Rancho Simi Trail Blazers

A Division of the Rancho Simi Foundation


        2006        

December 30th 2006     Happy Camp

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We had 8 people on a 11 mile loop hike through Happy Camp Canyon. It was a beautiful clear day and weather was just perfect for hiking. We had great views from the upper trail. However there was a lot of fire damage as much of the lower canyon was burned as a result of the Shekell fire. We also noted some downed trees from the recent high winds. Very enjoyable hike !!!

December 23rd 2006     Devil’s Canyon

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Today we tried a new spur off the main trail near the dam. The weather was warm and the wind died down just in time for the hike. Because of the construction of a new apartment complex, at the location of the trailhead, we had to be a bit creative to access the main trail. We found a much better way out of the canyon on the way back. There’s still many more trails yet to be explored in the Devil’s Canyon. We’ll be back.

December 9th 2006    Malibu Creek State Park

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Ten of us had a most enjoyable hike last Saturday. The cooler temperatures and the partial cloud cover brought us perfect hiking weather. Our hike took us down the Yearling and Deer Leg Trails, and then down Crags Road to the old M*A*S*H, past the Mendenhall tree and on to the Malibu Dam. Next we took the Forest Trail to Century Lake, stopped at the visitor center and then spent some time at the Rock Pool.

December 2nd 2006    Sisar Canyon to White Ledge

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We had a pleasant mostly shaded hike to White Ledge Camp yesterday. The temperature was mild and the wind died down before the hike.

November 11th 2006    Cheseboro Canyon to Sheep Coral

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Ten of us took a most enjoyable hike this past weekend in Cheseboro Canyon. The slightly overcast day brought us perfect hiking weather. It was quite a surprise too see so much water and flowers this late in the year. On the way back the odor from the sulfur springs was quite pungent. We’ll plan this one again in peak springtime wildflower season.

November 4th & 5th 2006    Mt. San Antonio Ski Hut

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The weather was perfect for this overnighter to the Sierra Club’s Mt. San Antonio Ski Hut. The hike started at the Manker Flat trailhead and continued up a fire road for the first half mile. Shortly after passing the beautiful San Antonio Falls, the trail took an abrupt left turn and then climbed steadily for about 1800′ before arriving at the Hut. After some much needed rest at the Hut, we all hit the trail again to arrive at the summit of Mt. San Antonio at 10,064′. We got back to the Hut shortly before dark. Our Hut host was quite the character. His stories and hospitality were the very best. Everyone agreed this was one of the best hikes. We all need to go back soon!

October 28th 2006    Echo Mountain via the Sam Merrill Trail

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We had 8 people on todays hike. The weather was perfect, warm and with no wind. The trail was in great shape having had recent additions of metal and wood retaining walls. We hiked up 2.5 miles to Echo Mountain. Wonderful views from the top. We explored the ruins of “The White City” and the Mt. Lowe railroad then ate lunch on the old hotel’s dance floor before heading back down. Everyone enjoyed this great hike.

October 14th 2006    Santa Cruz Island

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We had 24 people on the trip and it seems everyone had a great time. The seas were a little rough both ways but only one person got sick on the way over and I gave him some Dramamine for the way back and he was fine.

Great weather. Cloudy at times and a little breezy in places but we had no rain and there was no mud on the island trails.

Mike and 4 people went on a docent led hike. Then Mike took 2 people on a shorter hike to Potato harbor. I took the rest of the people on about an 8 mile round trip hike over to Smugglers Cove. We had lunch and returned up to the Oil Well and then down via the Scorpion Loop trail and along Scorpion Valley past the campsites and back to the start.

October 7th 2006    Saddle Peak

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We had a great 10 mile round trip hike today. Five of us traveled the Saddle Creek Trail from Piuma Road up to the intersection with the Saddle Peak Trail and then on up to Saddle Peak. The weather was very pleasant. We ate lunch at the peak but fog moving onshore blocked any ocean views. Very impressive rock formations along the way, but almost no flowers are in bloom at this time.

