Encinal Canyon is named for encina, the Spanish word for the holm oak, a lovely Mediterranean tree with holly characteristics. Holm oaks are one of the main trees used to establish truffle orchards, but we'll be nosing around the canyon strictly for its beauty.
The trail from Encinal is a smooth, firm, and well-traveled singletrack- climbing, swooping and winding with a constant, gentle slope. We'll have fabulous views of the coast for much of the way. Close to the top, we'll take on the slightly steeper Etz Meloy Motorway, then the last tenth of a mile is up a seldom-used trail to the isolated peak, where we'll both lose and catch our breath with a 360-degree view.
From our perch above it all, we'll be masters of our domain- from Sandstone Peak to the west, Simi Valley to the north (bring your binoculars!), Ladyface and Mt Baldy to the east (binoculars not needed), and the Channel Islands to the south.
The route will take us along the newest part of the Backbone Trail- only two more sections to complete the 65 mile trail!
This is an 8 mile out and back hike, with 1200' of elevation gain. The Gentler option is to turn back whenever you've had enough, since we'll be returning the way we came, and it's easy to follow back.
Give yourself extra time to get to the trailhead- the roads are winding and slow.
The parking area is off the north side of Encinal Canyon Road, almost directly across the street from the Camp 13 fire station. Park in the large dirt lot, which is free.
Some people find that using the 2nd set of directions below is worthwhile from all points north of Mulholland, since the 23 is very twisty, and you can avoid the traffic lights in Westlake.
From Thousand Oaks and west – From the 101 Freeway, turn south on Westlake Blvd. Drive south on CA-23 South (Westlake Blvd / Mulholland Hwy / Decker Canyon Rd) for 7.9 miles. Turn left onto Lechusa Rd and then turn left immediately onto Encinal Canyon Road. Drive 1.1 miles to the parking area on the left. Note that CA-23 South is a very slow, winding road, so give yourself plenty of time for the drive!
From Agoura Hills and east – From the 101 Freeway, turn south on Kanan Rd. Continue 6.2 miles, then turn right onto Mulholland Hwy. After 0.9 miles, veer left onto Encinal Canyon Rd. Drive 2.4 miles to the parking area, on the right.
From the Pacific Coast Highway – From the PCH, turn up Encinal Canyon Road. Drive 5 miles, then turn right onto Encinal Cyn Rd. Continue 1.1 miles to the parking area, on the left.
DISCLAIMER / RELEASE OF LIABILITY
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, its organizers, and sponsors from all liability in case of possible injuries. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.
All participants must be 18 or older, or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.