Saturday, June 4 – CELEBRATE NATIONAL TRAILS DAY at Dagger Flat!

Get that special feeling of accomplishment as you work with other volunteers and hikers to complete several manageable projects on the Dagger Flat Trail.  Then enjoy a gourmet hot dog lunch and swap stories of your day’s achievements!

THIS IS NOT A HIKE, but you will hike about 4 miles round trip, through the most spectacular scenery near SCV.  All this, while helping Dianne and CHC bring this trail back to life.   For example, can you believe the stabilized switchback and set of stairs that were built from scratch (see photo below)?

CHC is restoring a trail that has been unused for about 30 years. PLEASE only RSVP “Yes” if you can make it. Dianne will bring tools according to the RSVPs.

Directions to Meeting Spot (White Gate for 3N17):

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!  Sand Canyon Road until you see a memorial at a bad corner (on the right side). Shortly after this you will see a small brown sign “Santa Clara Divide Road”.  Park in one of the turnouts to the left, right, or above this sign but not blocking the white gate.

Google Latitude/Longitude coordinates for the Meeting Spot (at Sand Canyon Road and 3N17) are 34.360824,   -118.391941.

Meeting Time:  We will meet PROMPTLY at 7:00AM. We will make up carpools and leave no later than 7:10AM SHARP. We carpool through a locked gate for 4 miles on forest road 3N17 to reach the trail head, due to limited parking there. PLEASE BE PROMPT as we must relock the gate.

Lunch: 12:00 – 12:30PM

Enjoy Lunch with us: Hot dogs with the fixings followed by Dianne’s legendary cookies!

Quitting Time: 1:30PM ;  we should be back at the gate by 2:00PM.

Bring:  Water, snacks, camera, bandaids, TP (there are no bathrooms), hand wipes, strong garden gloves (suede leather type recommended) , sunscreen, electrolytes, sun hat, and anything else you can think of to make you more comfortable.

Do  Not Bring:  Dogs, as they will get bored, plus we do not want to risk tripping over or hurting them as we work.  Also, it would not be safe to bring young children (we use heavy tools and the trail is narrow).  Leave your garden tools at home, as we could damage them or lose them.

Thank you for helping us bring back this trail, so we can all enjoy it.

Leader: Dianne                               Rated: Moderate ++

Saturday 4 June 2016 – Dawson Saddle to Vincent Gap, summiting Mount Baden Powell

Distance/ Gain:  9 1/2 miles; 2,000′ gain

Rating: Moderate ++/ Strenuous (remember we will be at higher altitude where the air is thinner)

Description:  From Dawson Saddle (7900′) we hike a single track trail to Throop Peak (9138′).  Just after the Peak we will turn onto the Pacific Crest Trail to Mt. Burnham (9000′) then onward to Mt. Baden-Powell (9400′) where we will have lunch and enjoy the views.

After lunch, we hike down to Vincent Gap (6600′).  We will be hiking through an open forest of Jeffrey pine, white fir and lodgepole pine while enjoying panoramic views and crisp high mountain air.

Carpool Meeting Spot in North Santa Clarita Valley: NOT TOWSLEY!! If you would like to car pool, please meet at the Sand Canyon / Soledad Canyon Road junction parking area, at Starbucks by the Vons Supermarket at 6:10AM for a 6:45AM SHARP departure to the trailhead.  Car arrangements will be made at that time.


From Pasadena/Sylmar –  210 Freeway to 2 Hwy ……to Vincent Gap parking lot

From Antelope Valley – Contact Jim Hazard for carpool / caravan instructions.

From North Santa Clarita Valley – Take the 14 Fwy North to the Pearblossom Hwy turn off. Go East on 138 through Littlerock and Pearblossom to Largo Vista Rd (this is very approximately 6 miles). Make a right turn here (there is a sign here advertising Mountain High ski resort).  Continue till you come to the first stop sign at Big Pines Hwy, and make a left. Continue until the next stop sign at Angeles Crest Hwy. Turn right and go 5 miles to the Vincent Gap Parking Lot.

Meeting your leader at trailhead:  We will meet at Vincent Gap (where we will end the hike) by the restroom at 8:15AM for 8:30AM short car shuttle departure to the trailhead at Dawson Saddle.   We will leave some cars at Vincent Gap for the end of the hike.

Bring:  Lots of water (2-3L), some Electrolytes like Gatorade, a hat, sunscreen, a lunch/ snack and hiking poles if you have them.   Watch the weather forecast, but it is always a good idea to pack another layer in case it gets cold.  Good shoes with tread are a must – no flip flops or tennis shoes please.

Adventure Pass: Yes, 1/Car, required at Vincent Gap.  Available at Acton Ranger Station, the Little Tujunga station, REI Northridge, Big 5 Sports ($5 a day/ $30 a year) or any other Ranger Station.

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

Leader:  Jim Hazard  Asst Leader / Sweep:  Steve I.

Saturday June 11, 2016 –  GREAT VIEWS – Five Deer trail from Artesian Springs Camp to Martindale Ridge Road

Distance:  10 Miles RT (out and back)

Gain: 1200′ Approx.

Hiking Time:  5 hours

Rating: Moderate ++ (for distance and several steep hills)

Description:  This is a beautiful hike we first introduced last year that is 100% single track.  We start at 3800′ (2600′ higher than Santa Clarita Valley) with a view of Bouquet Reservoir. We hope to catch some breezes / views as we hike in the Angeles National Forest.  After a 30 minute drive from Santa Clarita, up Bouquet Canyon, we go off-road and drive 2 miles on a forest road to start our hike at Artesian Springs camp.  That is a FUN RIDE just in itself!!

Hiking along a lightly used single track mountain bike trail, we pass through old growth chaparral and periodically dip into shady canyon doglegs.  Along the way, we hope to enjoy wildflowers, views across Bouquet reservoir to Grass Mountain, the Sierra Pelona below, and later Mt. McDill.  If it is a clear day, we may be able to see all the way East to Palmdale and North to the Tehachapi Valley and spinning windmills.  After passing an interesting rock outcropping, we arrive at our turnaround point on a ridge line with panoramic views of the Sierra Pelona area, Vasquez Rocks and Agua Dulce in the distance.

Here we will break for a snack/ lunch under a huge shady oak.

Meet your Leader to Carpool to the trailhead:   In the Santa Clarita Best Buy parking lot (26531 Bouquet Canyon Road ) at 7:00AM for a 7:15AM SHARP departure.

Directions from 5 Freeway to the Carpool meeting spot:

From the I-5 freeway heading North toward Castaic, exit at Newhall Ranch Road (Route 126), head East up an off  ramp along Newhall Ranch toward Valencia for 4.4 miles to the intersection with Bouquet Canyon. Turn left at the light and left again at the next light into the Best Buy parking lot (26531 Bouquet Canyon Road).  Meet the group in front of the Best Buy store entrance to organize cars.

Carpooling from Bouquet Canyon Best Buy to trailhead:

NOTE: We will drive 20 miles up Bouquet Canyon to the Forest road 6N08 gate.  Then we drive 2 miles East from Bouquet Canyon, along 6N08 . It is a rough road, so to be sure, we will need high clearance vehicles (i.e. SUV/ pick ups) , but not necessarily 4WD .  I had no problem at all with my Subaru Outback.  We need enough of this vehicle type for the carpool, otherwise everyone is going to have to get very “friendly” or left behind.  So, if you can help contribute to this special carpool, please let me know ahead of time, so I can ensure we have enough space.

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.

Dogs:  OK, must be on a leash and if well behaved around other dogs and people with hiking poles.  If you bring a dog, please plan to drive yourself in your SUV to the trailhead.  Bear in mind this is a single track.

Adventure Pass:  Yes (just in case) 1/car.  These can be obtained at any BIG 5 Sport­ing Goods store; $5 for a day pass, $30 for a year pass.

BRING:  Hiking Poles, lunch/snacks, at least 3L of water and some electrolytes, camera, hat and sunscreen.  Wear hiking shoes/boots with good tread – No flip-flops!  Bug Net is advised for some of the shadier parts (we have extras at $5 if you need one).

Leader:  Steve I.

Saturday 18 June , 2016 – Switzer Falls to Bear Canyon trail

Distance: ~ 7 miles total , reverse type (out and back…and around about the canyon, starting by going down and coming back uphill at the end )

Gain: ~ 600feet

Rating:  Moderate + (Note: There are some steep areas and overlooks during this hike, if you have an issue with heights).

Description:  This is a moderate hike into one of the loveliest sections of the San Gabriel Mountains. The hike meanders back and forth across the stream running down the spectacular Arroyo Seco Canyon.  The stream is lined with oaks and a lot of alder, many of which have fallen across the river.  In many places the water cascades over granite into mirror-like pools.    The hike emerges from the trees and travels high above the 50 foot high Switzer falls with a view of where the Switzer resort stood before dropping back to the stream.

We continue down Bear canyon a mile or so, taking in several pools and the beauty of the canyon.  There is plenty of boulder hoping but not much scrambling.  We will stop along the way for a snack before turning back.  This time we go back up stream until we are standing at the base of the falls. We then backtrack a little and return up the hill from stream level to the track above and follow the stream back up to the parking lot.

