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Saturday, February 23, 2019 - Local Hike with 2 Choices - Short or Longer Meet at Trail head: 7:15AM, details below. Hike Option 1: Mentryville and Pico Canyon Hike Option 2: Mentryville and Pico Canyon, then continue up from the back of the canyon to the Pico Peak for the view Option 1: Rating/ Distance (Round Trip)/ Total Gain: Easy /~4 miles total (out and back style) / 200ft Gain ~2 hours Description: The first 2 miles of the hike starts in the old oil town of Mentryville, followed by a gradual climb on a paved road (no traffic though), until we reach Oil Well #4 at the back of the canyon. The well was owned by California Star Oil, later to become Standard Oil of California. Along the way we will talk a little as we go about Mentryville, the history of Pico Canyon and the early oil industry in Santa Clarita Valley. This shorter hike ends after the 2 miles at the end of the canyon. Anyone who does not wish to continue up to the Peak with Steve can return along the asphalt service road to the parking lot the same way we came in. This will give you a nice Easy 4 miles! Option 2: Rating/ Distance (Round Trip)/ Total Gain: Moderate + / ~7.5 miles total (out and back style) / 1200ft Total Gain ~3.5 hours with snack break Description: After Well #4 at the back of the canyon, we continue and start to climb the service road for another 2 miles, adding another 1000 ft. in gain giving us 1200 ft total gain getting to the peak. At the top there is a picnic table where we can have a snack, and relax for a bit. The views from here are some of the best in Santa Clarita Valley (see above)! On our return, about 2/3 the way back, depending on recent weather / trail conditions, we may take a detour down a different, more challenging, but shorter trail, back to Pico Canyon. If we do, we will pass interesting rock formations to arrive in Johnson Park, where there is a mock- up of an oil well an old saloon bar, and a dancing / recreation area used by the oil workers in the 1930's. From there, we walk back down the canyon rejoining the road we came in on and return to our vehicles in the parking lot. Meet: Be at the parking area in Mentryville at 7:15 AM, for a 7:30 SHARP departure up the trail. There is a portapotty restroom at the trailhead (that hopefully will be unlocked). Bring: 2L water and 1L Gatorade, snacks, a camera, a hat and sunscreen. If going all the way to the top on the longer hike, you will need boots with good thread, as the trail is sandy and the return hike is down a narrow, steep trail. Poles will be very helpful for this portion of the longer hike, if you have them. NOTE: BRING a $5 bill for SELF-SERVE PARKING using an envelope at the Trailhead! If you park in the lot but do not pay or clearly display the envelope, expect a $75 ticket, guaranteed! Directions/ Parking: From Los Angeles, drive North toward Santa Clarita on the 5 Highway. From Antelope Valley, etc. Follow the 14 Hwy South to where it intersects with Interstate 5. Be ready in right lane and turn North on the 5 (a big curved flyover), direction Santa Clarita/ Sacramento etc. Both - A few miles North of the 5/14 interchange, look for lots of fast food/ gas signs etc. and exit on Lyons Avenue WEST ramp, turning left and go over the 5 Highway. Keep going West through several lights, until it becomes Pico Canyon (maybe 2 miles). Continue on Pico Canyon as it narrows, twists and turns ending at a green gate in front of the old town of Mentryville. Go over the bridge on the left and park close to the big pepper tree by the rest room, where we will meet. You must pay the MRCA parking fee ($5 bill in their envelope) to park here. If you wish to avoid the parking fee, there may still be space outside Mentryville (back at a "Y" / turnout that you pass about 3/4 mile up the road). You then have to walk in to meet us (you get extra hiking credit!). NOTE: If doing this, allow an additional 20 minutes for the walk in, we will leave Mentryville going West up the canyon road at 7:30 AM SHARP!!! Leader: Steve I.
****** RAIN OR SNOW FALLING AT TRAILHEAD CANCELS HIKES ****** Saturday, March 16, 2019 - NEW - Devil’s Punchbowl to Cruther's Creek Carpool: Meet in SCV at 7:45AM, see details below. Start Hike: Meet at Trailhead at 9:00AM, see details below. Distance: ~7 Miles total (out and back) Gain: ~ 1000' Hiking Time: 3-4 hours Difficulty: Moderate + (for gain at start and hiking at an altitude of 4750 ft !) Description: The Devil’s Punch Bowl is one of our favorite areas - a gorgeous site with protruding rocks and sheer rock faces. This hike is a new variation that local hike leader Jim Hazard will be introducing us to. On the northern slopes of the San Gabriel Mountains this hike includes some altitude and a mild climb in the first mile. After that it is fairly flat / undulating winding through manzanita chaparral and down to Cruters creek canyon where we will turn around. There are great views in several directions - up to the mountains above and out over the desert below. Carpooling from Santa Clarita Valley: Meeting Spot - is NORTH Santa Clarita Valley (SCV): !!!! NOT TOWSLEY CANYON (our usual spot)!!! > Starbucks ( 16548 Soledad Canyon Rd, Santa Clarita, CA 91387 ). It is in the Sand Canyon / Soledad Canyon Road junction strip mall parking area, off the 14 Hwy, by the Vons Supermarket. See map. !!! Be there at 7:45AM for a 8:00AM SHARP departure to the trailhead. Final carpool arrangements will be made there. Trip to trailhead should take a little less than an hour. Please be respectful of your driver's support by contributing something at the end of your carpool to help defray the cost of gas. Meet at Trail head: 28000 Devil's Punchbowl Rd., Pearblossom