Sat­ur­day, May 2 — Upper Dev­ils Canyon and Water­fall 

1) Dis­tance:  6 Miles Round trip to Dev­ils Canyon Campsite

Gain: 1400′  

Hik­ing Time:  3–4 hours 

Dif­fi­culty: Mod­er­ate (for gain)

1 + 2) Dis­tance: 10 miles Round trip to Camp­site and on to Waterfall

Gain: 2100′

Hik­ing Time:  6–7 hours

Dif­fi­culty: Mod­er­ate ++ (for gain and distance)

Descrip­tion: 

As you stand at the trail­head and look down into Devil’s Canyon there is no clue of the clear, cas­cad­ing stream and the cool, shady envi­ron­ment hid­den in the crease of the canyon, 2000′ below.  The trail is a 3 mile sin­gle track to the camp­site and then a 2 mile foot­path to the water­fall. Get­ting down to the bot­tom isn’t bad at all, but remem­ber what goes down must climb out!

The trail zigzag­ging descent will take you across slopes clothed in chap­ar­ral and mixed for­est.  We will pass sev­eral trib­u­taries that feed into Dev­ils Canyon’s stream.  Once we are next to the stream the trail comes upon a shaded wilder­ness camp­site, a good place to rest. Going down­stream pass this camp­site we will fol­low a path, with­out inor­di­nate dif­fi­culty for the aver­age hiker, for 2 miles, cross­ing and recross­ing the stream, boulder-hopping, and occa­sional hik­ing through wil­low and brush.  Along the trail we will pass alders and sycamores clus­ter along the stream, while live oaks and big cone Dou­glas firs stand on higher benches and slopes.  At  5 miles we will arrive at a 20′ water­fall where we will enjoy the view, a snack and then return the same way back to the trailhead.  

Meet your Leader:   For those wish­ing to car­pool  we will meet at Towsley Canyon SCV (direc­tions below) at 6:45AM for a 7:00 AM SHARP Departure .

Alter­nately you can meet at the trail­head at 08:15 AM.

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 the Towsley Canyon, Santa Clarita, Car­pool  meet­ing 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. Park OUTSIDE the gate. Look for the hik­ing club mem­bers and leader there.

Direc­tions from Towsley to the Devil’s Canyon Trail­head: Take 5 to 210 East.  Exit Inter­state 210 at Ange­les Crest High­way in La Canada-Flintridge.  Drive 25 miles north and east to the Dev­ils Canyon Trail­head on the right that is just south of the Chi­lao Vis­i­tor Cen­ter turnoff.  Park­ing area is across the street from the trailhead. 

Direc­tions from Palm­dale to the Switzer Trail­head: Take the Ange­les For­est Hwy to the inter­sec­tion with the Ange­les Crest Hwy (2), turn left and east until you see the Dev­ils Canyon Trail­head on the right, just south of the Chi­lao Vis­i­tor Cen­ter turnoff.  Park­ing area is across the street from the trailhead.

Dogs:  OK, on leash and if well behaved around peo­ple / other dogs.  If you bring a dog, please drive your­self. Bear in mind that this is a long all day hike.

Adven­ture Pass: Required.

BRING:  Poles, lunch/snacks, boots with good tread, lots of water and elec­trolytes, cam­era, hat and sun­screen.  This is a beau­ti­ful hike but because of the water in could be buggy.  Bring a bug screen and insect repel­lant just in case.

Leader:  Dave

Sat­ur­day, May 9, 2015 — Mal­ibu Grotto & then Sand­stone Peak

NOTE: You can do Hike 1 only, or after you return to the park­ing lot from the Grotto, you can con­tinue on with, or leave the group, for Hike 2 — your choice.

Hike 1:  Grotto

Dis­tance:  7 miles 

Gain:  980 ft

Hik­ing Time:  ~ 4 hours

Rat­ing:  Moderate

Hike will start at the Sand­stone Peak Trail­head park­ing lot on the Canyon View Trail that con­nects with the Grotto Trail. We will tra­verse hill­sides even­tu­ally lead­ing down to the west fork of the Arroyo Sequit. Then it is an uphill return to the park­ing lot start­ing point.

Hike 2:  Sand­stone Peak

Dis­tance:  2  1/2 miles

Gain:  1081 ft

Hik­ing Time:  ~ 3 hours

Rat­ing:  Moderate +

Hike starts again at the Sand­stone Peak Trail­head park­ing lot and takes in views of the Conejo and San Fer­nando Val­leys, as well as the Pacific Coast.  Sand­stone Peak is the high­est peak in the Santa Mon­ica Moun­tains at 3111 feet.

