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Upcoming Adventures

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  • 24 Feb 2017 6:32 AM | Anonymous
    ***NOTE THE 10:00AM START TIME***



    John Muir once described Eaton Canyon Waterfall as "a charming little thing, with a low, sweet voice, singing like a bird, as it pours from a notch in a short ledge, some thirty or forty feet into a round mirror-pool."

    Its a lot of fun up there right now because more water is flowing in the river than has for many years.  This is the year for us to see our famous local waterfalls.

    This is a fun hike and pretty easy until the last 1/2 mile.  That last 1/2 mile to the waterfall has many river crossings.  It is conceivably possible to keep your feet dry throughout all these crossings, but don't count on it.  You will be happiest and maybe even safest if you just plan to get your feet wet (don't wear cotton socks, they'll be very uncomfortable) and bring a spare pair of dry shoes to put on after the hike.  Also, wear capri pants or shorts or you could end up with soggy bottom pants.  This is a good time to bring poles if you use them.

    After the hike we can all meet at Frida Taco's for lunch nearby on Colorado Blvd. which, incidentally, is also Historic Route 66.
    Frida Tacos
    1731 E Colorado Blvd
    East Pasadena, CA 91106
    (626)666-6966
    fridatacos.com
    There is a parking lot behind the restaurant.

    Approximate Distance: 4 miles
    Approximate Time: 2 hours
    Difficulty: Moderate

    Where to meet:
    Eaton Canyon Nature Center
    1750 N Altadena Dr
    Pasadena, CA 91107
    We will meet in front of the Nature Center

    Remember to bring:
    one liter of water, snacks, lunch, sunscreen, sun hat and/or parasol, athletic shoes with prominent tread or hiking boots, personal medications, handful of toilet tissue, small plastic sack for garbage, and sunglasses.


  • 23 Feb 2017 7:39 PM | Anonymous


    The Backbone Trail is a 70 mile continuous wilderness trail that traverses the "backbone" of the Santa Monica Mountains from Thornhill Broome Beach in the west to Will Rogers State Historic Park in the East.  


    To build a continuous wilderness trail of this length through such a densely populated region is an astounding accomplishment that represents 50 years of effort by the State and National Parks Services, the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, and countless other agencies and volunteers.


    Distance Approx: 7.5 miles 

    Approximate hiking time: 4 hrs
    Difficulty: Moderate


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  • 14 Feb 2017 7:19 AM | Anonymous
    *Each car will need to display the $5 Adventure Pass. You can purchase yours at one of the vendors at this link: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/r5/passes-permits/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5208699&width=full
    Big 5, Adventure 16, REI sell these passes.
    YOU CAN'T PURCHASE AN ADVENTURE PASS ON SITE. YOU MUST PURCHASE IN ADVANCE 



    Sturtevant Falls is rumored to be flowing strongly right now and really gorgeous.  Let's go check it out.  We will also hike through a neighborhood of wilderness vacation cabins built in the 1920's and earlier that line a flowing stream.  We will also loop through Hoegee creekside wilderness camp.  It will be a beautiful forested hike in the San Gabriel Mountains.

    A bit about what we will see:

    The mid-1800's saw a fad for backcountry hiking and camping in the San Gabriels. Hikers in the San Gabriels featured such notables as John Muir himself. Some enterprising outdoorsmen capitalized on adventure seeking tourists by building and maintaining resorts, trail camps, and roadhouses throughout the San Gabriel Mountains. Remnants of that era survive today, mostly in the form of backcountry trail camps that are available on a first-come first-served basis, at no charge, to backpackers.

    "Santa Anita Canyon meanders past historic stone and wood cottages built in the early 1900s; huge granite boulders; stacked, log-shaped concrete dams that form 20-fot cascades; and rock-scoured pools.  At the upper end of this loop hike, the trail passes through Hoagies Camp, a deep, wooded trail camp on the south bank of the creek.  It is named for Arie Hoegee, who built and operated a resort camp at the site from 1908 to 1938. The resort buildings were ruined in the floods of 1938 and burned during the Monrovia Peak Fire of 1953." from "Day Hikes Around Los Angeles" by Robert Stone.

