Hikes in August
***** Rain or extreme heat cancels all hikes*****
Pacific Crest Trail to Martindale Ridge — Views of Sierra Pelona, Mojave etc.
Hike part of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) South to Martindale Ridge and enjoy views of the Sierra Pelona/ Aqua Dulce/ Mojave/ Lancaster etc.
DISTANCE: ~ 6.5 Miles, Round trip, Out and Back style
GAIN: 1300’ Approx.
DURATION OF HIKE: 3.0 hours including a 20 minute break
RATING: Moderate + , for gain
DESCRIPTION: This hike is another one of our local favorites, close to suburbia but feels miles away. The hike is entirely on the well maintained Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), that goes from Mexico to Canada. We will start at 3320’ and enjoy mainly a gentle gain that PCT is known for, climbing through luscious chaparral of manzanita, mountain mahogany and oak. There will be a few short steeper sections.
Along the way, we hope to enjoy views of the Bouquet Reservoir, and Jupiter and Grass Mountains. We will visit Bear Spring and eventually emerge on Martindale Ridge at 4500’, after 3.2 miles. From here, if it is clear, we take in views in all directions (i.e. Mojavi, Lancaster and the Sierra Pelona area (Aqua Dulce/ Acton etc.) spread out below. After a quick snack, we head back down the PCT for a total of 6.5 miles.
MEET: At Trailhead at 7:30AM, to start heading up the trail at 7:45AM SHARP. See directions below
DIRECTIONS to trailhead: Address = 37862 Bouquet Canyon Road, Santa Clarita, CA. (Google : 34.583655, ‑118.321585 is best)
About 35 minutes up Bouquet Canyon from Santa Clarita.
From the I‑5 Freeway, heading North (toward Castaic):
Exit at Newhall Ranch Road (Route 126). After heading up the off ramp, turn East (right) along Newhall Ranch Road, toward Valencia. Go 4.4 miles on the Newhall Ranch to the intersection with Bouquet Canyon.
Turn left at the Bouquet Cyn./ Newhall Ranch light and drive 17 miles up Bouquet Canyon until you see Bouquet Reservoir on the left, followed shortly by Spunky Canyon Road on the left also. Stay on Bouquet Canyon. Drive another 2.2 miles and park at a large turnout on the right (with Pacific Crest Trail markers on either side of the road).
From Antelope Valley/ North of Santa Clarita:
If you are driving from Lancaster, take Elizabeth Lake Road to Bouquet Canyon Road (just before Leona Valley). Turn left and drive 4.3 miles on Bouquet until you see a large turnout on the left (with Pacific Crest Trail markers on either side of the road).
BRING: Hiking Poles, lunch/snacks, at least 2L of water with 1L electrolytes, camera, hat and SUNSCREEN, hiking shoes/boots with good tread.
Adventure Pass / Bathrooms: Pass is not required; no bathrooms at Trailhead, plan accordingly.
Dogs: OK, on leash and if well behaved around people / other dogs. If you bring a dog, please drive yourself.
Local Beginners/ Easy Hike — Whitney Canyon to the Cascades
Local Beginner’s / Easy Hike!! Whitney Canyon to the cascades
Distance: ~ 4.5 miles total, out and back.
Gain: Almost none
Rated: Easy, suitable for beginners and families.
Time: About 2.5 hours
Description: (GPS Co-ords: 34.364404, ‑118.500829 )
A beautiful mostly flat 4.5 mile hike, along a river bed with shady oak trees along most of the route. This is such a pleasant and easy “out and back” hike that you do not have to leave the kids or dog at home either.
Your hike starts along a dirt road, but after about a half mile, becomes a single track — all the way to the “Cascades” — the site of a nice little waterfall (not flowing at this time of year). Expect to see squirrels, deer, woodpeckers and other birds that like this riparian habitat. We’ve also once seen a black bear!
Bring: This hike is short but you might like to bring a small snack to eat at the waterfall or along the way, water (~1 liter), sun protection/hat.
Dogs: Allowed, if on a leash and well-behaved around other dogs and people. (The MRCA fine, if your dog is caught off-leash is $265.)