Meet your Leader at Towsley Canyon to Car­pool, or at the Trailhead. 

Car­pool­ing from Santa Clarita Valley:

Meet 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 at the Sand­stone Peak trail­head park­ing lot at 08:00 AM, for an 08:15 AM SHARP departure.

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 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 park OUTSIDE the gate. Look for club mem­bers and leader here.

Direc­tions to Sand­stone Peak Trail­head Park­ing Lot:

From Santa Clarita take the I-5 South and merge onto I-405 S, merge onto US-101 N, Take exit 36 toward Kanan Rd, Turn left onto Kanan Rd 6.2 mi, Turn right onto Mul­hol­land Hwy 1mi, Con­tinue on Enci­nal Canyon Rd 3.4 mi, Turn right onto Lechusa Rd .1 mi, Turn right onto Decker Canyon Rd (CA-23) .8 mi,Turn left onto Mul­hol­land Hwy .4 mi, turn right onto Lit­tle Sycamore Canyon Rd 1.5 mi, turn slightly left onto Yerba Buena Rd 3.1 mi.  Look for the park­ing lot on the right side.

BRING: Hik­ing poles, if you have them, an extra layer in case it gets hot/cold, lunch/snack, elec­trolytes, a cam­era, hat and sun­screen.  2L of Water for Hike 1 (Grotto), and 2L for Hike 2 (Sand­stone Peak).

Adven­ture Pass: Not required, park­ing is free

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

Leader: George


Sat­ur­day, May 16 — Switzer Falls to Brown Mountain

Descrip­tion: 

This moun­tain is named after the mid-19th Amer­i­can abo­li­tion­ist, John Brown. It seems that his two sons lived near the head of El Pri­eto Canyon in the 1880’s and spent a lot of time explor­ing the front range. To honor dad, the sons named the moun­tain after him.

The hike starts at Switzer Pic­nic Area and fol­lows a beau­ti­ful stream pass Switzer Falls into the Arroyo Seco.  Once inside the canyon the stream has mir­ror like pools, cas­cades, and small water­falls. Our trail branches off at rugged Bear Canyon.  In 2.5 miles we will arrive at Bear Canyon trail camp.  The next 1/2 — 3/4 miles will be with­out a trail as we fol­low the creek up the canyon.  The under­brush can be thick but it is pass­able.  The trail picks up again as we head out of Bear Canyon to Tom Sloane Sad­dle.  From the Sad­dle we will fol­low the path up the ridge­line 1/2 — 3/4 mile to the top of Brown Mt

The views are great — look­ing north, beyond Bear Creek, your eye catches the dis­tinc­tive shape of Straw­berry Peak and Josephine Peak to its left. To the east are San Gabriel Peak, Mt. Markham and Mt. Lowe. To the west is the mag­nif­i­cent chasm that is the Arroyo Seco and across Ange­les Crest High­way, you can make out the anten­nas of Mt. Lukens in the dis­tance. To the south is Mil­lard Canyon and beyond that, a usu­ally hazy view down into the San Gabriel Val­ley metropolis.

From Brown Mtn. we will return to the Switzer Pic­nic Area. 

Meet:   For those wish­ing to car­pool  we will meet at Towsley Canyon SCV between 6:45 — 7:00 AM or meet at the trail­head at 08:15 AM.)

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 the Towsley Car­pool meet­ing 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. Park OUTSIDE the gate. Look for the hik­ing club mem­bers and leader there.

Direc­tions from Towsley to the Switzer Trail­head: Take 5 to 210 East.  From I-210 in La Canada, take High­way 2 north and drive 10 miles to the Switzer Pic­nic area, which will be on the right. Descend to the park­ing area out­side the camp­ground. You will see a foot bridge over the stream, lead­ing to the trail head. (Lat:34.2663 Lon:118.1336)

Direc­tions from Palm­dale to the Switzer Trail­head: Take the Ange­les For­est Hwy to the inter­sec­tion with the Ange­les Crest Hwy (2), turn left and you will see the road to the park­ing lot on the right side less than 1/2 mile after the inter­sec­tion. Descend to the park­ing area out­side the camp­ground. You will see a foot bridge over the stream, lead­ing to the trail head. (Lat:34.2663 Lon:118.1336)

Dogs:  OK, on leash and if well behaved around peo­ple / other dogs.  If you bring a dog, please drive your­self. Bear in mind that this is a long all day hike.

