Saturday June 3, 2017 – OCEAN BREEZES / Views – Mugu Peak via the Chumash Trail; La Jolla Valley Grasslands and the Ray Miller trail

***   NOTE: For safety reasons, Rain or Extreme Heat will cancel hikes   ***

Distance:  ~ 10 mile loop with short shuttle

Gain: About 1500′, mainly in the first mile and again 1 hour before end of hike

Rated: Moderate +++ (significant gain at start and overall hike length)

Time: ~ 5 hours hike time

Description:  Let’s cool off by the ocean!  This 10 mile hike will take us to Mugu Peak (moist air, sea breezes and temperatures should be ~20 degrees cooler than back in Santa Clarita!). On of my favorite hikes and depending on the time of day, we may be immersed in sea fog (yum!), sunshine, or a mixture of both as it burns off.

We start on the Chumash trail and head straight up, up, up, to Mugu peak because the usual route, La Jolla Canyon, was badly damaged by floods and is now closed. After enjoying the highest point in the hike and completing most of the gain, we then head down a bit and turn East into the La Jolla Valley.  We traverse a large grassland area, with views of the Boney Mountains, the highest peaks in the Santa Monica Range.

Finally, we arrive at a burned out “Hike-In” campground.  We will stop near here to snack and rest up a little.  Then it is some more gain as we head back West and up on the Overlook fire road to meet the Ray Miller trail. This trail drops us back at the La Jolla Canyon parking area where we will have staged a few cars for a shuttle earlier.  Then it is a short distance back North on PCH to where we left most of our cars in the Chumash Trail parking lot.

Meet in Santa Clarita to Carpool:  Meet us at the WALMART parking lot (NOTE: this is not Towsley Canyon!!!!). Address is 27931 Kelly Johnson Pkwy, Santa Clarita, CA 91355.

The store is on the corner of the intersection of Copper Hill and Newhall Ranch Road.  Meet there at 6:45AM in the Southwest corner of the parking lot.  After we organize the carpools, we leave at 7:00AM SHARP and caravan to the Chumash Trail parking lot off Hwy 1 (PCH).  Directions to the trailhead are below, if you prefer to go directly.

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.

Meet your leader at the Trailhead:  Meet at the Chumash Trail parking lot trail head between 8:15 AM and 8:30AM. Wear bug spray!!  We will depart up the trail at 8:45 AM SHARP (after we have put some cars on PCH, near the La Jolla Canyon trailhead, about 2 miles south).

Directions from Santa Clarita to the Chumash Trail parking lot:  Take Newhall Ranch road for 2 miles West from the Walmart meeting place over the 5 Freeway, where it becomes CA-126, heading West toward Ventura.  Follow CA-126 W, 34.9 miles until Exit 5 from CA-126 W to merge on to CA-118 East, toward Saticoy. Continue until the road T’s .  Turn right on to Santa Clara Ave, which becomes Rice Ave and eventually merges into Route 1 (PCH) turning South.

Stay on PCH passing Point Mugu Naval base on the right, until you are by the ocean and see a SEABEES firing range in the sand dunes on the right – WATCH IT! – the parking lot is on the left. Turn left into the “Chumash Trail” parking lot if there is room or do a U and park just beyond it, on the left – WATCH FOR CARS AND MOTORCYCLES AS YOU TURN ACROSS PCH INTO THE LOT.

Bring: Poles if you have them, lunch/ snacks, at least 3 liters of water plus electrolytes. SUN SCREEN/ lip balm as this trail has very little shade.  If haze is low, the views can be spectacular, so bring your camera.

BUG ALERT!!   There are often bad mosquitos in the Chumash parking lot, at the start of the hike (the lot is next to a marshland and is shaded in the morning).  I recommend you keep covered up and do a quick bug spray as you exit your car.  Once we get up the trail a bit and into some sun, we will lose them.

Adventure Pass:  Not required .