BRING:  Hiking poles, if you have them, an extra layer in case it gets hot/cold, lunch/snack, water (2 – 3L), hat and sunscreen.  Long pans and sleeves are advised as poison oak and stinging nettles are likely (although we will try to point them out).   Bug spray / a bug net is recommended just in case.  We have extra bug Nets – $5, if you need one.

Adventure Pass: Yes, for those who drive – they do ticket ($5)!  Passes can be obtained at any BIG 5 Sporting Goods store; $5 for a day pass, $30 for a 1 year pass.

Dogs: OK, on leash and if well behaved around people / other dogs.  If you bring a dog, you will need to drive yourself.

Meet your Leader:  At 6:15AM outside Towsley Canyon gate in the street Parking lot for a 6:30AM SHARP Carpool departure. Alternatively, meet at the Trail Head for a 7:30AM departure down the trail.

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.

Directions to Towsley Canyon carpool meeting spot:

From North (Valencia) – Take the I-5 South to the Calgrove exit. Exit, turn right. Go through the signal and immediately turn right into the driveway for Towsley Canyon. Park OUTSIDE the gate. Look for the hiking club members and leader there. Please be on time.

From South (LA) – Take the I-5 North, kept left at HWY 5/14 split until next Exit (Calgrove Blvd.). Exit, turn left at bottom of ramp. Go through the signal and immediately turn right into the driveway for Towsley Canyon. Park OUTSIDE the gate. Look for the hiking club members and leader there.

Directions to Switzer Trail head:

From the 210, take the exit toward the Angeles Crest Highway in La Canada Flintridge. Continue east on CA-2 for 9.8 miles. Pass the Clear Creek Ranger Station, then take a right on the Switzer Truck Trail.  Descent to the parking lot below.

Leader: Steve I.

Saturday June 25, 2016 – Hondo Canyon (Topanga Canyon / Malibu area)

Distance: 10.0 miles total (this is an Out and Back)

Gain: 1900 ft (mainly in first hour)

Hiking Time: ~ 5 – 6 hours Approx.

Rating: Moderate ++

Description:  Another spectacular section of the Backbone Trail, this hike includes a lot of single track through shady hedgerows with snatches of ocean views and some cool air.  We will hike through varied terrain – shaded live oaks; a sloping meadow; switch-backs up the steep south slope of Hondo Canyon through a lovely oak forest; and deep chaparral.

At our turnaround spot, the foundation of an old fire lookout tower, we will snack and enjoy views of the inland areas – toward Malibu Creek Canyon Park to the NW and the Calabasas area to the NE.

Meet your Leader:

Due to VERY LIMITED parking at the trailhead, we strongly encourage you to carpool.

Carpooling from Santa Clarita Valley:

Meet your leader at Towsley Canyon (24255 The Old Road, Newhall, CA) outside the gate in the Parking lot at 6:45AM.  We will leave at 7:00AM SHARP. Alternatively, you can meet the leader at the Hondo Canyon trailhead (directions below) at 8:00 AM for a 8:15 AM SHARP departure up the trail.

Directions to Towsley Carpool carpooling spot: From Valencia, take the I-5 South to the Calgrove exit. Exit, turn right. Go through the signal and immediately turn right into the driveway for Towsley Canyon but immediately park OUTSIDE the gate (look for club members and leader near the gate).   Please be respectful of your driver’s support by contributing something at the end of your carpool to help defray the cost of gas – Thanks.

Directions to Hondo Canyon trailhead:

Trailhead address: 381 Old Topanga Canyon Road, Topanga Canyon, CA 90290

Trailhead coordinates:   Lat 34.092804, Lon 118.610122   (34° 05′ 34.09″N 118° 36′ 36.43″W)

From Santa Clarita, take the I-5 South and merge right on to the 405 South. Then take 101 north and exit Topanga Canyon Road (US 27) South, cross Ventura Blvd and go about 7.5 miles. On a bend (at the Inn of the 7th Ray restaurant), turn right on to Old Topanga Road. Go approx 0.4 miles and park on the left side of the street at the trailhead.  When parking, be very mindful of traffic, this is a busy/ winding road. Be at the trailhead by 8:00 AM for an 8:15 AM SHARP departure up the trail.

BRING: Hiking poles, if you have them, lunch/snack, water (2 – 3L) plus electrolytes, a camera, hat and sunscreen.

Adventure Pass: Not required.

Dogs: Sorry, NOT ALLOWED by park regulations.

Leader:  Steve I.