Meeting place: Meet at the Whitney Canyon trailhead (by the gate, GPS Co-ords: 34.364404, ‑118.500829 ) at 7:15 AM for an 7:30AM SHARP departure down the trail. We should be back by about 9:30AM before the day heats up.
Directions: From Valencia, take the I‑5 Freeway south ; from San Fernando Valley, take 1–5 freeway North. Get on the SR-14 North and be ready to take the first Exit — Newhall Avenue. Take a right at the fork on the off-ramp. and when you reach the stop sign, turn right. This will lead you quickly into the Park and Ride that is adjacent to SR-14. Parking is FREE. Park in the dirt lot to the left of the asphalt Park and Ride.
NOTE: Park in the dirt/gravel overflow lot below to the left of the park and ride. Look for your leader by the gate in the gravel/dirt lot, bottom right side. This is the trail head for Whitney Canyon.
La Jolla Cyn Trailhead/ Ray Miller Backbone/ Overlook Trail to La Jolla Camp
Please read the full Description below CAREFULLY so you are aware of all meeting time/ location/ directions, details etc. THX
Saturday August 27 — La Jolla Cyn Trailhead/ Ray Miller Backbone Trail / Overlook Trail to La Jolla Valley Trail Camp
TIME(s): Meet at Trailhead (at the back of the parking lot) at 7:45 AM to start hiking at 8:00 AM sharp, details below. Note: Drive time from SCV is ~1 hour 15mins.
DISTANCE: ~ 10.4 mile Round Trip total, out and back style
GAIN/ LOSS: ~ 1580’ total (1000’ in the first 2.7 miles)
RATING: Moderate ++ (NOTE: this is NOT a beginners hike, the rating is due to longer distance and 1000’ gain early in hike). You need to be hiking regularly to enjoy this hike.
HIKE DURATION: ~ 4.5 hours hike + 0.5 hour snack time
Hike should end by ~ 1:00 PM, back in SCV 2:45PM
TRAIL HEAD: Meet your leader at the Ray Miller Trailhead (rear of parking lot) in La Jolla Canyon Parking lot (Google coordinates 34.0837567, ‑119.0358925). Entrance to Parking Lot is across from La Jolla beach:
DESCRIPTION: We start at sea level at the back of the La Jolla Canyon Group Camping Parking Area to head up the Ray Miller Backbone Trail. The trail winds back and forth across the hillside providing spectacular views of Pacific Coast Highway and the Pacific Ocean. We climb almost 1000’ in the first 2.7 miles then it levels off for 1.9 miles as we traverse the ridge, joining the Overlook trail, revealing great views into Sycamore Canyon and the Boney Mountain range off to the South East. The final 0.7 miles is a gradual descent along the Loop trail into the valley below, turning into the La Jolla Valley walk-in campground. Here we take a break and grab a snack before our return to the trailhead along the same route.
DIRECTIONS: from Santa Clarita to the La Jolla Canyon trailhead:
Take Newhall Ranch road West until you go over the 5 Freeway and becomes CA-126, heading West toward Ventura.
Follow CA-126 W, 34.4 miles, then use 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 along the coast.
Stay on PCH, passing Point Mugu Naval base on the right, beside the ocean. After passing the big Point Mugu Rock, La Jolla Canyon parking entrance is 1.4 miles further, on the left. Be alert, 1/4 mile sooner and watch traffic as you turn in.
PARKING: There are 2 options — park in the La Jolla Canyon Parking lot and pay a $12/ day fee with a credit card to a machine in the lot. Alternatively, you may be able to find free parking out on the PCH, on either side of the entrance (!! obey signs and park behind arrows/ inside whiteline, or risk a hefty ticket!!).
BRING: Hiking boots with good tread, Poles if you have them, lunch/ snacks, at least 2 — 3 liters of water plus some electrolytes, SUN SCREEN/ lip balm.
BATHROOMS/ ADVENTURE PASS: There are bathrooms at the campground / trailhead. Pass not required. PARKING OUTSIDE THE GATE IS FREE. PARKING INSIDE IS $12.
DOG(s): Sorry, dogs are not allowed on this trail (I don’t make up the rules).
Leader: Chris Stratford