May 28th – Hondo Canyon to Topanga Lookout
Ten hikers arrived on a cool overcast morning at the trailhead located 0.4 mile northwest of “downtown” Topanga along Old Topanga Canyon Road where the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area’s “Backbone Trail” crosses the road. As we began our hike up the steep north-facing mountain slope we crossed a dry streambed and soon passed through pretty meadows filled with dry yellow grasses and dotted with oak trees and interesting rock formations. show more show less
May 14th – Triunfo Lookout, Canyon View Trail, Grotto Trail
13 hikers carpooled to the day-use-parking area (1,631′) below the Circle X Ranger Station on Yerba Buena Road in the Santa Monica Mountains and dropped off a shuttle vehicle; we then carpooled to the Sandstone Peak Trail parking lot (2,066′) on Yerba Buena Road near Triunfo Pass (2,100′) in the Santa Monica Mountains on a cool overcast spring morning. show more show less
May 8th – Fish Canyon Narrows
Despite forecasts of possible rain and thunderstorms, 15 hikers braved the elements for this unique hike. Fortunately the only rain we encountered fell as we were driving to the starting point of our hike at the gate at the east “end” of Templin Highway north of Castaic Lake. It was a cloudy day with pleasant temperatures during the entire hike. We began by descending northeast along the closed paved road to a concrete bridge at the mouth of Cienega Canyon [which is quite overgrown]. Passing by and continuing southward as the road turned to dirt we soon veered left (eastward) onto the abandoned easy-to-follow Warm Springs-Fish Canyon Truck Trail which passed through a narrow gorge and was bordered by a variety of beautiful blooming wildflowers; after several paved creek crossings we reached the abandoned Cienega Campground (nearly three miles from our starting point). We immediately left the Truck Trail and headed north along a lovely shaded single-track trail for about a mile to “Pianobox” [an old mining claim] where there’s a campsite. The single-track trail ended as we entered the Fish Canyon Narrows and we found ourselves rock hopping, pushing through brush, and crisscrossing the creek to follow stretches of “use” trail for the next mile or so. The stream was flowing and provided a musical accompaniment as we hiked carefully through the narrow canyon bordered by very scenic reddish hundred-foot rock walls and populated with oaks and alders. We eventually reached the Rogers Trail Camp in a small oak-shaded clearing on an oak- and sycamore-shaded bench. After we took a much-needed lunch-and-rest break we returned the way we came and returned home having completed an 11 mile hike with 1,000′ of elevation gain/loss, a hike described in 2009 by Los Angeles Magazine as the best hike in Los Angeles!