July 30th     –     East Canyon to Mission Point

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9 hikers met in Simi Valley and then carpooled to the “East Canyon, Rice Canyon, and Michael D. Antonovich Open Space” section of the 4,000-acre Santa Clarita Woodlands Park via I5 and “The Old Road” in Santa Clarita. It was already a warm morning as we began hiking southward along the non-maintained and somewhat-eroded East Canyon Motorway as it followed the dry streambed in the canyon bottom.

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The route was lined with bay laurel, black walnut, cottonwood, sycamore, and oak trees. Soon the dirt road began rising more steeply along the western side of a wooded ridge that provided us with views of the steep slopes to the west and relics of the bigcone Douglas-fir trees that once covered the mountain. An intermittent breeze and occasional shade cooled us as the road led us upward to a junction with Bridge Road (and the Oat Mountain Motorway) which is blocked by a SoCal Gas fence and gate. Having reached the highest point in our hike, we headed southeast along the pleasant Corral Sunshine Motorway to Mission Point which usually provides a panoramic view of the San Fernando Valley and beyond. However, on this day visibility was severely limited as a result of the Sand (Canyon) Fire and the air quality was poor. After resting, we retraced our route to the trailhead and returned home having completed a 9.3 mile hike with about 1,750′ of elevation gain/loss on a hot day with temperatures into the high 90’s.

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July 23rd     –     Danielson Memorial via the Wendy Trail and Satwiwa

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9 hikers assembled at the Wendy Trail trailhead on Potrero Road at the south end of Wendy Drive in Newbury Park (which borders the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area) on an already warm morning on a day that was forecast to be “a scorcher.” Our hike began by following the Wendy Trail to the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center at Rancho Sierra Vista and then heading diagonally southeast across the adjacent grassland to the Danielson Road leading to the Danielson Memorial.

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The trail (dirt road) climbed for a while before dropping into Upper Sycamore Canyon and crossing its dry streambed where we briefly enjoyed some welcome shade. After taking a short break we continued upward on the dirt road and followed it as it rose up Old Boney Mountain via a series of switchbacks which soon provided us with sweeping views of the northern portion of Big Sycamore Canyon and its surrounds. A few blooming wildflowers were in evidence, especially cliff asters, and we spotted a Mountain King Snake. Eventually we reached the tree-shaded Danielson Memorial and the ruins of the nearby Danielson Cabin (only a chimney remains). After a pleasant lunch/rest break in this beautiful spot, we began returning along the Danielson Road. By this time the scorching temperatures had arrived and the sun beat down on us mercilessly as we plodded back to the parking area. Reaching our vehicles, we completed a strenuous (due to the heat) 6.7-mile hike with 1,321′ of elevation gain/loss.

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July 16th     –     Mt. Waterman Loop

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On a day when the temperature in Simi Valley was forecast to reach the 90’s, five hikers carpooled past Cloudburst Summit to the parking lot adjacent to the Buckhorn Day Use Area at mile marker 58.02 along the Angeles Crest Highway (ACH) in the San Gabriel Mountains [Angeles National Forest] in an effort to “beat the heat.” The trailhead temperature was in the 70’s as we crossed the ACH and began hiking.

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The trail entered a cool shady pine-scented forest as it climbed steadily, but not steeply, up Mt. Waterman. After about three miles of very pleasant hiking (including cool breezes) with stunning views of mountains and canyons, we reached the shady summit of Mt. Waterman where we climbed on some of the rock formations and rested before continuing our clockwise loop hike. We soon reached a brand-new sign that pointed us to the upper end of Waterman ski lift #1 and then on down the mountain via the wide well-maintained dirt road used by authorized vehicles; the road was bordered by the pine forest so visibility was quite limited on the way down and we were exposed to the sun for most of this section of our hike. After reaching the ACH we retrieved our vehicle and headed home having completed a pleasant 6.7-mile hike with 1,470′ of elevation gain/loss.

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July 9th     –     Westward Beach to Point Dume to Paradise Cove

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6 hikers carpooled to Malibu and Westward Beach Road where we took advantage of limited free parking along the road and then hiked to the parking lot trailhead. The temperature was pleasant but there was fairly high humidity as we began hiking up onto Point Dume. After an easy climb, we hiked over to a platform overlooking the ocean and viewed a nearby seal rookery; we then backtracked and followed a trail and a rusty stairway as they led down to Dume Beach.

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The tide was “out” as we leisurely walked along a short stretch of rocks and then sandy beach for two miles, enjoying the ocean sounds and sights, eventually arriving at the Paradise Cove Beach Cafe, a landmark for decades. We rested for a while in the free-of-charge Adirondack chairs facing the ocean outside the restaurant; there were lots of beachgoers enjoying the day. Access to the nearby pier has been restored and there was a brief appearance by our resident merman but it was cut short because much of the sandy beach has been destroyed by nature over the past year leaving a rocky bottom a few feet offshore. After a while we resumed our hike and headed back along the beach the way we had come; the tide was now “coming in” but it was still possible to avoid getting our boots wet. After climbing back onto Point Dume, we hiked to a higher observation platform which afforded views of the ocean and the surrounding land. We returned to the main trail and descended to the parking lot where we spotted three dolphins playing in the water. Agreeing that the outing was a nice change of pace, we then headed home having completed an easy 5-mile hike [plus a mile each way to/from where we parked] with about 400′ of elevation gain.

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July 2nd     –     Mt. McCoy to the Reagan Library

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23 hikers (and one dog) met at the carpool point near the intersection of Royal Avenue and Madera Road on a cool summer morning and then (since trailhead parking is quite limited) walked from there to the Mt. McCoy trailhead on Washburn Street a few blocks to the west. The hike began along the trail heading south but it quickly began climbing gradually westward along the well-maintained (but frequently “cut” by bicycle riders) trail leading to the summit via a series of switchbacks.

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As the trail rose up the mountainside, we were rewarded with views of the western end of Simi Valley, including Sinaloa Lake, Wood Ranch, and the Bard Reservoir. There is a white concrete cross (erected in 1941) as well as two concrete benches at the summit, from which the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library can be seen. After a short break to enjoy the panoramic view of the desiccated landscape, we hiked southwest to Presidential Drive and then hiked along it to the west side of the library where President Reagan was buried in 2004 (and Nancy Reagan in 2016). The setting of the library is quite beautiful. We sat in the shade on the patio and enjoyed a cool breeze for a while. Eventually we returned the way we came completing a 6 mile hike with 900′ of elevation gain/loss.

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