Saturday February 3, 2018 – Mugu Peak; La Jolla Valley Grasslands lollipop, back to the Chumash trail (no shuttle, this time)

Distance: ~ 9 mile loop

Gain: About 1500′, mainly in the first mile Rated: Moderate +++ (significant gain at start and overall hike length)

Time: ~ 4.5 hours hike time

Description:  This 9 mile hike will take us to the top of Mugu Peak. One of my favorite hikes and depending on the conditions, we may be immersed in sea fog or have amazing views of Oxnard and the Channel islands. We take a slightly different route than normal this time and will not have to do a shuttle.

We start on the Chumash trail and head straight up, up, up, to Mugu peak. After enjoying the highest point in the hike and completing most of the gain, we then head back down on the steep North West side of the peak and then turn East. We take a trail around the edge of a large grassy valley with views of the Boney Mountains, the highest peaks in the Santa Monica Range. Finally, we arrive at a burned out “Hike-In” campground where we stop to snack and rest up a little. Then it is some more gain as we head back West and up again, eventually circling back to the Chumash trail. Here we descend back to the Chumash Trail parking lot.

Meet in Santa Clarita to Carpool: Meet us at the WALMART parking lot (NOTE: this is not our usual spot!). 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 (34.091564, -119.065887) between 8:15 AM and 8:30AM. Have some bug spray handy, just in case!! We will depart up the trail at 8:30 AM SHARP.

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.

BUG ALERT!!  Hoping that being Feb it will be cool but this trail can have bad mosquitos. I recommend you keep covered up and bring your own bug net and bug spray, just in case.

Adventure Pass: Not required .

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

Leader: Steve I.

Saturday, Feb 17, 2018 – Indian Canyon (North) on the Pacific Crest Trail: Choices Shorter or Longer

Length: 6 miles or 10 miles RT (out and back)

Gain: ~ 700′ / 1100’

Rating: Moderate / Moderate ++ (most of the gain is at the start)

Description: Pick either a 6 mile or 10 mile hike, on a nice quiet section of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Both hikes give you a good dose of gain, mainly at the front end.

We head North, starting with a tough uphill climb out of Indian Canyon. We will take it easier at this stage, so as not to lose half the group! Then we pass many impressive stone escarpments heading North in the direction of Vasquez Rocks. At about mile 3 there is an interesting cave/ shelter where those who prefer a shorter hike can retrace their steps downhill to the trail head and bag 6 miles! The rest of the group will continue up to the 5 mile mark, and take a break/ snack before heading back the same way (mainly downhill coming back)!

Bring: At least 2 – 3 liters of water, electrolytes (Gatorade), especially if it is hot, a lunch/ snacks, and a camera. Also bring a hat and sunscreen and an extra layer in case it is colder, gets windy. Poles will help you with the gain on this hike. No flip-flops or tennis please, hiking shoes with good thread are recommended.

Adventure Pass: Yes, available at Big-5 or any Ranger Station, $5 for a day pass or $30 for an annual pass.

Meet: Indian Canyon Trailhead

8729 Soledad Canyon Rd, Acton, CA 93510 (Lat: 34.437417 Lon: -118.272947)

Meet your leader in the trail head parking lot, where there is a good bathroom. Be at the trailhead at 8:00AM for an 8:15AM SHARP departure North, up the PCT.

Directions from SCV or LA (South) to trail head:

Take the SR-14 North to the Soledad Canyon Road off ramp (after Sand Canyon). Exit and turn right on Soledad Canyon Road. Go 7.4 miles (North) until you reach Indian Canyon Road. Be on the look out for the brown Indian Canyon Forest sign on the right and the dirt driveway right after. If you pass the Acton KOA North campground on the left, you have gone a little too far. The parking lot is back from the road, slightly up the hill South, overlooking Soledad and not visible from the road.

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

Leader: Steve I.

Saturday, February 24, 2018 – Chumash Trail to Fossil Ridge/ Rock Peak Park

NOTE: (Due to Meet Up App changes) Please read the Trailhead and Carpool Location(s) and Meeting time(s) BELOW in Description CAREFULLY !

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:

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.

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

Bring: 2L water / 1L electrolytes, 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.  An extra layer to avoid a chill at the top, just in case it is windy.

Adventure Pass: Not required

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

Leader: Steve i.