Adven­ture Pass: Required.

BRING:  Poles, lunch/snacks, boots with good tread, lots of water and elec­trolytes, cam­era, hat and sunscreen.

Rated: Stren­u­ous — an all day hike.

Hike Length and Ele­va­tion Gain:  13–14 miles round trip with 2500–3000’ ele­va­tion gain.  Plan on 7–8 hours of hiking.

Leader:  Dave


Sat­ur­day 23 May, 2015 — MEMORIAL W’END INTERPRETIVE HIKE TO THE ST. FRANCIS DAM DISASTER SITE, fol­lowed by a 6 Mile Hike

Dis­tance:  < 1 mile (RT) Inter­pre­tive walk / visit to dam site;  +  6 Mile Hike (Optional)

Gain:   500′

Time: 1.5 hour Inter­pre­tive walk/ visit to dam site ;  + 3 hour Hike (Optional)

Dif­fi­culty:  Easy — Inter­pre­tive walk/ visit to dam;  Easy ++ — if adding optional hike (some gain and more distance)

Descrip­tion: 

At two and a half min­utes before mid­night, on March 12, 1928, William Mulholland’s St. Fran­cis Dam crum­bled, send­ing an immense wall of water crash­ing down San Fran­cis­quito Canyon, turn­ing west at the Santa Clara River. It did not stop until it reached the Pacific Ocean five and a half hours later. Towns across Los Ange­les and Ven­tura Coun­ties — Saugus, Cas­taic, Piru, Fill­more, Santa Paula, Sati­coy, Mon­talvo — were dec­i­mated.  600 Men, women, chil­dren — cit­i­zens, immi­grants, landown­ers, labor­ers lost their lives .…. the flood­wa­ters did not discriminate.

The col­lapse of the St. Fran­cis Dam is con­sid­ered to be one of the worst Amer­i­can civil engi­neer­ing dis­as­ters of the 20th cen­tury and remains the second-greatest loss of life in California’s his­tory, after the 1906 San Fran­cisco Earth­quake and fire.

Inter­pre­tive Walk:

We will begin our day at 8:15AM at Cal­i­for­nia His­tor­i­cal Land­mark# 919, located on the grounds of Pow­er­house No. 2 . 

CHC Board Mem­ber and SCV His­tor­i­cal Soci­ety Chair, Dr. Alan Pol­lack, will share his in-depth knowl­edge of the cir­cum­stances and events sur­round­ing the disaster.

Alan will review the man­age­ment of LA water sup­ply at that time and the role the St Fran­cis Dam was intended to play.  We will then drive up St. Fran­cis­quito Cyn Road and park again before walk­ing to the dam site.  At the dam site, Alan will point out the parts of the dam that are still vis­i­ble and recount the events of that ill-fated night and the after­math that met cit­i­zens of SCV as the sun rose the fol­low­ing morning.

Alan will con­clude his talk by 10:00AM and head back to the cars.  Any­one who does not to wish to hike with Steve can leave at this time.   

Addi­tional Hike Option:

Steve will lead the remain­der of the group on a loop hike North, cross­ing the new road before head­ing uphill and West on the old San Fran­cisc­ito Motor­way.   High above San Fran­cis­quito Canyon, we will be able to see the dam ruins again and where the orig­i­nal reser­voir water level had been above the dam.  We will con­tinue South along the ridge, pass­ing large rock out­crop­pings, enjoy­ing views and some wild­flow­ers.  We will return down For­est Route 5N16 to Pow­er­house #2 and back along the old San Fran­cis­quito Cyn road along the river and back to our cars .

Meet your Leader:  For this hike we rec­om­mend you go straight to the Meet­ing place.  We will meet in front of Pow­er­house #2, San Fran­cis­quito Road at 8:00AM and start the pro­gram here at 08:15 AM SHARP).  Note, we will move up the road after this por­tion to be closer to the dam.

Direc­tions to the San Fran­cis­quito Canyon start­ing point:

Head­ing North on the I-5 South, through Santa Clarita Val­ley, exit­ing right at Route 126 East, Newhall Ranch Road. Turn left at the sec­ond light (with the Wal­mart on the left ) onto Cop­per Hill Drive.  Con­tinue 2.8 miles on Cop­per Hill to the light at San Fran­cis­quito Canyon (crest of hill), turn left and con­tinue on San Fran­cis­quito Canyon (watch for road bik­ers).  After 6 miles, you will see the DW&P Powerhouse#2 on the right on a bend.  Park any­where on the side of the road in this area (we will move our cars in < 30 mins).

