December 29nd 2007 – Malibu Creek State Park
Nine of us hiked a total of 9.1 miles today. Temperatures were perfect. We saw the old M*A*S*H site, the Malibu Lake Dam, Sherwood Forest, Century Lake, the Visitor’s Center (Old Reagan Ranch House) and the Rock Pool. After so many years, a good map showing all the hiking trails, is now available at the Visitor’s Center for $1. Like Big Sycamore Canyon, Parrots are now in the park.
December 22nd 2007 – Chesboro Canyon / Palo Comado Canyon Loop
Twelve of us hiked the whole 10.5 mile loop. It was a crisp and clear morning. It was so clear, we could see Mt. San Jacinto in the distance. There was just enough time for the trails to dry up after the rainstorm just two days earlier.
December 8th 2007 – Lower Arroyo Seco
December 1st 2007 – Devils Punchbowl to Devil’s Chair
Today, six intrepid Simi Trail Blazers braved chilly temperatures and a biting wind to hike the Devil’s Punchbowl Trail, from the Nature Center parking lot to the Devil’s Chair on the north slope of the San Gabriel Mountains overlooking the Antelope Valley (the trailhead is several miles south of Pearblossom). There was a light dusting of snow on the ground; the air was crisp and clear.
The Devil’s Punchbowl is the point where the San Andreas Fault and the Punchbowl Fault meet; it’s part of the San Andreas Rift Zone. The resulting geological formations and their coloring were awe-inspiring. The hike was 8.3 miles with 2,180′ of total ascent. Much of the hike is shaded by large pine trees and is sheltered from the wind. It was a very memorable and rewarding hike.
November 10th 2007 – Montgomery Canyon
Fourteen of us hiked Montgomery Canyon today! Four of us completed the 4.1 mile loop. The remainder continued on to into Long Canyon, and then back to our cars waiting at Old Windmill Park, for a total of 6.5 miles. The weather forcast called for rain, but instead we were treated to a clear and beautiful day.
October 20th 2007 – Chumash Trail Work Party
Three Rancho Simi Trail Blazers turned out to work on the Chumash Trail. We drove up the Rocky Peak Fire Road to access the upper trailhead. Work included correcting a collapsed trail edge, trimming back brush, removing tripping hazards and leveling and smoothing erosion trail damage in numerous locations. Fifty MPH winds were predicted, but the winds weren’t a problem and only started to pick up around noon. The next work party is on November 17th on the Hummingbird Trail.
October 13th 2007 – Carpinteria Bluffs
Nine of us hiked the Carpinteria Bluffs trail this morning. The previous day’s brief rainstorm made for some dramatic cloud formations and treated us to a pristine and tranquil hike. Like Doug said, “Any beach hike is a good hike.” All of us could not have agreed more.
October 6th 2007 – Camp Three Falls to Lilly Meadows
Ten of us hiked to Lilly Meadows today. It was only 42 degrees, when we started hiking, and 49 degrees when we got back to our cars. The waterfall is almost dry now. There was a slight dusting of snow on certain shady parts of the trail, left over from the previous day’s storm. The wind was calm. We all kept nice and warm from the workout we got climbing up the trail. There’s something about the cool and clean mountain air that is so invigorating.
September 29th 2007 – Newton Canyon
Eight of us hiked up Newton Canyon today. Once we got the end, we decided to add another 2.8 miles and continue up to the trail junction on the Castro Crest Trail. We were treated to perfect hiking weather, with temperatures in the sixties. The cloud cover kept us cool, even with the elevation gain.
September 8th 2007 – Sycamore Canyon Shuttle
Ten of us took the 8.6 mile hike down Sycamore Canyon today. It was a very pleasant hike and in the seventies all the way to the beach. By the gate, at the end of the hike, was a Tarantula Hawk. Between the campground and the beach, we saw perhaps two dozen parrots flying overhead and also a couple more perched along the side of the road. They appeared to be Dusky-headed Conures, which are native to Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil. After a fine lunch on the beach, and many more good stories, we headed back home. A good time was had by all.
September 1st 2007 – Serrano Canyon
Five of us made the 8.5 mile loop through Serrano Canyon today. When we arrived at the trailhead, it was a cool 69 degrees. At the high point of the hike, well above Serrano and Sycamore Canyon, it was beastly hot and we all started to melt and wither away. As we descended back down into Sycamore Canyon, the temperatures gradually became much more pleasant. At the end of the hike, it was a welcome 72 degrees at the beach. Upon our return to Donut Delite, it was a scorching 100 degrees. Although the Canyons were bone dry, we still saw some Bush Mallow, Cudweed Aster and Cliff Aster holding on for dear life.
