This hike will be in 2 parts, one for beginners and the second for intermediate hikers. All of it will be on part of the famed Backbone Trail through the Santa Monica Mountains with ocean views throughout. THIS IS A GORGEOUS AND INTERESTING HIKE, so I trust there will be a great turnout, right?
For beginners we'll hike from Corral Canyon in Malibu eastward, past "elephant rock" for about a mile to a spiral rock maze (picture below) at the base of several caves where Jim Morrison of the Doors used to hang out. In one of them there is a carving of a skull in the rock made by JM. Beginners can continue eastward from there until the trail climbs up a bit to a small outcropping of oak trees, where you can stop and return by the same route for a total distance of approximately 3-3.5 miles with very little elevation gain. There are no junctions to get lost on as you make your way back to your vehicles, but if anyone is worried anyway, then I will return with you while Jimbo continues with the others.
The rest of the hikers will continue eastward along the ridge line sometimes going up and sometimes down until you arrive at a picnic table on Mesa Peak where you may want to share any food or drink that you may or may not have carried. Although I'm not billing this as a potluck hike, I know that there is no stopping some of the members from bringing consumables on any hike at all! If you do bring food/drink to share at the picnic table, please remember to pack out your garbage when done. Leave nothing but footprints; take nothing but pictures.
There are marvelous views on this hike from beginning to end, including Point Dume, the Channel Islands, Saddle Peak, and Calabasas Peak.
My policy is to wait 10 mins or LESS for stragglers, so please leave plenty of time to get there. The hike is well worth the drive!!
Distance: 3-3.5 (beginner) or 6 miles (intermediate)
Elevation Gain: 1400' for the entire hike, MUCH MUCH less for beginners.
Dogs: Please no
Restrooms: The great outdoors
Water: Bring adequate water, especially on the long version
Parking: Free in small, gravel lot (see directions)
Trail: Fire road, excellent condition
Sunset: 7:50 pm
Known Dangers: Rattlesnakes (very doubtful), slip-'n-fall.
Directions: From PCH get on Corral Canyon (between Kanan and Malibu Cyn Roads). Corral is twisty-turny and you'll be on it for a while. When you get near the top the pavement ends and it turns into a single-lane dirt road, but remember: you are NOT LOST! Continue for another 100 yards or so and you'll arrive at a free gravel parking lot. Be sure to check out the map in advance, NEVER trust your GPS and DO TRUST MY WRITTEN DIRECTIONS. Notice that the link above is not the exact parking location. The parking location is where the Backbone trail meets the Castro Peak Motorway to the left of the link. Carpools are highly encouraged. Use the comments or private messages to arrange and NEVER give your phone/email on the public comments, or the criminal bastards who troll sites like this will pursue you.
A few more pictures below, or you can see all of my pictures of this hike HERE (https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10204295225959805.1073741894.1203427940&type=1&l=17d35c5044)
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.
The first time I saw this spiral maze there was a pink bra and a chocolate chip cookie in the center:
You think I'm lying about that???