    *Each car will need to display the $5 Adventure Pass. You can purchase yours at one of the vendors at this link: http://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/r5/passes-permits/recreation/?cid=stelprdb5208699&width=full

    Approximate Distance: 6 miles
    Approximate Time: 3 hours
    Difficulty: Moderate


  • 11 Feb 2017 8:48 AM | Anonymous




    Santa Susanna State Historic Park  is a desert like environment that used to be a water wonderland.   Many creeks run through the park, there are waterfalls, and there are many of water and wind caves. Wide variety of animals and plants used to thrive in the park and there was a big Chumash settlement there.  When the railroad built the tunnel that runs under Santa Susanna pass they punctured the aquifer and drained the water table from the park.  To this day they have to pump water out of the tunnel to keep it dry. Lots of movies were filmed at the park after it dried up because it has a classic "Old West "atmosphere. 

    Another fun fact is that Charles Manson and his "family "lived for a time at Spahn Ranch that lies along the north border of the park. The park is littered with abandon cars that are rumored to have been stolen and abandoned by the Manson family. 



     We will hike along El Camino on the weather, the road over the past before the 118 freeway was built, We will look down the hill at Spahn Ranch, we will see one of Manson's abandoned cars, caves, a native rock shelter and grinding hole, a waterfall, and hike over the Old Stagecoach Road aka "The Devil's Slide". 


     A little about the old stagecoach Road:  
     The Stage Road was very steep and the trail still shows scars from wheel skids and devices that were drilled into stone to help winch wagons over the pass. The Devil's Slide was the steepest portion of the pass where huge stairs were chopped into the rock for horses to climb. From atop the Santa Susana Pass one can see the railroad tunnel, completed in 1904, which rendered the stage road a less efficient secondary option.

    Trail Difficulty: Strenuous (a good hike for poles if you use them)
    Approximate Distance: 6.26 miles
    Approximate time: 3 hours 


  • 06 Feb 2017 2:32 PM | Anonymous


    Channeling the spirit of the Cold War, in 1962 Nike missile radar officials claimed, "Whatever tomorrow brings... Nike will be watching, always ready."  Where they were ready and watching from is now called San Vicente Mountain Park, a 1,950 ft peak above Encino that is part of a 20,000 acre urban wilderness area called Big Wild.


    Incidentally the Nike Missile Project had nothing to do with the running shoe brand the name calls to mind. Project Nike was a function of the U.S. Army, so named for the Greek word for "Victory". Nike missiles were anti-aircraft weapons produced during the Cold War. Our Brentwood/Encino Nike Missile Control Site was in use from 1950's until the late '60s.




    We will begin our hike on a unique, unpaved portion of Mulholland Drive that locals affectionately call "Dirt Mulholland".  We will walk through the former NIKE Missile Control Site and descend from San Vicente Mountain Park into Mandeville Canyon. We will then ascend out of the canyon through Westridge Canyonback Wilderness Park to close a 5 mile loop.  


    Distance: Approx. 5 miles
    Difficulty: Moderate
    Hiking time: Approx. 2 1/2 hours

  • 27 Jan 2017 9:44 PM | Anonymous
    So you think that the California Gold Rush began in 1849 at Sutter's Mill, do you? Well, surprise! That is only what the United States history books say. According to Mexican history the California gold rush began in 1842 when California was still a territory of Mexico. And that first gold rush was in Placerita Canyon near Newhall. 

    As the legend goes Francisco Lopez was a herdsman. He took a siesta beneath an oak tree and dreamed of discovering gold and becoming wealthy. After awaking he began picking wild onions to prepare a meal. Clinging to the roots of the onion was gold dust.  Thus began the first California gold rush, right there beneath the "Oak of the Golden Dream" in Placerita Canyon State Park.  The 1842 gold rush lasted for 6 years and yielded 125 lbs of gold from the local rocks and stream. 

    We will hike out and back through a picturesque, narrow canyon formed, in part, by hydraulic mining. Our destination will be the Waterfall via Walker Ranch, the former site of cottages hand built by the area's 20th century settler of the canyon, Frank Walker.  The area is now a group campground. One of Walker's cabins is on display near the entrance to Placerita Canyon State Park.  It was the filming location of the television series "Hopalong Cassidy". 

    The intended hike is a fairly easy 5.5 miles and the weather forecast seems to be favorable for a "desert gateway" adventure.

    Save a little time after to peek in the windows of the Walker Cabin back at the entrance to the park, and walk a short trail along the creek in the opposite direction of our hike to see "The Oak of the Golden Dream".   

    Distance: 5.5 miles out and back

    Approximate hiking time: 2.5-3 hrs
    Difficulty: Easy/Moderate


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  • 22 Jan 2017 2:50 PM | Anonymous



    The original Los Angeles Zoo was opened in 1912 and remained in operation until 1966.  It was built on the land Griffith J Griffith had used as an ostrich farm.  When the new zoo was built, 2 miles away, the old zoo was abandoned for a more humane approach to animal captivity.  A walk through the old zoo makes one reminisce of reading Dick and Jane books. One thinks of young clean cut children in saddle shoes walking hand-in-hand past bear cages holding red balloons and ice cream cones.  Since the new zoo is certainly a better steward of animal welfare, the old zoo can be appreciated with nostalgia for an earlier American era.


    We will begin our hike at the historic wooden carousel, built in 1926. We will hike through the old zoo then through one of the driest most historically fire scorched portions of Griffith Park to end up at the oasis of Amir's Garden.


    Amir's Garden was the life's work of immigrant Amir Dialameh, who spent almost every day of 30 years planting and tending a terraced garden on the sun bleached terrain.  


    Difficulty: Moderate

    Distance: 6 miles total 

    Out & Back Hike

    Approximate time: 3 hours (depending on how long we stop to sight-see)


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  • 22 Jan 2017 2:44 PM | Anonymous

    It was suggested that we hike up to Nicholas Flat after this weekend's rain to see if there is any water in the dry lake.  What a great idea! Weather should cooperate Tuesday morning and leave us nice and dry for a hike in the Santa Monica Mountains. (Bring a rain jacket just in case though.) Let's do it!




    We will explore the mountaintop Chumash village territory at Nicholas Flat with a beautiful walk through oak groves, around a dry lake, and along the ridge to epic ocean views.  In the words of one of the park rangers, "Basically the whole place is a Chumash archaeological site."  Plus, it is tremendously beautiful.




    There will be two hiking options available depending on your ability level.  We will start with an easy 2.5 mile loop around Nicholas Flat that will become a 6.5 mile lollipop out along Nicholas Ridge to a 360 degree panorama of the Pacific Ocean and the Santa Monica Mountains.  Also, from the ridge you can see the Wishtoyo Chumash Village far below at the seashore.  It is a Chumash village reconstruction for the purposes of cultural preservation and education, built on a prehistoric Chumash village site. You will be able to see what Nicholas Flat village looked like hundreds of years ago. 


    Easy Option: Approx 2.5 Miles

    Moderate Option: Approx 6.5 Miles 

    6 Mile Hiking Time: Approx 3 hrs

    Difficulty: Easy to Strenuous (depending on option you choose)


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  • 16 Jan 2017 1:00 PM | Anonymous


    Always a favorite, it has been requested that we hike the Ray Miller Trail which is a wonderful trail for views of the ocean and panoramic vistas of grassy meadows, canyons and mountains.  The distant hills are so picturesque that they look pretend, like painted backdrops.

    Approximate Distance: 5.4 miles Out and Back
    Approximate Time: 2.5 hours
    Difficulty: Moderate


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  • 16 Jan 2017 12:54 PM | Anonymous

    "Explore the otherworldly rock formations that adorn the hillsides below Rocky Peak with this engaging yet challenging hike. Gaining 1,000 feet of elevation in just over 2 miles the difficulty is overshadowed by the geological wonders you will be eager to investigate along the way."
    ~ Best Easy Day Hikes San Fernando Valley




    We will begin the hike with a butt-blasting climb through a fascinating landscape of boulders, caves and rock features. A bonus fun feature of the Hummingbird Trail is the namesake hummingbirds who will hopefully make an appearance. The trail ascends a rock field that is fascinating to climb.  There are many rock caves to duck into for shady breaks on hot days.  And the view of Simi Valley is pretty spectacular.  

    This is a challenging hike because it is pretty much straight up then straight down again.  The "straight up" part really gets the blood flowing, but the "down" is a relief and still fun because the trail is so lively with rocks. Yes, the 1,000 ft elevation gain sounds intimidating, but we can stop often to enjoy the caves. You can do it!  


     Most of this trail is exposed so be prepared with proper sun protection and lots of water (2 liters is recommended).




    Distance:  4.6 miles (out and back)

    Approximate hiking time: 3 hours

    Difficulty: Strenuous


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