Dogs:  OK, must be on a leash and if well behaved around other dogs and peo­ple with hik­ing poles.  If we car­pool and you bring a dog, please drive your­self to the trailhead. 

Adven­ture Pass: No.

BRING:  A snack, at least 2 L of water and some elec­trolytes (if hik­ing), cam­era, hat and sun­screen.  Wear hik­ing shoes/boots with good tread — No flip-flops!

Lead­ers:  Alan Pol­lack and Steve i.


Sat­ur­day 30 May, 2015 — “HIKE BEYOND NOWHERE” — East Fork of the San Gabriel River to Iron Fork Creek 

Dis­tance:  12 Miles

Gain: 1200′  

Dura­tion: This will be an all day hike, due to dis­tance and com­mute time

Difficulty/ Clas­si­fi­ca­tion: Mod­er­ate+, some boul­der hop­ping, wet feet, with a touch of adventure

Descrip­tion:  

There is a lot of his­tory in this canyon but the scenery is mon­u­men­tal, on a scale seen nowhere else in the San Gabriels.  The gorge of the East Fork cuts deep into the east­ern high coun­try, sep­a­rat­ing such giants of the range as Mt. Baden-Powell and Old Baldy.  We will pass Swan Rock, a tow­er­ing wall west of the river with the out­line of a giant swan etched in gray.  As we hike past the “Bridge to Nowhere”  we will watch bungee jumpers jump off the bridge. 

After we cross the bridge, the trail becomes nar­row and drops into “The Nar­rows”.  Some think this is the most impres­sive gorge in the Ange­les.  Just above the tumul­tuous river but across the canyon, is Nar­rows Trail Camp.  We will hike 1 mile upstream, through the creek at some loca­tions, on the side of moun­tains other times, to Iron Fork creek. 

Note: For the last 1/2 mile we will be hik­ing in the stream, about 1′ deep and there are many loca­tions were we will need to boul­der hop across the stream. Hik­ing poles will really help here.  There is a good chance your shoes will get wet.  We sug­gest you bring dry socks and shoes to change into for your ride home or alter­na­tively you can pack some water-hiking shoes and change in/out of them. We will stop for lunch at Iron Fork Creek before head­ing back the way we came in.

Meet your Leader:   For those wish­ing to car­pool  we will meet at Towsley Canyon SCV (direc­tions below) at 6:00AM for a 6:15 AM SHARP Departure.

Alter­nately you can meet at the trail­head at 07:15 AM for a 7:30AM SHARP departure.

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 the Towsley Canyon, Santa Clarita, Car­pool  meet­ing 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. Park OUTSIDE the gate. Look for the hik­ing club mem­bers and leader there.

Direc­tions from Towsley to the Trailhead:

Take the 210 free­way and exit on off ramp #40 at Azusa Blvd/Highway 39.  Watch for it as it is easy to miss!!  Turn towards the moun­tains.  After you drive through down­town Azusa the street name changes to San Gabriel Canyon Road.  After about 10 miles, turn right on East Fork Road.  Drive 8 miles to the end of the road. 

!!!!Beware, before the trail­head, the road makes a U-Turn and in the mid­dle of the turn, the road that you need to take goes off to the left.  (Dur­ing the U-Turn the street name changes from North Fork Road to Glen­dora Moun­tain Road but there are no street signs.  The road to the trail­head con­tin­ues on North Fork Road.  You need to turn left in the mid­dle of the U-turn to stay on the same road).  This all hap­pens in 50′ of space.  In the past we have had hik­ers miss this turn to the trail­head and get lost, so be alert!  We turn dur­ing the U-turn going in but going out we go straight).

The park­ing lot fills up fast, so there is a good chance you will need to park on the side of the road and walk to the trail­head.  Be sure you park cor­rectly as the rangers love to ticket cars at this location. 

Dogs:  OK, on leash and if well behaved around peo­ple with hik­ing poles/ other dogs.  If you bring a dog, please drive your­self to the trail­head. Bear in mind that there will be water cross­ings and this is a long all day hike for Fido.

Adven­ture Pass: Required.

BRING:  Hik­ing Poles, lunch/snacks, boots with good tread, lots of water and elec­trolytes, cam­era, hat and sun­screen. This is a great hike but because of the water it could be buggy.  Pack a bug screen for your face ($4 at Wal­mart) and insect repel­lant just in case.

Leader:  Dave