description:  This hike is a 9 mile loop with approx 900 ft gain in the Santa Monica Mountains through Liberty Canyon, the woodlands/ grasslands; then connecting to the Phantom Trail we climb to the ridge for some views of the Park and East Asian type skyline.  Then it’s back down to cross Mulholland Drive into Malibu Creek State Park.  We will hike the old 20th Century Fox property to the south end of Century Lake/ Dam.   We will then take the Forest Trail back along the north end of the lake and visit the rock pools for a snack.  You can try your hand at the low climbing walls (see below) after lunch or check out the pros on their ropes.  Then we complete the loop back along the park’s creek bed, up Radar’s *MASH* chopper meadow and back to the trailhead.

We have seen deer, coyotes, water birds and flocks of wild parrots on previous visits.  The hike is mainly single track trails with some fireroads/ riverwalks.  Due to the distance, we will be keeping a decent pace, especially on the flat.

Carpooling from Santa Clarita Valley :  Meet the leader at Towsley Canyon, outside the gate at 7:15AM 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.

Alternatively, meet near the Malibu S.P. Trailhead:  Take the 405 Fwy South to 101 Fwy North and exit at Las Virgenes. Turn left on Las Virgenes. After a few miles, turn right at the light for Mulholland Hwy and get ready to stop(if you pass the sign for the entrance to the State Park, you went too far). On Mulholland Hwy, there is parking on the dirt shoulders on both sides of the road, please watch for traffic!

Meet your leader:  We will meet and go through an opening in the fence on the RIGHT (North) side of Mulholland Hwy leading to the “North Grasslands trail” to begin the hike.  We will leave the trailhead at 8:30AM sharp!!

Bring:  Plenty of water (3 liters recommended), electrolytes (e.g. Gatorade). Sunscreen, hat, lunch/ snacks, hiking poles (helpful on the uphill portion), and a camera. Wear layered clothing in case it starts outcold and gets hot. Wear boots with lots of tread.

Adventure Pass: Not required.

Dogs: Sorry – they are not allowed in Malibu Cyn SP.

Leader: Steve

December 9, 2017 – Chantry Flat/ Sturtevant Falls, looping back via Hogee’s Camp to Adam’s Mule Packing station.

Hike Length:  8.4 Miles with 700 feet elevation gain.

Rating:  Moderate

DROP OFF Disclaimer: This trail has a few narrow areas with drop offs. These are sound (solid rock) and perfectly adequate for most. However, if you are not able to avoid looking down and freaking yourself out, you might want to give this hike a miss.

Description:  The trail starts at Chantry Flat on a paved road, then becomes a single track trail past Roberts’ camp and then to Sturdevant Falls. After a rest we will hike back to Roberts’ camp and follow another hiking road back looping back via Hogee’s camp to approach Chantry Flat from above, completing a loop.  The hike is well shaded and usually has water flowing year round. There is lots of greenery and rustic charm.

PARKING:  NOTE, this trailhead is very popular, parking can be difficult, that is why we strongly recommend you carpool with us from Santa Clarita.  By far the most difficult thing with this very popular hike is finding a place to park. The parking lot opens at 6AM and is usually full with locals by 7AM, for this reason, we have to leave SCV early.  On weekends, cars can be parked up to a half mile down the approach road to the lot. If you are not able to park in the main lot for free, you will have to park along this approach road.  In that case, you will need an Adventure Pass on display, if you want to avoid a ticket.

Directions to Trailhead: Take 210 Fwy East from SCV. On the 210 Fwy in Arcadia, heading East, take the Santa Anita Ave. exit. Turn left (North) on to Santa Anita Ave and drive 6 miles until the road deadends in Chantry Flat parking lot.

Directions to Santa Clarita Valley (Towsley Canyon/ Rivendale Park) Carpooling spot:  From the north (Valencia), take the I-5 South to the Calgrove exit off ramp. Exit, turn right. Go through the signal and immediately turn right into the driveway for Towsley Canyon but park OUTSIDE the gate. Look for club members and leader here.

From the South (Fwy 5/14 interchange), take the I-5 North over the hill into Santa Clarita Valley.  First off ramp is the Calgrove exit. At bottom of ramp, turn left. Go under the freeway and through the signal, then when you see the parked cars at Towsley canyon, immediately turn right and park OUTSIDE the gate. Look for club members and leader here.

Carpool: Meet at the Towsley Canyon front parking lot at 6:00AM.   Carpool arrangements will be made at that time and we will leave at 6:15AM 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.

If meeting your Leader at the Trailhead:  The group will meet at the lower trailhead entrance (as you enter the parking lot, beside the Restrooms).   We plan to leave this spot at 07:15AM SHARP or as soon as the Towsley carpool members arrive.

Adventure Pass: Required if you park outside the parking lot (which may end up being the case).  We recommend you get one good for a year at Big 5 Sporting Goods or any Ranger Station ($30) or $5/ day.

Bring:  A snack/lunch, water (3 liters is recommended), and electrolytes (i.e. Gatorade) if it is a hot day, sunscreen, hat, hiking poles if you have them, and your camera. Wear an extra light layer (as we are starting early), you can always leave it in the car, and good boots with tread. There is water / trees, so, just in case, I’d bring a bug facenet (~$3 – 4 at Walmart) and busgspray.

Bring some money, if you want to enjoy a cold beer, a hot dog, or homemade chili at Adams Pack Station (above, established 1936) at the end of the hike. If we are lucky they will have their famous pulled pork sandwich.

Leader: Steve i.

Saturday, December 22, 2017 – Hummingbird Trail to a View of Fossil Ridge

Distance:  ~7.5 miles (out and back style)

Gain: At least 1000′ on the way out

Rating:  Moderate +

Description: Hummingbird Trail is only 2.3 miles by itself, with an elevation gain of a little over 1,000ft. But once you get up to the Rocky Peak Fire Road, it varies between somewhat flat with undulating hills, and more hills.

This is a beautiful hike that we are doing this time of year as it can get very hot in Summer.  There are lots of interesting rock formations (think 60’s cowboy movies) along the way.  Lise will point out the white Fossil formation ridge line in the distance at the lunch/ turnaround point!  The views are fabulous in all directions and we will try to find / go in some interesting caves on the way back.

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 7:15AM for an 7:30 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/ Meet the leader: Take the I-5 South to merge into the 405 South. Get off at the 118 freeway towards Simi. After about 10 mins, exit at Kuehner Drive. The trail head is at the bottom of the freeway ramp to the right, in a cul de sac, at the end of Kuehner.

The entire area around the trailhead was fenced off and parking is now limited to 10-12 spaces total. Therefore, even with carpooling, it is very likely that you will need to park a few hundred yards away in the strip mall parking on Kuehner, just South of the freeway.  To get to the strip mall, exit the freeway and turn left under the freeway and immediately right into the strip mall , with Betos Italian Restaurant, on the right.  Do not leave valuables in your car.

Walk the 200 yards back under the freeway, to the end of the white fence on the right.  The trailhead is in a cul de sac in front of a gate into a big Ranch.  Meet your leader there at approx. 8:00AM for a 8:15AM 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: Steve I.