We did this a few months ago for a Hump Day Hike, and here it is again with TWO OPTIONS. Option 1 is to go with Kurt and simply stay on the trail to Castle Peak and enjoy the FAB views of the SF Valley. Option 2 is to go with Dave R through the REALLY COOL Cave of the Munits, then up a steep hill to meet up with Kurt and the others at Castle Peak. (picture 1 below)
On this hike we will go to the Cave of Munits from a flat, well-traveled trail. For those of you who are more adventurous, you can break off and go with Dave R into and through the HUGE cave in the side of the Simi Hills (picture 2 below), then up through a hole in the roof, and up a steep hill and onward to Castle Peak. If you choose the Cave option, please note that it can be HARD (though most people who do it LOVE it). Once you scramble up the rocks toward the Cave, it will be extremely difficult if you think you want to back out, so please do not attempt this option if you are unsure of your ability. It may also add a half hour to your overall hiking time due to the difficulty.
The rest of us will hike clockwise around the cave until we reach Castle Peak and its magnificent views. If it's a clear evening the views are magnificent, so come with cameras and the wonder of a child seeing beauty for the first time. You've never seen the Valley like this before.
Length: 5.0 miles
Elevation: 700 ft
Difficulty: Intermediate with minor Rock Scrambling (much harder if you do the Cave option)
Bathroom at Trailhead: No
What to Bring: Water, Snacks, Sweater/Jacket, and Flashlight just in case.
Sunset: 8:10 pm, which means it will be dark about 8:40
Known Dangers: If you do the Cave option, it's possible to fall and get SEVERELY injured or even die. (MANY of us have done the cave in the past and everyone was fine, but I just want you to understand the potential danger before you try it.) The other (normal) dangers are rattlesnakes, which are now quite active, and routine slip-'n-fall.
Here is the Cave option:
From Valley Circle Drive in West Hills, turn west on Highlander Rd. and park just past Elmsbury Ln. See map link above.
Here is a link where you can see the route from a recent hike by Dave:
Castle Peak Loop Hike (http://www.mapmyhike.com/workout/851174889)
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 judgement and experience. This applies to any guests you may invite.