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Castle Peak/Cave of the Munits/Ahmanson Ranch (West SF Valley) & opt. dinner

CAVE CLIMBING TO A ROCKY PEAK, THEN EXPLORE THE ROLLING WILDFLOWER COVERED HILLS OF UPPER LAS VIRGENES CANYON

#?  IN OUR EXPLORATION OF THE RIM OF THE VALLEY TRAIL SYSTEM

With great views of the San Fernando Valley...

(above: CASTLE PEAK)

2 PM: Castle Peak and Cave of the Munits—3 miles (a 100 foot tall chimney cave--has a hole in the top where you can see the sky).

HIKE DIFFICULTY: CASTLE PEAK: Medium--we will be ascending through a chimney cave which does not require ropes or climbing equipment. This requires using your hands, however. When we climb out the top of the cave, we will continue up a hillside to a notch in the ridge. (total gain of 700 feet). Just over this notch is the civilized trail that will take us east to Castle Peak. From Castle Peak, we will go back on the same ridge trail (not going down thru the cave) and it will lead us back down to the trail crossroads. At the crossroads, there is a trail heading east to the cars or south to Ahmanson Ranch.

THEN at 4 PM: 4 to 6 mile loop in Ahmanson Ranch/Upper Las Virgenes Canyon

If you want to bail and go back to your car here, that's OK. But we will head south from here toward the Victory Blvd trailhead parking lot and the rest of the Ahmanson Ranch trails. The Ahmanson Ranch trails are all fireroads or civilized single-track trails. Elevation gain is gentle there.

(Ahmanson Ranch was once slated to become 3000 homes until the State of CA bought it in 2003 for $150 million.)

WE'LL BE BACK AT SUNSET, AND WE CAN TAKE DINNER SUGGESTIONS...

DIRECTIONS: Castle Peak Park—located at the west end of Vanowen Avenue (take the 101 freeway to Valley Circle offramp, go north to Vanowen, turn left (west) and park in neighborhood)

TO SEE WHAT THE HIKES LOOK LIKE, PLUS MAPS:

http://www.meetup.com/hiking-196/photos/all_photos/?photoAlbumId=1274467

CASTLE PEAK: https://picasaweb.google.com/Rare.Earth.fotos/CastlePeakAndCaveOfTheMunitsSimiHillsCA#

FOR A PRINTABLE VERSION OF THIS TRAIL MAP: http://photos2.meetupstatic.com/photos/event/3/8/a/f/highres_25394511.jpeg

BRING: LOTS OF WATER, COMFORTABLE SHOES, A HAT, MUNCHIES, SUNSCREEN, CAMERA

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THE USUAL LEGAL DISCLAIMER, WARNING OF RISK ETC:

YOU AGREE BY GOING ON THIS HIKE THAT YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY AND THAT THE MEETUP FOLKS HAVE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR SAFETY. PLEASE READ THE MEETUP TERMS OF MEMBERSHIP: http://www.meetup.com/terms/ ESPECIALLY PARAGRAPH 11.

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For my how-to guide to photo posting http://www.meetup.com/hiking-196/messages/boards/thread/9914574

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And for more cool hikes this week, see my Calendar of Meetup hikes in L.A.: http://lameetuphikes....

Join or login to comment.

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great fun

    May 24, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Good first hike but appreciated the ability of the hike leader to adjust to an even better hike on the fly.

    May 23, 2011

  • REINA

    I enjoyed the hike. After not doing anything for a whole week. I definitely got a good workout. I also met and chatted with a lot of nice people while doing so.

    May 23, 2011

  • Viviana

    We had a fun time

    May 23, 2011

  • Kristine

    Great group of individuals to hike with.

    May 23, 2011

  • Amy A.

    It was just the right amount of climbing/scaling. Rex always has two routes people can choose from-the regular trail or the "make your own" path if you want to be more adventurous

    May 23, 2011

  • Puck

    I'm here!

    May 23, 2011

  • Puck

    Thanks for another fabulous hike, Rex

    May 23, 2011

  • rexfrankel

    These are amazing places. We did the cave and the peak, then went to Sage Ranch, which is much more interesting than the south part of Ahmanson ranch. These are both 2 of my favorite hikes (beyond the Grotto), and the best part was having my best buds to do them with!

    May 23, 2011

  • Adam L.

    had a great time as always!

    May 22, 2011

  • Paul

    This was a great hike. Here is my everytail map of the hike http://www.everytrail.com/view_trip.php?trip_id=1104044

    May 22, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Had a great time as usual.

    May 22, 2011

  • Thomas

    Tu, I'm in Sherman Oaks if you want to carpool, contact me soon.

    May 22, 2011

  • Lee Z.

    Watch out for John and his Jagermeister. I think he attracts evil spirits - like Park Rangers and probably Munits too

    May 21, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone want to carpool from the studio city area?

    May 21, 2011

  • ! That JOHN G.

    @Gern... I'm allergic to MUNITS so when the rest of the group is getting bitten by them, you and i wall polish off a bottle of Jagermeister!!

    May 20, 2011

  • GERN B.

    will there really be MUNITS in the cave? I was once viciously attacked by MUNITS and left for dead; either that or they just lost interest in biting me after 2 hours. How many Munits are there in the cave? Do you have MUNIT repellant?

    May 19, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    perfect, thanks.

    May 19, 2011

  • rexfrankel

    I have posted an aerial and topo map of the route to Castle Peak in case anyone wants to go to Castle Peak without climbing out the top of the Cave of the Munits. They are posted here: http://www.meetup.com/hiking-196/photos/1504491/25684531/#[masked] and http://www.meetup.com/hiking-196/photos/1504491/25684531/#[masked]

    May 19, 2011

  • rexfrankel

    I do not recommend this caving climb for dogs. When we go thru the chimney, there are spots where we will have to use our hands to help us over the rocks. There is an alternate route to the ridge that leads to Castle Peak, and that is actually the way we will go to get back down to the trail crossoads. I will post an aerial map showing that trail.

    May 19, 2011

  • A former member
    A former member

    Looking at the photos, it appears that my medium sized dogs should have no trouble scrambling up the cave - except for one photo of someone on a rope. But there was also a pic of someone with a dog. So am I correct in thinking my dogs can handle it? They'll certainly have no trouble with the distance. Also, how does the group feel about canine participants?

    May 18, 2011

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