April 7th 2007 Towsley Canyon
Eleven of us made the 6.5 mile loop through Towsley Canyon today. It was good hiking weather, even thought the sun never came out. We saw more wildflowers on this hike than on all our other hikes this year combined. The Chocolate Lilly was a real treat.
March 10th 2007 Calabasas Peak & Red Rock Canyon
15 humans and four canines were on the hike today. It was a clear and hot day, with the Santa Ana winds behind us. Many of us tired out from the elevation gain and heat, so we turned the trip into an impromptu car shuttle. Thanks you Tom & Linda for your kind shuttle services!
March 1st – 4th 2007 Death Valley National Park
Twenty-one very happy campers spent a fantastic four-day weekend in Death Valley. Most of us arrived by mid-afternoon on Thursday, all with a serious itch to get out and get some exercise, so we hiked up to Zabriskie Point, via Golden Canyon, and got back just after dark. The weather couldn’t be better this year. There was only a bit of wind at night. On Friday morning we explored Scotty’s Castle, hiked the Ubehebe and Little Ubehebe Craters, and then endured what could best be described as a death march to Red Wall Canyon. We learned the hard way not to believe the guide books. Saturday morning began with a trip to Fall Canyon, Titus Canyon and also the Keane Wonder Mine. Friday and Saturday were full days. On Sunday morning about half of us broke camp treated ourselves to breakfast in luxury at the Furnace Creek Inn. Some of us went home, but most of us decided we needed one more hiking fix, so we split up; some going to Darwin Falls and others to the Stovepipe Wells sand dunes on the way out. We’ll have to do it all over again next year.
February 24th 2007 Placerita Canyon – Los Pinetos Trail
Eleven of us made the 7 1/4 mile loop today. It was a clear and cool day with spectacular views of the Santa Clarita Valley, snow capped Southern Sierra and Los Padre Mountains.
February 10th 2007 Simi Peak
We had a small group of four hikers on the China Flat Trail to Simi Peak. Although all the weather reports warned of a heavy storm, it never materialized and we enjoyed a beautiful day and had a great hike. One sad item we noted was the destruction of the “Guzzler” (a man made wildlife watering station) located adjacent to the trail. It was destroyed in the September 2005 wildfire. There is nothing left but the fiberglass that was embedded in the plastic of the tank. In the Oak grove to the south of China Flat is the largest Poison Oak vine you may ever see. The vine is about 5 inches in diameter for the first 6 feet and climbs up into a large Coast Live Oak tree before dividing into a tangled nest of branches. At the top of Simi Peak, as we enjoyed the views, we saw two angels nestled in the rocks. We left them for others to enjoy.
February 3rd 2007 Serrano Canyon
Thank you, Margarita! You sure know how to pick the best hikes. Eleven of us made the loop today. It was a picture perfect day. I was way too long since we hiked Seranno Canyon.
January 27th 2007 Wildwood Park – Santa Rosa Trail
The rain stopped just in time for us to enjoy our hike today. There were seven two legged and three four legged hikers. At the top of the ridge we were treated to a rainbow over Santa Rosa Valley. The overnight rain dampened the trail just enough, so that a layer of shallow mud collected under our boots much like glue. At times, it was like walking in high-heels boots, until a clump of mud simply broke off.
January 20th 2007 China Flat Trail Work Party
We had 7 workers turn out for the China Flat Trail work party. The weather was cool with no wind, which was ideal working weather. Even without rain the trail was becoming overgrown so a lot of lopping of brush was needed. We also did tread work repairing erosion damage and removing rocks from the trail. Many thanks to all the workers.
January 13th 2007 Sulphur Mountain
Eight people showed up for the 10-mile Sulphur Mountain Road hike. It was a cold, clear day and we noted ice on the ground at the start. But hiking uphill, it didn’t take us long to warm up. As we hiked higher, we enjoyed great views of Lake Casitas as well as two of the Channel Islands, Anacappa and Santa Cruz. A large Redtailed Hawk was spotted sitting in a tree and we saw it several times as it hunted the area. We also met some cows along the way. However the area is so dry, we didn’t see a single flower in bloom on the entire hike. (Notice that the word Sulphur is misspelled on the entry sign).
January 6th 2007 Sandstone Peak
Today eleven hikers and one dog enjoyed a 5.9 mile loop hike on the Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak (Mt. Allen). It was one of those picture perfect days, when the visibility was almost endless and the winds were calm.