Saturday May 6, 2017 – OCEAN BREEZES / Views – Mugu Peak via the Chumash Trail; La Jolla Valley Grasslands and the Ray Miller trail

Distance:  ~ 10 mile loop with short shuttle

Gain: About 1500′, mainly in the first mile and again 1 hour before end of hike

Rated: Moderate +++ (significant gain at start and overall hike length)

Time: ~ 5 hours hike time

Description:  Let’s cool off by the ocean!  This 10 mile hike will take us to Mugu Peak (moist air, sea breezes and temperatures should be ~20 degrees cooler than back in Santa Clarita!). One of my favorite hikes and depending on the time of day, we may be immersed in sea fog (yum!), sunshine, or a mixture of both as it burns off.

We start on the Chumash trail and head straight up, up, up, to Mugu peak because the usual route, La Jolla Canyon, was badly damaged by floods and is now closed. After enjoying the highest point in the hike and completing most of the gain, we then head down a bit and turn East into the La Jolla Valley.  We traverse a large grassland area, with views of the Boney Mountains, the highest peaks in the Santa Monica Range.

Finally, we arrive at a burned out “Hike-In” campground.  We will stop near here to snack and rest up a little.  Then it is some more gain as we head back West and up on the Overlook fire road to meet the Ray Miller trail. This trail drops us back at the La Jolla Canyon parking area where we will have staged a few cars for a shuttle earlier.  Then it is a short distance back North on PCH to where we left most of our cars in the Chumash Trail parking lot.

Meet in Santa Clarita to Carpool:  Meet us at the WALMART parking lot (NOTE: this is not Towsley Canyon!!!!). Address is 27931 Kelly Johnson Pkwy, Santa Clarita, CA 91355.

The store is on the corner of the intersection of Copper Hill and Newhall Ranch Road.  Meet there at 6:45AM in the Southwest corner of the parking lot.  After we organize the carpools, we leave at 7:00AM SHARP and caravan to the Chumash Trail parking lot off Hwy 1 (PCH).  Directions to the trailhead are below, if you prefer to go directly.   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 the Chumash Trail parking lot trail head between 8:15 AM and 8:30AM. Wear bug spray!!  We will depart up the trail at 8:45 AM SHARP (after we have put some cars on PCH, near the La Jolla Canyon trailhead, about 2 miles south).

Directions from Santa Clarita to the Chumash Trail parking lot:  Take Newhall Ranch road for 2 miles West from the Walmart meeting place over the 5 Freeway, where it becomes 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 passing Point Mugu Naval base on the right, until you are by the ocean and see a SEABEES firing range in the sand dunes on the right – WATCH IT! – the parking lot is on the left. Turn left into the “Chumash Trail” parking lot if there is room or do a U and park just beyond it, on the left – WATCH FOR CARS AND MOTORCYCLES AS YOU TURN ACROSS PCH INTO THE LOT.

Bring: Poles if you have them, lunch/ snacks, at least 3 liters of water plus electrolytes. SUN SCREEN/ lip balm as this trail has very little shade.  If haze is low, the views can be spectacular, so bring your camera.

Adventure Pass:  Not required

Dogs: Sorry, dogs are not allowed on this trail (I don’t make up the rules).

Leader:  Steve I.

Saturday May 13, 2017 – Green Valley to Grass Mountain RT ; or add Spruce Draw and a loop back to Camp Cisquito / South Portal, for more distance

Distance/ Gain:

  1. Green Valley ranger station on PCT to summit Grass Mountain RT ~ 7 mile out and back/ 1400′ of steep gain
  2. Green Valley ranger station on PCT to summit Grass Mountain, then traversing to Spruce Draw on the PCT finally looping back down FS 7N02 to Camp Cisquito/ South Portal ~ 11 Mile loop/ same 1400′ of steep gain (needs a shuttle).

Hiking Time:  1) 3 hours, 2) ~ 4.5 hours

Rating:  Moderate ++ (for distance and lots of gain on the way out). Both hikes are not for beginners – you need to be in good physical condition.

Description:   A great hike and only 25 minutes from the SCV!  Pick your hike, based on ability, stamina and your schedule.  This is a new combo hike and all specs are estimates at this time.  If you enjoy expansive uninterrupted views, you will like the features of this hike. We first tested most of this hike last December but we are adding the Camp Cisquito/South Portal loop to mix it up for those who like to go further.

