April 28th – Towsley Canyon Loop
16 hikers met at the “Ed Davis Park at Towsley Canyon” section of the 4,000-acre Santa Clarita Woodlands Park this morning. It was perfect hiking weather, never exceeding 73 degrees. Our hike began on the dirt road leading to the Sonia Thompson Nature Center, crossing Towsley Creek on a concrete bridge. We began a counter-clockwise hike on the Towsley View Loop Trail.
After passing through The Narrows section of Towsley Gorge, the trail quickly gained elevation, via multiple switchbacks along the well-shaded shaded eastern slope of the canyon. The verdant north-facing slopes of the Santa Susana Mountains rose steeply to the south. The single-track trail passed through sage scrub, stands of California walnut and bay laurel trees, and scattered oak trees as we made our way to the 2,450′ high point on the trail from where much of the Santa Clarita Valley was seen visible. The hillsides were adorned by many blooming wildflowers which begged to be photographed. The trail then dropped into shady Wiley Canyon, which we followed downstream to a junction with the Canyon View Loop Trail rising along the northern flank of the mountain, before descending to the Sonia Thompson Nature Center. After a brief rest, we returned to our cars at the trailhead. We then headed home, after enjoying a very pleasant 6.7 mile hike, with over 1,450′ of elevation gain/loss.
April 21st – Work Party: Long Canyon
The Trail Blazers work party celebrated Earthday a day early this year. We cleaned up the first ½ mile of the trail where erosion cut a groove down the center of the trail. Six new water run-off features where installed and the remaining water cuts were filled.
A big thanks to the five workers that helped us complete our work today!
April 14th – Malibu Creek State Park
18 hikers assembled at the starting (and ending) point of our planned loop hike in Malibu Creek State Park on a pleasant spring morning. We began hiking northward along the North Grassland Trail as it passed through the lovely verdant landscape covered with bright green grass. We soon reached the dirt Liberty Canyon Fire Road which we followed through the oak-dotted rolling hills of the Liberty Canyon Natural Preserve to the Phantom Trail’s northern trailhead.
Soon we began climbing steadily up a heavily wooded slope heading southward until we emerged into the sunlight high on a ridge. Continuing southward along the ridge we encountered beautiful meadows of bright green grass, California poppies, lupine, and a few mariposa lilies as well as distant views of the surrounding area. Eventually the trail dropped down to Mulholland Drive which we crossed to the Cistern Trail which led us to the Lookout Trail. As we descended the Lookout Trail we had views of Century Lake and the surrounding craggy mountains as well as more displays of blooming wildflowers. We enjoyed a lunch/rest break along the shady shore of Century Lake and watched mallard ducks, coots, and a “tame” Canada goose. We then followed Crags Road eastward to the picturesque Rock Pool (along Malibu Creek) which we shared with a group of students from Maywood High School who were on a Sierra Club Angeles Chapter ICO outing in the park. Along the way to the pool we watched a nearby rock-climbing class for a while. Eventually we followed the High Road and the Grasslands Trail northward back to our vehicles parked along Mulholland Highway west of Las Virgenes Road and returned home having completed a very scenic 8.2-mile hike with about 1,400’ of elevation gain/loss. Among a variety of other blooming plants we spotted during our hike were blue ceanothus, Indian paintbrush, Mexican elderberry, wild cucumber vines, laurel sumac, blue dick, purple nightshade, chocolate lilies, and caterpillar phacelia.