September 2nd 2006    Carpinteria Bluffs

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Thanks to Les Wilson’s excellent suggestion, seven of us escaped the heat this past Saturday. This 4.6 mile hike took us north (from Rincon Park) along the Carpenteria Bluffs. Overlooking the ocean at various points (and along the railroad tracks much of the way), we viewed the seals in the Seal Sanctuary from the bluffs. We rested and ate lunch at the turnaround point in Tar Pit Park (overlooking the beach and the ocean), and then hiked back (south) along the beach to Rincon Park.

July 29th 2006    Upper Zuma Canyon

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We had 7 people on a beautiful hike into Upper Zuma Canyon this past Saturday. The 5 mile round trip hike takes you through some very scenic areas including a bridge across a perennial stream. The day wasn’t hot, but the humidity was very high. We started out with a marine fog layer pouring over the hills. This trail always has some wildflowers, even this late in the year. One of our first sightings was of a rare yellow coloring of Heartleaf Penstemon. None of us had ever seen this coloring before. We also saw Common Madia, Notable Penstemon, Swallowtail Butterflies feeding on California Thistle, tunnel spiders and Poison Oak turning red.

May 13th 2006    Matilija Falls

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Ten of us had a fine hike in Matilija this past weekend. The water levels and the brush were much higher than last year. At about four miles up the canyon, we found we could go no further when the brush overcame the trail to the right and the water became too deep on the left. We hope to get all the way to the waterfall this September, during our backpack trip in the same canyon. The water level should be much lower then, so we should be able to boulder-hop right up the canyon.

May 6th 2006    Upper Santa Ynez Canyon

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We had a great hike in Santa Ynez Canyon. Perfect hiking as the day was overcast and the area very scenic. There also were many wildflowers in bloom. We traveled down into the Canyon about 1-1/2 miles then off on a side trail to try to find Santa Ynez falls. We followed a trail which traveled along a streambed much of the time. On the way, Martin discovered California Newts in the stream and we took pictures of one he held in his hands. We never observed the falls as we reached a point that required using fixed ropes tied to trees to clamber up large boulders. It seemed too dangerous and so we turned around and hiked back out to the main trail. We ate lunch and then headed back up trail. The day was warming up but still cool enough that the climb out of the canyon wasn’t too hard. Bill Cespedes, Martin DeGoy, Mike Kuhn, Doug Marsh, John Sabol and Rafael Zepeda were on the hike.

March 2nd – 5th 2006    Death Valley National Park

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Twelve very happy campers spent a fantastic four day weekend in Death Valley this past weekend. Most of us arrived by mid-afternoon on Thursday, all with a serious itch to get out and get some exercise. We hiked up to Zabriskie Point, via Golden Canyon, and got back just before dark. The wind came up that evening and continued throughout the next day. There were a few scattered raindrops the next day too. The weather didn’t dampen our spirits one bit. Friday morning we hiked Mosaic Canyon and then took in the Scotty’s Castle tour in the early afternoon. Later that afternoon, we visited the Ubehebe and Little Ubehebe Craters. Saturday morning began with a trip to Badwater and a stroll out on the salt flats, followed by a hike up the Natural Bridge Canyon. That afternoon we took in Artist’s Palette and hiked up Desolation Canyon. Saturday was a full day. Sunday morning most ate breakfast in luxury at the Furnace Creek Inn and then broke camp. Most went home, but a few of us decide we needed one more hiking fix, so we split up and five of us attemtped Grotto Canyon and two of us did Marble Canyon on the way out of the park. The weekend was all we hoped for and more.

February 11th 2006    Wildwood Park

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The wind stopped long enough for us to enjoy our hike in Wildwood Park. The early morning fog in the Conejo and Santa Rosa Valleys was a welcome sight. Bill Cespedes, Alan Cueba and his faithful dog Coby, Carol Tucker, Mark Gilmore, John Sabol, Mike Kuhn and Rafael Zepeda were in attendance.

January 28th 2006    Santa Paula Canyon

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Below are pictures of Santa Paula Canyon, or what’s left of it. There was very heavy trail damage. The wide trail in the canyon is gone, except for a few small sections. It was rough hike, stepping on and over rocks constantly. There was a couple of stream crossings and slow going. We went in maybe half way, ate lunch and turned around. Bill Cespedes, Alan Cueba, Chuck Portagesi, Mike Kuhn and John Sabol were on the hike.