Meet your Leader to Caravan / Carpool to the trailhead:   !!!! DO NOT GO TO TOWSLEY!!  Meet in the Albertson’s Supermarket Parking lot ( 23850 Copper Hill Dr, Valencia, CA 91354) at  7:15AM for a 7:30AM SHARP departure.

Directions from LA / SCV to Albertson’s Parking Lot carpool/ meeting spot:  23850 Copper Hill Dr, Valencia, CA 91354

Take I-5 Freeway, North toward Castaic. Exit at Newhall Ranch Road (Route 126) and head to the top of the off ramp.  Turn East (right) toward Valencia and drive for 1.5 miles East on Newhall Ranch Road to the next major intersection (Copper Hill Drive). Turn left at this light and travel 2.1 miles on Copper Hill Drive until you see a strip mall on the right with a large Albertson’s. Turn into the lot at the light (Avenida Rancho Tesoro) and park in the NE corner of the lot, closest to the light/ intersection.   At Albertson’s, we will organize  carpools and the shuttle for the longer hike. Then we will caravan to Green Valley Ranger station, up San Francisquito Canyon Road, about 25 minutes away.  We need to do this to organize the shuttle for the longer hike.

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.

Dogs:  OK, must be on a leash and well behaved around other dogs and people with hiking poles.  If you bring a dog, bear distance in mind and please plan to drive yourself.

Adventure pass:  Not required.

Leader’s note: There are no restrooms at the trailhead and no facilities between the meeting spot and the trailhead.   Albertson’s has a restroom at the back of the store.

BRING:  Hiking Poles are very helpful for the uphill part.   Snacks and at least 3L of water with some electrolytes, camera, hat and sunscreen.  Hiking shoes/boots with good tread!  Be prepared – pack an extra layer (e.g. windbreaker) as it will probably be windy on Grass Mountain.

Leader:  Steve I.

Saturday May 27, 2017 – Hondo Canyon (Topanga Canyon / Malibu area)

Distance: 10.0 miles total (this is an Out and Back)

Gain: 1900 ft (mainly in first hour, on the way out)

Hiking Time: ~ 5 – 6 hours Approx.

Rating: Moderate ++

Description:  Another spectacular section of the Backbone Trail, this hike includes a lot of single track through shady hedgerows with snatches of ocean views and some cool air.  We will hike through varied terrain – shaded live oaks; a sloping meadow; switch-backs up the steep south slope of Hondo Canyon through a lovely oak forest; and deep chaparral.  At our turnaround spot, the foundation of an old fire lookout tower, we will snack and enjoy views of the inland areas – toward Malibu Creek Canyon Park to the NW and the Calabasas area to the NE.

Meet your Leader:  Due to VERY LIMITED parking at the trailhead, we strongly encourage you to carpool.

Carpooling from Santa Clarita Valley:  Meet your leader at Towsley Canyon (24255 The Old Road, Newhall, CA) outside the gate in the Parking lot at 7:00AM.  We will leave at 7:15AM SHARP. Alternatively, you can meet the leader at the Hondo Canyon trailhead (directions below) at 8:15 AM for a 8:30 AM SHARP departure up the trail.

Directions to Towsley Carpool carpooling spot: From 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 but immediately park OUTSIDE the gate (look for club members and leader near the gate).

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

Directions to Hondo Canyon trailhead:  Trailhead address: 381 Old Topanga Canyon Road, Topanga Canyon, CA 90290.

Trailhead coordinates: Lat 34.092804, Lon -118.610122 (34° 05′ 34.09″N 118° 36′ 36.43″W)

From Santa Clarita, take the I-5 South and merge right on to the 405 South. Then take 101 north and exit Topanga Canyon Road (US 27) South, cross Ventura Blvd and go about 7.5 miles. On a bend (at the Inn of the 7th Ray restaurant), turn right on to Old Topanga Road. Go approx 0.4 miles and park on the left side of the street at the trailhead, where most spaces are. You may have to drive beyond the trailhead ( ~1/4 mile) do a U-turn and come back to find a space.   When parking, be very mindful of traffic, this is a very busy/ winding road for bikes and boy racers. Be at the trailhead by 8:15 AM for an 08:30 AM SHARP departure up the trail.

BRING: Hiking poles, if you have them, lunch/snack, water (2 – 3L) plus electrolytes, a camera, hat and sunscreen.

Adventure Pass: Not required.

Dogs: Sorry, NOT ALLOWED by park regulations.

Leader:  Steve



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