CA[masked]https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Devils+Punchbowl,+California+93553/34.4139494,-firstname.lastname@example.org,-117.85925,154m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m9!4m8!1m5!1m1!1s0x80c31c8d7a9efdc7:0x2e782058fd7bfa70!2m2!1d-117.8522854!2d34.4202755!1m0!3e2 Meet your leader in the corner of the trailhead/ nature center Parking lot (near the porta potty). There are also other bathrooms behind the nature center. We should all arrive by ~ 9:00AM for a 9:15AM SHARP departure up the trail. Directions to trail head (we recommend these over using the address and Google maps which may take you on backroads): Take the SR-14 North to the Angeles Forest Hwy exit, Exit 30. Go towards Pear Blossom Highway, keeping on left of the ramp toward Pearblossom Hwy/Littlerock/Victorville. Merge onto Sierra Hwy - stay straight to get you onto Pearblossom Hwy. At the light, turn right as it continues onto Pearblossom Hwy/CA-138. Continue 3.9 miles on the 138. After Charlie Browns and a McDonalds on left, watch for 87th St E on the right, turn and go 0.7 miles. Take the 2nd left onto Fort Tejon Rd. (at a diagonal), continue for 5.2 miles. Turn right onto 131st Street/ Longview Rd., go 2.3 miles. Turn left onto Tumbleweed Rd. for 0.4 miles until it turns slight right and becomes Devil’s Punchbowl Road; continue 2.6 miles. The trailhead - 28000 Devil’s PunchBowl Road is a cul de sac parking lot and Nature Center, at the end of the road. Bring: A snack/lunch, water (2-3 liters recommended), sunscreen, hat and your camera. Hike poles would be a plus. Dress for the cold (it will probably be in low 40's)/ so bring extra layers. You can always take a layer off! Adventure pass: Not required. Dogs: OK , if on leash and well behaved around other dogs and people with hiking poles. If you bring your dog, please drive yourself to the trailhead. Leader: Jim H.
(Thursday* or) Friday March 22 (or you could even come early Saturday) - Sunday March 24, 2019: Car Camping Trip to Valley of Fire “Arch Rock” Campground in Nevada Description: Join the Community Hiking Club for a fun-filled weekend car camping and exploring a natural wonder! Car camping is the opposite of backpacking 'cos you can bring lots of stuff to ensure you stay comfortable, rather than with backpacking where you have to majorly consider the weight of your pack. Valley of Fire is world-renowned for its 40,000 acres of bright red Aztec sandstone outcrops nestled in gray and tan limestone, Valley of Fire State Park contains ancient, petrified trees, petroglyphs dating back more than 2,000 years. Enjoy fascinating rock formations, incredible sunsets, vast starry skies and beautiful early mornings. * Chris and maybe a few others will be driving up earlier to reserve spots, so come a day early if you like? Come for as long or as short as you like (bearing in mind that you need to plan transportation and it is a 5.5 hour drive from SCV). Visit http://parks.nv.gov/parks/valley-of-fire for important park notes/ rules and other excellent facts. Camping: There are 29 sites, some are suitable for small RVs (no hook ups). Most look like they will take 2 tents. Campsites cannot be reserved ahead of time, they are on a first come, first served basis only. Listen up! Chris Stratford is going up mid week, so if you want him to try and grab you a site ahead of time, message him on Meet Up and drop off your tent for him at Dianne’s house (24820 Fourl Rd, Santa Clarita) by 17 March latest. He may even put it up for you.... :-). Each site has a shaded table, fire ring, drinking water, flush toilets, showers and trash removal - 5 star camping!! Participants are responsible for arranging their own transportation/ carpools, camping gear, food, water, and firewood. Participants will be required to sign a liability release when they join the trip. Bring: - Usual camping gear and FOOD. If you are new to this, do not worry, a camping checklist will be sent to everyone who is SIGNED UP, closer to the date). - Locally sourced (preferable) firewood for communal fire. - Usual hiking gear/ layers/ poles/ sunscreen etc. - Adventurous attitude and hopefully a few camp fire songs or jokes... Camping Fees PER SITE: $20.00 per night, 2 cars max, 8 people max. Note: You pay all campground fees at the campground. !!!! Federal permits (Golden Age / Eagle / Access) are not accepted, this a Nevada State Park!!!! :-( Schedule/ Hikes: Thursday Mar 21 - Chris will set up any tents given to him ahead of time by campers. Chris will have scouted out trails near camp and campers are free to hike these trails on their own. Friday Mar 22 – Lots of choices in the area: Elephant Rock, Natural Arches, Rainbow, Mouses, Balancing Rock, Fire Wave, White Domes. We don’t have to finish them all, they are 6.5 miles total! Saturday Mar 23 - Group hike, from one of the following: Difficult – 4.6 mile Prospect Trail (5.5% grade some rock scrambling) Moderate – 4.5 mile Pinnacles Loop (4.8% grade) Moderate – 6.8 mile Old Arrowhead (4.7% grade) Easy – 4.7 mile Charlies Spring (1.9% grade) Sunday Mar 24 – Pack up early to try to get out before Vegas traffic starts…or chill and face the inevitable. Temperatures: Day = low 70s / Nights = Mid 40's Directions to Arch Rock Campground: (Google Arch Rock Campground, Valley of Fire) Basically it is a 5 1/2 hr drive (320 miles) from SCV through Barstow, Baker and Vegas on Hwy 15 and then North of Vegas, take exit 75 East 17 miles to the Arch Rock Campground area. Organizers: Chris Stratford [masked], and Dianne Erskine-Hellrigel [masked] of the Community Hiking Club RSVP HERE on Meet Up, so we have an idea of interest / numbers. If coming on Thursday or earlier, let Chris know your plans. ** If your plans change, please update your RSVP!