so this is the first Santa Monica Mtns hike I've done in a LONG time, as when I became a "NE-Sider" I suddenly developed a snobby "I have REAL mountains in MY backyard attitude" and subsequently turned my back a little to the Santa Monica mtns.
Well, the SM mtns are still just as magical as the San Gabriels, and there is definitely scenery which isn't found in the Angeles NF. The whole Circle X ranch part of the SM mtns IMO are some of the most spectacular scenery in these coastal mtns.
Our first main hike will be 6 miles and take no more than 4 hours from start to finish. It will go along the Canyon View trail to the Grotto and waterfall. With finally some decent rain, there should be water flowing. The elevation gain is not too bad, less than 1000 feet one way. However, please if you have doubts whether or not you are in suitable health, I would of course ask that you choose a less strenuous hike. We will be back around 3:00, then for those who want to do a little more hiking (again here you can opt out if you had your fill of hiking), we'll do the out and back to sandstone peak, the highest point in the SM mtns, which will be just over 1,000 feet one way, roundtrip 3 miles.
So: first hike 6 miles roundtrip, 4 hrs.
second hike 3 miles roundtrip 2 hrs.
Total: 9 miles from 11:00 to about 5:00.
You know the drill, please have: plenty of water for six or nine miles, food/snacks, appropriate footwear, sunscreen/hat, basic first aid supplies, charged phone, good attitude, etc.
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