Note: We'll be meeting at the intersection of Highlander Rd. and Woodglade Ln., where it is convenient to park. We'll be walking from there about 1500' to the trailhead.
This hike takes us around the Cave of Munitz instead of through it. We'll move towards Castle Peak, but stop for a social event (snack share (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879772)) before getting there. Then we'll turn around and come back the way we came.
This hike is very interesting because of the variable kinds of terrain. We'll start out with fire road, and quickly enter a slightly wooded area. Then we'll go around the cave and take a somewhat steep ascent that will get everybody's blood pumping. Because of this steep incline, it will be rated on the easy end of the Intermediate (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879781)scale.
We'll walk along the top ridge until coming to a place where we'll have a social event snack-share before turning around and going back the way we came.
Distance: 4.0 miles
Distribution: Most of the incline is concentrated in the second quarter.
Difficulty (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879781): Easy Intermediate.
Shape: Out and Back.
Pace: approx. 2.0 mph.
Trail Type: Fire road, double track, single track.
There is a steep ascent for about 500 steps.
Duration: 3.5 hours
Drinking Fountains: No.
Parking: Free along street.
What to bring:
1 liter of water for every 3 miles.
Flashlight or headlamp.
Sunscreen and/or hat as needed.
Snacks and/or beverages to share (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879772).
Known Dangers: Rattlesnakes, slip-'n-fall.
Route: The host knows the route. A pic of the route has been posted as part of this description.
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)).
The host may designate stopping points to let others catch up. This hike will include an extended stop for a snack and beverage (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879772) share at the half way point. 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.
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.
Here are a couple plants you are sure to see on this hike:
The plant got its name from Jamestown, because in 1676, Jamestown, VA soldiers ate this plant in their salad and became psychotic for 11 days.
The leaves and seeds are used to make medicine. Despite serious safety concerns, jimson weed is used to treat asthma, cough, flu (influenza), swine flu, and nerve diseases. Some people use it as a recreational drug to cause hallucinations and a heightened sense of well-being (euphoria).
All parts of Datura plants contain dangerous levels of the tropane alkaloids atropine, hyoscyamine, and scopolamine, which are classified as deliriants, or anticholinergics. The risk of fatal overdose is high among uninformed users, and many hospitalizations occur amongst recreational users who ingest the plant for its psychoactive effects. As much as a 5:1 variation can be found between plants. It contains chemicals such as atropine, hyoscyamine, and scopolamine.
These chemicals interfere with one of the chemical messengers (acetylcholine) in the brain and nerves. Ingesting only a few small seeds can result in serious poisoning and may be life-threatening. Ingesting even small amounts of the plant or seeds can result in confusion, frightening hallucinations, the inability to urinate or sweat, overheating, and a rapid heart rate.
Depending on the amount ingested, these troubling symptoms can last hours to many days, and in some cases can lead to death. Touching he plant can cause dermatitis.
If the leaves of poison oak are broken or the plant is damaged in some way, it releases an oil - urushiol - that is poisonous to humans. The oil triggers the body's immune system and produces a rash. Even dead leaves, stems, or roots contain the oil; it can also be inhaled if the plants are burned. Urushiol is the same oil that is produced by poison ivy and sumac.
Indirect contact can occur if the oil gets onto clothes or is carried on a pet's coat. Although cats and dogs are not generally affected by urushiol, they can carry it. Most people, but not all, show an allergy to the oil, referred to as allergic contact dermatitis. It usually appears between half a day and 3 days after contact with the plant oil.
People who are allergic to the oil do not have a reaction until they have a second contact with the oil. The immune system learns to recognize the oil from the first occasion and then reacts to it aggressively on future contact.
Cave of Munitz
24501 Woodglade Ln.
West Hills, CA 91307
Note: We'll be parking here, and then walking to the trailhead.
Trailhead coordinates:[masked], [masked]
I-101, exit Valley Circle Blvd.
Valley Circle Blvd. north for 3.2 miles.
Left (west) on Highlander Rd. for 300'.
Park on the street at near Elmsbury Ln.
I-118, exit CA-27 Topanga Canyon Blvd.
South CA-27 Topanga Canyon Blvd. for 2.4 miles.
Right (west) on Plummer St. for 0.9 miles.
Slight left (west, then south) onto Valley Circle Blvd. for 3.0 miles.
Right (west) on Highlandr Rd. for 300'.
Park on the street at near Elmsbury Ln.
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.