Dogs: Sorry, dogs are not allowed on this trail (I don’t make up the rules).

Leader:  Steve I.

Saturday 10 June, 2017 – Santa Paula Cyn, along the creek to the Waterfall and the Punch bowls

Distance: ~8 miles roundtrip – out and back hike

Gain: 1000′ max

Hiking Time: 4 hours approx.

Rating: Moderate ++

Description: This hike will lead you into a peaceful world of waterfalls, swimming holes, tranquil pools, and shaded woodlands but does see heavy use on weekends.  The area is on the way to Ventura so we can expect temperatures to be lower than Santa Clarita.

Although the address is the actual college, we will begin the hike outside on the road at the old gate to St. Thomas Aquinas College. Then we follow the signs  for the trail, staying on the road and off the school grounds.   After 0.5 miles we begin our hike on the Santa Paula Canyon Trail. The trail takes us along the river, by Big Cone and Cross Camp.   We will see several swimming holes and enjoy some great views into the gorge.

The Punch Bowls are a lot of fun and should have some water.  Bring a pair of water shoes if you have them and prepare to get wet. Unfortunately the area now has a lot of graffiti and some trash left by irresponsible people. Please bring a plastic bag to help remove some trash, on our way out.

Carpooling from Santa Clarita:  If you wish to form carpools from Santa Clarita with other club members, we recommend you meet at Towsley Canyon (24255 The Old Road, Newhall, CA) at 6:45AM for a 7:00AM SHARP departure.  I am sure by now that someone familiar with our “Carpool drill” will help get you organized.  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.

Meet your leader at the trailhead:  George will meet you at the old gate outside the entrance to St. Thomas Aquinas College, 10000 N. Ojai Road (CA-150) , Santa Paula, CA, at 7:45AM to start up the trail at 8:00AM SHARP.

Directions to trail head from Santa Clarita: Take the I-5 north and exit at Newhall Ranch Rd (exit 172), left at top of ramp,  on to CA-126.  Drive 28 miles and exit in Santa Paula at 10th/CA-150 (For Ojai).  Turn right on to 10th St. and go 0.5 miles until making a slight right on to Ojai Rd/CA-150. Follow this road about 5 more miles until you see the gates of St. Thomas College (on the right). It is best to park off the road in a turnout just before the bridge / gates, on the left.  Leave nothing valuable showing in your car.

Bring:  Plenty of water (3 – 4 L, if it is very hot), 1 L electrolytes, a snack, shoes with good tread, a hat, sunscreen and your camera.

Dogs:   OK, if well behaved around other dogs and hikers with poles.  If bringing one, please drive yourself to the trail head.

Notice: There is probably a good deal of Poison oak, so please bring appropriate clothing (long poly pants).

Adventure Pass: Not Required.

Leader: George

Saturday June 17, 2017 – “Figure of 8” Hike:   Elsmere Canyon, the Waterfall, Refinery Grapevine and New Elsmere

Distance: ~ 8.5 miles (or 10 miles, if doing the waterfall)

Gain:  1000 – 1200 ft.

Rating:   Moderate ++ /Somewhat difficult in places (due to total mileage and reasonable gain) This is not one for Beginners, you need to be in good condition to enjoy this hike.

Description:   This hike, right here in Santa Clarita Valley, can be done in a number of ways.  This route takes us in a big Figure 8 and is another fun way to explore the Elsmere Canyon area.  We will go up the center of the canyon and pause for a snack/ lunch break in New Elsmere on a grassy flat area. Then it is back through this high meadowed area, back down nice shady country laneway, to a point we visited earlier.

You will see the entire Canyon, some rocky areas with old oil drilling relics, the new Elsmere purchase, and the waterfall trail. (However, there may not be any water in the waterfall unless we’ve had recent rain).


From Valencia , take I-5 south to the SR-14 North toward Palmdale.

From San Fernando Valley, take the I-5 North until it splits in a Y (5 North and 14 North), stay to the right for the 14 North (Palmdale).

