Circle X/Grotto Trail + optional Sandstone Peak

  • March 29, 2014 · 11:00 AM
  • Circle X Ranch


Hi all, 

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.


Please be aware that Assistant Organizers, Event Hosts, and support hikers are volunteers and organize hikes without compensation and assume absolutely no responsibility for you or your guests. By signing up for a hike, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging that you are aware and made your guests aware of the risks, dangers, and hazards associated with any outdoor activity, and you accept, and fully assume all such risks, dangers, and hazards, and further agree to release, and discharge the Organizer, Assistant Organizers, and Event Hosts of Los Angeles Hiking Meetup Group from, and against any, and all liability arising from your and your guest's participation in the group activities. Please see the Meetup terms of service agreement http://www.meetup.com/terms/

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  • chris

    Great Photos Todd

    March 30, 2014

  • Sharon

    Geat hike and nice meeting everyone~ Thx Ranger Bob! :-)

    March 30, 2014

  • chris

    Thanks for the rally Ranger Bob. That 6 miler' is one of the nicer zones of The SM Mountains, and Spring is the time to do it.

    March 30, 2014

  • Dan K

    Was great hike.I went all the way to the end:-)

    March 29, 2014

  • Carmen

    It was a great hike: nice weather, cool people and a caring leader. Thank you, Bob.

    March 29, 2014

  • Doug S

    Thanks Bob! Great hike! I especially like the Sandstone Peak

    March 29, 2014

  • Kim C

    Thanks Bob for a fun hike today! Interesting rocky trail in the first part and then very green second part. Even though there wasn't much water, I really liked the rock scrambling including hanging on to lots of trees / vines near the Grotto. And it was fun meeting fellow hikers and remembering some from other hikes too. :)

    2 · March 29, 2014

  • Efrain

    Awesome hike! Thanx Bob!

    3 · March 29, 2014

  • Gary "The Waterfall G.

    Short but cool canyon hike to the Grottos with a waterless fall because of lack of rainfall in area, Thanks Bob! great group!

    1 · March 29, 2014

  • chris

    FYI, IMOH, from the 101, the least twisty turny, most direct, locals preference route, is this: exit Kanan, South towards the Ocean 8 miles or so. Right on Mulholland for a mile or so, veer left on Encinal. Take Encinal 5,6 miles to a T intersrction stop sign. Go Right on Lechusza, for 200 yards, to a T intersection stop sign. Go right on Decker Road, for a mile. Then go left on Mulholland West, for a mile, to Little Sycamore. Go right. Little Sycamore turns into Yerba Buena. From the PCH, PCH to Yerba Buena (Neptunes's Net) is the no brainer.

    March 28, 2014

    • Rimona

      Thank Chris...driving back home was a smooth ride. Thanks for the directions.

      1 · March 29, 2014

  • Rimona

    Amazing Grotto and hike.

    March 29, 2014

  • Kimanh

    Omg!! My arrival time is not until 11:20. Hope I'm not going to be too late Ranger bob. When I googled it on my computer it was a lot less time driving for some reason. And I shouldn't be texting while I'm driving. Oops

    March 29, 2014

  • Liz K.

    Not feeling to good. See you on the next one. Have fun.

    March 29, 2014

  • Lisa G

    Please let us know how the waterfall is!

    March 29, 2014

  • jose s.

    Something came up last minute, i will join next time

    March 29, 2014

  • Ranger B.

    A few other things to keep in mind: The road there is VERY twisty and turny, so please give yourself extra time. Do not rush on those twists and turns just to get there on time. The group is large, and there will be some slow people in back if you are a few minutes late.

    March 28, 2014

  • Ron

    I'm in Thousand Oaks and driving in case anybody wants to carpool.

    March 28, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry, things come up and I will not be going. Wish everyone a great time!

    March 28, 2014

  • Paulina M.

    Bummed. Won't be able to make it. Hope someone else enjoys my spot. Thanks.

    March 27, 2014

  • Rick N.

    I am a late scratch :(

    March 27, 2014

  • Dan K

    I see lot you say in comments that you are not going.but still RSVP?:-)

    March 27, 2014

  • sondra

    yeah meetup is back up. Anyone want to carpool from SFV?

