SCHEDULE FOR February 2016


Saturday, February 6 – Liberty Cyn to Phantom Trail to Malibu Creek State Park and the Pools.

Distance: 9 mile loop

Gain: ~ 900 ft.

Rating:  Moderate +,  mainly for overall distance and some elevation gain.


Back by popular demand!!  This hike is a 9 mile loop with approx 900 ft gain in the Santa Monica Mountains through Liberty Canyon, the woodlands/ grasslands; then connecting to the Phantom Trail we climb to the ridge before crossing Mulholland drive into Malibu Creek State Park and hiking the old 20th Century Fox property to the south end of Century Lake/ Dam.

We will then take the Forest Trail along the north end of the lake, visit the rock pools if there is water again and view the climbing walls, before completing a loop back along the creek bed and up the meadows back to the trailhead. So……lots of terrain variety here!!   We have seen deer, coyotes, water birds and wild parrots on previous visits.  The hike will include mainly single track trails and some fireroads/ riverwalks.  Due to distance, we will keeping a moderate pace that may be a little fast for beginning hikers.

Carpooling from Santa Clarita Valley :

Meet the leader at Towsley Canyon outside the gate at 7:15AM for a 7:30 AM SHARP departure to the trailhead or plan to meet at the trailhead at ~8.15AM to leave at 8:30AM SHARP .

Meet near the Malibu S.P. Trailhead (Only 45 minutes from SCV!) at ~ 8:15AM:   Take the 405 Fwy South to 101 Fwy North and exit at Las Virgenes. Turn left on Las Virgenes. Turn right at the light for Mulholland Hwy (if you pass the sign for the entrance to the State Park, you have gone too far). On Mulholland Hwy, there is parking on the dirt shoulders on both sides of the road, please watch for traffic.  26990 Mulholland Hwy in Google maps will get you to exactly where we are meeting.26990 Mulholland Hwy in Google maps will get you to exactly where we are meeting.

We will meet and go through an opening in the fence on the RIGHT (North) side of Mulholland Hwy that leads to the North Grasslands trail to begin the hike.  Look for your leader wearing an orange bandana as there may be other hiking groups.   We will leave the trailhead at 8:30AM sharp!!

Bring:  Plenty of water (3 liters recommended), electrolytes (e.g. Gatorade). Sunscreen, hat, lunch/ snacks, hiking poles (helpful on the uphill portion), and a camera. Wear layered clothing in case it gets hot or cold.  Wear boots with lots of tread.

Adventure Pass: Not required.

Dogs: Sorry – No, they are not allowed in Malibu Cyn SP.

Leader: Steve


Saturday, February 13, 2016 – Hike to the famous Hollywood Sign

Distance:  ~6 miles (out and back style)

Gain: ~ 650 feet

Rating:  Moderate +


Laura will take you today to a Los Angeles icon – The Hollywood sign.  The hike starts at the Griffith Park Observatory (another LA landmark) and takes us first, via a fire road, to the summit of Mt. Hollywood. After a quick break to enjoy the views, we continue on via fire roads and single track trails to Mt. Lee which rises behind the sign.

We take in 360 degree views of Hollywood, the L.A. basin and San Fernando Valley.  Standing on top of Mt. Lee really puts the size of the Santa Monica Mountains into perspective with the San Gabriel’s rising off to the east.

Carpooling from Santa Clarita Valley:  If you wish to carpool, meet at Towsley Cyn outside the entrance gate at 8:00AM for an 8:15 AM SHARP departure to the trail head.

Please be respectful of your driver’s support by contributing something at the end of your carpool to help defray the cost of gas – THX.

Carpooling from Santa Clarita Valley:  Exit the I-5 freeway in Santa Clarita Valley at Calgrove Blvd. Turn West and follow Calgrove around a curve and through one light. You will now see the gate to Towsley Canyon on your right. Park and look for a group of hikers/ leader.

Directions to the trail head/ Meet the leader: Take the I-5 South and exit at Los Feliz.  Drive to the Griffith Park Observatory and park there.  Your leader will meet you there at ~ 8:45AM for a 9:00AM SHARP departure up the trail.

Bring:  Lots of water/ Gatorade (2 – 3 L), a hat, sunscreen, a snack and hiking poles if you have them.  Camera.  Good shoes with tread are a must – no flip flops or tennis shoes please.

Adventure Pass:  Not required

Dogs: OK, if on a leash and well-behaved with other dogs / people carrying poles.  If you bring a dog, please plan to drive yourself to the trailhead.

Leader: Laura S.




Saturday February 20, 2016 : Pacoima Canyon to Dutch Louie Tunnel

Distance: 4.5 miles (out and back, reverse style – down first)

Gain: ~ 850′ elevation gain, on the way back up

Rating: Easy to Moderate (on way back up). You should be in fair physical condition.  Children under 12 might find the going difficult.



