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Tapo Canyon Tar Pits - Easy Intermediate
This hike is one of the most beautiful hikes in Simi Valley. There are 3 extended inclines, about 1000 steps each, on fire road. They are not especially steep, but they do continue for some time, which is why it is rated "Easy Intermediate." There are also several small hills of 100 steps or less. The extended inclines will get the blood pumping and maybe even cause a curse or two during this lollipop hike. We'll be moving through the famous Tapo Canyon and visiting natural tar pits that bubble up from the ground. The first pit is really a puddle that looks like someone spilled a couple 55-gallon drums of tar that was later contained using a spill rope. The next two are a little larger, again, contained by spill ropes to keep the sticky black tar from getting on the trail. I would advise you not to touch the tar with anything other than a stick, because even a drop on your fingertip will be hard to get off. From the trail head, we'll start on a leisurely stroll for about 0.6 miles, followed by a steady climb for the next mile, completing the first extended incline. We'll turn left at the junction, climb a small hill, and then head down for another 1.5 miles. We'll make a right turn down a smaller trail and go for about 100 yards until we reach the tar pits. After looking around for a bit, we'll head back, and after 0.25 miles, we'll come to another junction where we will stop and share snacks and beverages (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879772). For the return, we'll turn left and there will be a steady climb for about 3/4 of a mile to another junction. We'll turn left again and return down for about 1.4 miles to complete the lollipop. Route: Interesting Notes: You are sure to see plenty of this plant - Yellow Star Thistle Thorny. Also called yellow cockspur and golden star thistle. Generally considered a weed. Long-term ingestion by horses causes a neurological disorder known as chewing disease, a lethal lesion of the nigropallidal region of the brain. This disease is expressed as a twitching of the lips, tongue flicking, and involuntary chewing. Permanent brain damage is possible, and affected horses may starve to death. Used in Turkish folk medicine for the treatment of ulcers. In a laboratory study, aqueous extracts of fresh or dried flowers of yellow star thistle given orally showed significant antiulcerogenic activity in rats. Directions: Tapo Canyon 3802 Tapo Canyon Road Simi Valley, CA 93063 From the 118: Exit 27 Tapo Canyon Rd. Tapo Canyon Rd. north for 1.7 miles. Trail head on the right, before Lost Canyon Rd. Parking is free in the gravel area in front of the trail head, and along the road on both sides. From CA-23: CA-23 north to CA-118 east. CA-118 east for 8.7 miles. Exit 27 Tapo Canyon Rd. Tapo Canyon Rd. north (left) for 1.7 miles. Trail head on the right. Parking is free in the gravel area in front of the trail head, and along the road on both sides. Hike Distance: 5.4 miles Gain: 1050' Distribution: Reasonably well distributed. Difficulty (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879781): Easy Intermediate. Shape: Lollipop, clockwise. Pace: 2.0 mph. Trail Type: Fire road and double track. Areas of sand, gravel, and rock, some of it rugged. Trail Variations: Several extended inclines of 1000 steps. Several steep sections of 300 steps, but no hands required. Duration: 3 hours Dogs: Yes. Leash as required by law. Restrooms: No Drinking Fountains: No. Parking: Free in the gravel area in front of the trail head, and along the road on both sides. What to bring: 1 liter of water for every 3 miles. Snacks and/or beverages to share (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879772). Hiking shoes preferred, but athletic shoes will be OK. Flashlight or headlamp. Sunscreen and/or hat as needed. Known Dangers: Rattlesnakes, slip-'n-fall. Hosting Route: The host knows the route. Navigation: Host memory, enhanced by GPS navigation as needed. Hike type: Social. We won't be hiking at a fast pace because this is a social hike, not a conditioning hike. There is nothing wrong with stopping, even if it means every 50 steps. See "How hard is this hike" in the discussion section (LINK (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879781)). Stops: The host may designate stopping points to let others catch up. This hike will include an extended stop for a snack and beverage share (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879772) at the half way point, which we will pass, and then return to after seeing the tar pits. We will stop at junctions to make sure everybody makes any turns or chooses the correct direction at splits, else something will be used to mark the direction, usually a large arrow made of baking soda. There may not always be a sweeper designated to be the last hiker. Each hiker is responsible for knowing their capability, only attending events where they are able to sustain the described pace, for keeping up with the group sufficiently enough to make the turns and not get left behind, and for making sure the host is notified if they are going to split from the group. Group separation: Sometimes hikers wish to move significantly ahead and not wait at designated stopping points. Please let the host know. They are on their own regarding route and navigation. If others follow, it is group hijacking: Incorrect routes may be taken and group splitting may occur. Please don't do this. Disclaimer / Release of Liability: You must RSVP to attend this event, no exceptions. Hiking and other outdoor events are inherently dangerous and accidents can happen. By participating in any posted event, you're taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. This Meetup Group and its organizers are not trained leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to lead or participate in trips. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions. You are responsible for you. If you choose to sign up for any events, you are releasing the Group and its organizers from all liability in case of possible injuries. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience. This applies to any guests you may invite.

3803 Tapo Canyon Rd

3803 Tapo Canyon Road · Simi Valley

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This meetup is all about social interaction, mostly through hiking. We think mental health is just as important as physical health, and that makes us different from other hiking groups. If you are interested in hiking, making friends, having fun, and exploring the greater Los Angeles area, then this group is for you. Hiking, PLUS other stuff!

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