THIS IS A REPEAT OF THE HIKE WE DID ON SEPTEMBER 15, 2015!
Please visit this LINK (below) for pictures and comments:
(Nearly Full Moon) MULHOLLAND TO ENCINAL & THREE BRIDGES LOOP of September 25, 2015 (http://www.meetup.com/The-PM-Hikers/events/224699461/)
If you liked MY 3-BRIDGES HIKE of NOV 8, 2014 (http://www.meetup.com/The-PM-Hikers/events/216609552/) (<-- click on the link)...
You'll love this one too! This is partly a repeat of my previous 3-BRIDGES HIKE with the mandatory addition of the 1.85 mile upper loop that connects Mulholland to Encinal.
This is, as usual, a True Loop hike. You will retrace less than a few hundred feet of trail during the entire hike. And, as usual, bringing Wine and Goodies to share (at Bridge #2) is highly encouraged! ;~}
Total distance is approximately 4.25 miles, with about 800 feet of elevation (loss then gain, mostly). Only because of one short uphill scramble under moonlight, this should be considered an Advanced (and adventurous) Beginner hike. You absolutely MUST have a flashlight, and a headlamp is preferred! Please leave the dogs at home this time.
If you plan on (or just can't help yourself) Hijacking the Hike (soliciting and leading a group of hikers ahead of the rest of the group at any time), PLEASE do not attend this hike. Hijackers will be banned from all my future hikes!
WHERE & WHEN:
Sunset is approximately 4:45PM, so the entire hike will be under a Nearly Full Moon that has had three and a half hours to rise in the eastern sky.
This time we'll meet at a point where the Backbone Trail crosses over the West end of Mulholland Highway.
PLEASE PLAN CAREFULLY TO ARRIVE WELL BEFORE 6:15 PM!
From the 101, go south (towards the ocean) on Westlake Blvd. to where it hits Mulholland and turn right (west). Follow Mulholland westward through a winding section for about 1.33 miles to the trailhead.
Look for my Dark-Blue, with Gold Trim, GMC Safari van, as I'll plan to be there very early (5:30ish PM) sharing some wine with the early arrivers. Note that parking is limited so car-pooling is encouraged!
PLEASE use the Comments Section below to Arrange for Carpooling!
There is a great place to meet for carpooling on Westlake Blvd. just after you pass through the Potrero Road stop light and before you start making your way up the hill to Mulholland.
PARKING: We should be able to get quite a few cars in along the sides of this relatively unused Fire Road. Please plan to pull in tight to make room for the next vehicle!
Just a minute walk back towards Westlake Blvd. there is a nice-sized pull-off here in front of this unused gate. There is plenty of room for two rows of cars, or better yet, pull in at nearly a right angle to make room for a LOT more cars!
Otherwise, there is limited parking very near the Fire Road, a few spots seen below along the fence across from the trailhead, and really none within reasonable walking distance once you pass by this white fence traveling further west.
For the first time, I have set a limit of 30 hikers and included a Wait List for this hike due to Limited Parking. However, if you are carpooling, please feel free to fit as many people in your car as you want without adding them to the attendee list. PLEASE CHANGE YOUR RSVP if you decide not to go to open up space for the Waiters.
We'll start with an easy 0.9 mile stroll south, down the fire-road seen just to the right (east) of Ibold Rd. on the MAP (<-- a Link) to Encinal Canyon Rd. to where my 3-Bridges Hike started last time.
Here's an Elevation Profile for the 3-BRIDGES portion:
From there we'll do my 3-Bridges Loop (2.4 miles, 1hr:30mins at an easy pace, not counting picnic time) to the east-south-east.
We'll head down this section of the Backbone Trail, but only for a few hundred feet before heading east (left turn) onto an unmarked single track trail. Within a few minutes we'll reach a very short but "lightly" challenging downslope (first red line in the profile above) that wasn't nearly as hard as I made it out to be last time. We'll soon arrive at a large area of old eucalyptus and pine trees that were cut down a few years ago, and Bridge #1.
Pretty quickly we'll be at a "moderately" challenging (use of hands usually not required) uphill section that will make you appreciate your good lug-soled hiking shoes for a minute or ten (and the subject of my RSVP question).
From there it will be just a few more minutes to the high point of the lower section where we can take a short break. Below is the view you would have seen had it been light out:
15-20 minutes down from this peak we will make it into the Oak Grove at the low point of the hike at Bridge #2 where we can take our longest break for a picnic. Near by, we'll see this beautiful area that provided some great Spooky Night-time Photo Ops the last time.
From there, we will be only ~20 minutes down an easy trail from Encinal Canyon Road, via Bridge #3.
Bridge #2 is shown here:
And here is a photo of BRIDGE #3 in the daylight:
Back at Encinal Canyon Road, we'll cross over and follow that winding 1-mile easy single-track section of the Backbone Trail back up to Mulholland Drive where we started.
Here is a map showing the entire route:
IF YOU ARE LATE TO THE START...
It seems there are always a few who will arrive late, no matter how much you overstate the urgency of being ready to start hiking at a particular time. So...
If you arrive after 6:15PM and find that the group has departed the meetup location, you can easily catch up with the group with the following directions:
1. Start your hike following the same route as the main group by taking the Fire Road (east side of upper loop shown on map above) down to the Parking Lot on Encinal Canyon Rd.
2. Cross over Encinal and continue south on the clearly marked Backbone Trail. That trail entrance is just across the road but diagonally to the left (east).
3. Don't make that (totally unmarked) left turn onto single-track that the main group will have taken. Instead, just continue on down the Backbone Trail, crossing Bridge #3, going through the Oak Grove (trail will curve to the left here), and a few hundred feet more to Bridge #2, where, by then, or in a short while, you will find the main group having a picnic.
Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeezy!