Past Meetup

Backpacking Trip along the Old Ridge Route

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March 27 - 29: Backpacking trip along the Old Ridge Route (10 person limit)


Enjoy a historical adventure along the Old Ridge Route. The Ridge Route was completed in 1915, and was carved from the San Gabriel Mountains by workers using mule-drawn dirt scrapers. From ridge top to ridge top, they cleared a 20 foot-wide roadway which was the first direct route between Los Angeles and Bakersfield, uniting Northern and Southern California.

Today, a 30 mile portion of the abandoned Ridge Route between Castaic and Gorman can be found hidden in the mountains just east of Interstate 5 which long ago replaced it. We will be stopping at every historical site, and learning about each of the hotels, repair shops, and cafes along this old stretch of highway. Fresh air, exercise, history, views of the Fish Canyon potential Wilderness...this hike has it all! Here is a short history of the Ridge Route with many old photos.

You will hike from Castaic to a site near Hwy 138 on the historic Ridge Route. We will take the 22 mile section over 3 days, 2 nights, uphill all the way. This is a strenuous, difficult hike, so the weakest member will set the pace of the group, the absolute limit is 10 people. After 10 people, we will start a waiting list.

There will be a car shuttle at the northern end of the hike and water caches will be in place.

Bring: Backpacking tent, boots, rain gear in case, layered clothing (i.e. Be prepared!). You must bring your own food in bear proof cannisters - mandatory!! There are bears in our hiking zone. When you RSVP, we can work out sharing of stoves.

Water / Toiletries/ Etc. :

You will need to bring a minimum of 3 liters of water. Note: You will be able to refill your bottles from the water cache we will put in place the day before the hike. Bring $2 cash to give to Chris to repay him for the water bottles he will have to purchase for the cache. This will supply you with 2 gallons of water (1 gallon in each cache location). Bring wag bags, toilet tissue, any medications/bandaids and other first aid supplies.

You can bring your cell phone or SPOT/personal locator.

Directions to meeting place:

We will leave early Friday March 27. From Santa Clarita, take the I-5 North to Templin Hwy, turn right. Go to the first Stop sign, the "Old Ridge Route" and turn left on to it. Park along the side of the road at the first turnout on the right. We will meet here at 8:00AM.


If you would like to be one of the shuttle vehicles, please let Chris know when you RSVP, and you will meet Chris earlier to get the shuttle cars in place at the northern end of the hike (we need TWO volunteers with vehicles that hold 5 persons to be our shuttle drivers).

Dogs: Sorry - No dogs please.

RSVP: Contact Chris Spicher at [masked] if you are interested.

Distance: 22 mile section over 3 days, slightly uphill all the way.

Rating: Strenuous/ Difficult hike (with 2 nights of overnight camping).

Leader: Chris