Past Meetup

PM Blaze: Kicking It Up To Castro

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Time for the next meet-up of the Weekday Trailblazers Afternoon Hiking Group!

Our afternoon hikes are intended for people hiking, or wishing to hike, at an intermediate level or above, and seeking time outdoors with fun people sharing similar interests and fitness goals.

The afternoon format emphasizes easy-to-access and scenic 5-8 mile conditioning routes with moderate elevation gains, a total hiking time of 2-3 hours at a moderate pace, periodic rest and sightseeing stops, and optional technique discussions and training exercises (based on individual and group interest).

We schedule our afternoon meet-ups as late as the season allows to ensure a return before dark, while encouraging people with a variety of work and home schedules to get a great conditioning hike in during the week and tune-up for weekend adventures.

Here is info on our scheduled hike…hope to see you there!

Kanan Dume Road to Castro Peak

Hike Type: Conditioning

Level: Advanced beginner to Intermediate

Route Type: Out & back

Distance: 5-8 miles

Elevation gain:[masked] feet

Terrain: Double & single-file trail, fire road

Route summary:

Our hike will take us 5-8 miles roundtrip on a less-traveled but beautiful part of the 60-mile Backbone Trail, which runs through the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area from Will Rogers State Park in the east to Point Mugu in the west.

The route begins at Kanan Dume Road and goes south a short distance, allowing us to cross over the southernmost tunnel above Kanan Dume Road. We then proceed easterly roughly 2.5 miles and up 750 feet, gradually winding our way through Latigo Canyon until we reach Latigo Canyon Road. We have the option of turning back at this point or continuing our route to one of several scenic overlooks. If we continue until we reach the saddle immediately south of Castro Peak, we add an additional 1.5 miles and 500 feet of ascent and can enjoy the spectacular Pacific views there. The terrain is a mix of single and double-file trail and open fire road.

The majority of our hike is a mix of wooded canyon trails and open hillsides and ridgelines, offering periodic views of the Pacific, and then culminates at an open area over the Pacific. Since we begin on the floor of Latigo Canyon and reach exposed areas above the Pacific, weather can range from calm and humid to misty with ocean winds to quite warm and dry conditions. We will stop at the bluff south to Castro Peak to grab a snack and enjoy the great view.

Note: If anyone decides to bring and offer Cuban-inspired food at our stop, I will carry your pack back.


Please wear – brush-resistant pants, one or more wicking shirts appropriate to the temperature, comfortable hiking shoes or light boots, your favorite undergarments and accessories, and a light backpack.

Please bring – at least two liters of water, snacks, an extra layer of clothing, a charged cell phone, identification, a headlamp, a small first-aid kit, bug repellant and sunscreen, a waterproof shell if rain is forecast, and any medications or anything else you might need on the trail.


Free parking is available at our meet-up location.

Please do not leave anything of value in your car, at this or any other trailhead.


From the 101 – exit at Kanan Road and drive south (toward the ocean) 7.8 miles, going through two of the three tunnels on this road (which changes name to Kanan Dume Road). Turn right into the “Backbone Trail” parking area, just before entering the third tunnel.

From the PCH – turn up South Kanan Dume Road. Drive 4.4 miles from the PCH, going through one tunnel, and then take a left into the “Backbone Trail” parking area, almost immediately after coming out of the tunnel.



The hike host is a volunteer and not responsible for the group. Safety should be a priority for everyone in the group. Please treat this meet-up as hiking with a group of friends. If you become fatigued and unable to continue the hike, it is expected you will advise the hike host of this and return to our starting point on your own. If you are able to proceed, it is expected that you will maintain line of sight with other members of the group at all times and help to promote the group’s safety and fitness goals.

Outdoor sports and other events we plan can be inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in any posted event, you are taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. The Weekday Trailblazers 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.

If you choose to sign up for this or any Weekday Trailblazers Meetup event, you are releasing the Weekday Trailblazers Meetup Group and its organizers from all liability in case of possible injuries. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.