    March 4, 2014

    • olivia c.

      can I carpool with you? I'll pich in for gas, Reseda /101 freeway, please let me know? thanks.

      March 26, 2014

    • olivia c.

      *pitch in for gas.

      March 26, 2014

  • Jay

    I'm on a different hike. Sorry.

    March 25, 2014

  • Suraiya

    Can't make it :( need to work this Saturday! Have fun everyone :)

    March 25, 2014

  • sondra

    whoops signed up for the condor hike the same day

    March 24, 2014

  • DAVID

    carpool from San Gabriel valley?

    March 23, 2014

  • Gary "The Waterfall G.

    Anyone from O.C. (Newport Beach area) interested in carpooling ?

    March 8, 2014

    • Gary "The Waterfall G.

      You got it Diana, Will email you details.

      March 22, 2014

    • A former member
      A former member

      THANK YOU!

      March 23, 2014

  • Marina Z.

    Does anyone want to carpool from Santa Monica?

    March 22, 2014

  • alex

    I live in mdr, can fit 2 in my truck, anyone want to carpool?

    March 15, 2014

    • alex

      Hi Roya, I forgot to mention that I will be doing both hikes.

      March 16, 2014

    • Roya

      Thanks for telling me, Alex. I think one hike will be enough for me. Hopefully, I'll find someone else. Thanks.

      March 16, 2014

  • Jeannette

    Are dogs allowed?

    March 15, 2014

  • Nichole M.

    Hi Ramona I would still be intersted in carpooling even if you are still doing the 1st hike

    March 15, 2014

  • Carmen

    Gotta work tomorrow :((
    Have fun everyone!

    March 14, 2014

    • Ranger B.

      Carmen, you realize this is not until the end of the month.

      1 · March 15, 2014

    • Carmen

      OMG. I got so upset I had to work today. Thanks, Bob, for reminding me.

      March 15, 2014

  • Amanda S.

    I have to back Out of this as i will have some birthday celebrating with my family to do. See ya next time.

    March 14, 2014

  • Rimona

    I might have to cancel. If the first hike takes 4 hours, that's going to toi tight if I add 1 hour drive, ill be late for my friend's Memorial, unless I turn around and be back yo my car by 2pm

    March 14, 2014

    • Rimona

      My bad, the memorial is on the 22nd, not 29th

      March 14, 2014

  • Rimona

    Do we need an adventure pass?

    March 13, 2014

  • Rimona

    Nichole, you know I'm not doing both hikes. do if your ok with it, csll me at[masked] to arrange the carpool.

    March 13, 2014

  • Lynda C.

    ROYA, Whats your closest intersection?

    March 10, 2014

    • Roya

      Hey Lynda, La Cienega and Slauson.

      March 11, 2014

    • Roya

      Lynda, were you thinking of carpooling? no sense in all of us taking cars.

      March 13, 2014

  • Nichole M.

    hi there is there anyone who I can carpool from Los Feliz area Vermont/Sunset

    1 · March 6, 2014

    • Rimona

      I am in Hollywood, we could carpool, but I will not do both hikes. I need to be back before 4pm.

      March 8, 2014

    • Nichole M.

      Ok romona please let me know when and where yiu want to meet etc

      March 13, 2014

  • Roya

    Anyone from the MDR , Venice area interested in carpooling? I'd be happy to pitch in for gas. Its too far to drive by myself.

    March 9, 2014

  • Roya

    Anyone going by the 90 and the 405? we could carpool.

    March 8, 2014

  • Rimona

    Does it mean if we need to bail out after the 1st hike, we can find our way back?

    March 5, 2014

    • Ranger B.

      Absolutely Romona. Our first hike is an in and out that ends at the parking lot.

      March 5, 2014

    • Rimona

      Thank you

      March 5, 2014

  • Rhonda

    are dogs welcomed in this area?

    March 4, 2014

    • David B.

      No. And they patrol and ticket

      March 5, 2014

  • Ron

    Are we meeting at Circle X, or at the dirt lot at the Sandstone Peak trail side of the road? Is this lot adjacent to Circle X?

    March 4, 2014

    • Ranger B.

      The dirt lot at the sandstone peak trail. Thats where the map and the address points to.

      March 4, 2014

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