The hike starts at Dillon Divide on Little Tujunga Canyon. We will follow a dirt road for a short distance until a single track trail turns off into Pacomia Canyon. It is a nice hike down into the canyon. Once in the canyon, we should encounter a small creek.

Fun fact: The trail will take us to Dutch Louie Tunnel.  A prospector carved the tunnel through the rock to divert the creek, so he could mine for gold in a dry creek bed. The tunnel is a 100-150 feet long and may still have the creek running through it. We will continue on a little further up steam to visit the Dagger Flat area and the lower entrance to the of the Dagger Flat trail.  Here, we will have a snack before turning around and heading back the same way.

Meeting your leader/ Mandatory Carpool due to limited parking:  Due to very limited parking at the Dillon Divide turnout, please meet at Bear Divide between 08:00-08:15AM and then we will make arrangements for a short 3 mile carpool down Little Tijunga Road to the trailhead (leaving the rest of the cars at Bear Divide).

Directions to Meeting spot/ Carpool area:

Take the I-5 to the SR-14 North. Exit at Sand Canyon, turn right (South/East). Go all the way past all the houses, Placerita Canyon etc., going straight. Enter the Angeles National Forest and continue up!up!up! along Sand Canyon Road until you see a memorial at a bad corner (on the right side). Shortly after this, you will go around a sharp left hand bend and crest the hill. The Bear Divide picnic/parking area is immediately on the right. Park here to form the carpool.

Leader: Dave








Saturday February 27, 2016 – “Butt Kicker”: Horn Canyon, Ojai to Pines Campground and Sintas Road

Mileage:   9 Miles RT (out and back)

Gain: 3200’ !!!!! (straight up)

Rated: Moderate  +++ / Difficult


This is a beautiful out and back hike that starts out by following Thatcher Creek.  It is also a butt kicker that is just about pure gain all the way to the top and with not too many switchbacks.  So you have been warned, no whining!!

We look down on the Krishnamurti Foundation in Ojai.  Horn Canyon was reportedly one of Krishnamurti’s favorite walks. He sometimes told the tale of how in his younger days he befriended a mountain lion along this trail.

The views from here are spectacular (honest) – Ojai, the ocean, all the Channel islands and Topa Topa mountain.  We will see old growth chaparral, and when we reach the campsite, which will be our first stop, you will enjoy a large grouping of Stone Pine.

If you are afraid of the gain, you can stop at the campground, which would be about 1600’ gain, and complete a RT hike of 6 miles.  If you want to do this, you should plan to drive yourself or find someone else to carpool with that would like to do the same distance/ gain.   Depending on time/ interest, we may stop in Ojai for refreshments after the hike.

Bring/ Wear:

Camera, hiking poles, shoes with good tread, lunch, snacks, LOTS of water/ electrolytes (2 – 3 Liters), a bug net and sunscreen.

Wear long pants as some brush overhangs the trail, and a hat as there is not much shade on the trail. An extra outer layer in case it is chilly at first (you can always leave it in the car) or windy at the top.  NOTE: There may be small biting flies out and about, so please wear long sleeves/ bring insect repellent and a bug net for your face.

Adventure Pass:  No




Dogs: OK, if kept on a leash and well behaved around other dogs and people with poles. If you bring a dog, please drive yourself.

Carpooling from Santa Clarita Valley to trail head:  Meet at Walmart parking lot on Kelly Johnson PKWY in Valencia at the southwest corner at 6:45 AM for a 7:00 AM SHARP departure to the trailhead. We prefer that you carpool due to distance and as parking at the trailhead can be a problem, and finding the trailhead is difficult.  Please be respectful of your driver’s support by contributing something at the end of your carpool to help defray the cost of gas – THX

If you insist, you can drive to the trail head, following the directions below. If you cannot find the trailhead, please park in the first parking lot at the Thatcher School and watch for the hikers to pass you by, then you can follow them to the trail head. If there is no parking at the trail head, you can park in the school parking lot and walk the distance into the trail head. (PLEASE CONSIDER CARPOOLING)

Directions to trail head:  Take the I-5 North to the 126 West. From the 126, Exit onto Hwy 150 to Ojai (in Santa Paula). In Ojai, turn right onto Reeves Road. (Bocalli’s Restaurant is on this corner). Turn left on McAndrew Road. Follow the signs to Thatcher School. As you enter the school grounds, look for signs to the Gymkhana Field. On the left, you will see a white gate and a fire road. There is parking here for only a few vehicles. This is the trail head where we will meet, please do not be late. (You will not see the trail head sign as it is hidden by some Orange trees. There is also an Andy Gump at the trail head. It will be behind you if you are looking at the access gate).

Meet your leader:   At the Horn Canyon trail head in Ojai, at 8:00 AM for an 8:15AM SHARP departure up the trail.

Leader:  Steve l.