Both: Once on the 14, take the FIRST exit, which is Newhall Avenue. The exit ramp splits left and right. Take the right lane and when you get to the stop sign, turn right. That will take you into the Park and Ride, where you will park. Parking is free here and if it is full, go through the gate at the end/ left into an adjacent parking lot down the hill.  We will meet at the green gate between the Park and Ride and this parking lot.

Meet:    At the Park and Ride at the end of Newhall Avenue, just east of the SR-14 freeway at 8:00AM for an 8:15AM SHARP departure.  Please be prompt!

Bring:  A minimum of 2 liters water, preferably 3 including 1 liter of electrolytes, lunch/snacks, hiking poles if you have them, hat and Sunscreen and wear good boots with lots of tread.

Adventure Pass:  Not needed

Dogs: OK, if on a leash and well behaved around other dogs and people with poles.

Leader: Dianne

Saturday 24 June 2017 – Dawson Saddle to the summit of Mount Baden Powell

Distance/ Gain:  9 1/2 miles; 2,000′ gain, Out and Back style

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 through an open forest of Jeffrey pine, white fir and lodgepole pine enjoying panoramic views and crisp high mountain air all the way.  First we arrive at the base of Throop Peak (9138′), before joining the Pacific Crest Trail. Then it is onward to Mt. Baden-Powell (9400′) where we will stop for lunch, a little R&R and enjoy some amazing views.

After lunch, we will hike back the same way to Dawson Saddle.

Carpool Meeting Spot  – in NORTH Santa Clarita Valley (SCV):  !!!! DO NOT GO TO TOWSLEY CANYON (our usual spot)!!!     If you would like to car pool from SCV, meet at the Sand Canyon / Soledad Canyon Road junction strip mall parking area, off the 14 Hwy, at the Starbucks (by the Vons Supermarket) at 6:30AM for a 6:45AM SHARP departure to the trailhead.  Final carpool content arrangements will be made there, at that time.

Directions to Trailhead:  (Use these, do not use Google maps unless you want to get lost on backroads)

From Pasadena/Sylmar –  Take 210 Freeway to 2 Angeles Crest Hwy.  Once on the 2, it is 45.9 miles and about 90 mins to the Dawson Saddle Parking turnout. It will be on your left on a wide part of the road on a curve. There should be cars parked there. Sorry, no Restrooms here.

From North end of Santa Clarita Valley – Take the 14 Fwy North to the Pearblossom Hwy turn off. Go 22.6 miles East on 138 through Littlerock and Pearblossom until you pass 195th St E and see Largo Vista Rd (N4) on the right. Make a right turn and continue all the way on Largo Vista up toward the mountains until you come to the first stop sign at Big Pines Road, and make a hard left. Continue on curvy Big Pines Rd about 7 miles until the next stop sign which is at Hwy 2 – Angeles Crest Hwy. Turn hard RIGHT, passing Vincent Gap (at 5 miles) until you have gone 10.4 miles West. You are now at the Dawson Saddle turnout  (a wide part of the road on a curve, there should be cars parked on the right).  Sorry, no Restrooms here.

Meeting your leader at trailhead:   We will meet at Dawson Saddle at 8:30AM for an 8:45AM departure up the trail.

Bring:  Lots of water (3+ L), Electrolytes like Gatorade, a hat, sunscreen, a lunch/ snack and hiking poles.   Watch the weather forecast, but it is always a good idea to pack another layer (in case it gets cold up there above 9000′ ).  Good shoes with tread are a must – no flip flops or tennis shoes please!

Adventure Pass: No.

Dogs: OK, if on a leash and well-behaved with other dogs / people carrying poles.  If you bring your dog, please drive yourself.  We do not recommend bringing our doggie friends if weather forecast says it will be HOT.

Leader:  Jim Hazard



Camping April 6-9: at the Mojave Preserve. Get INFO Here!