This is a fast-paced conditioning hike for intermediate-level hikers and above. The PM Blazers are a fun but experienced and very fit hiking group...please carefully read the write-up below before signing up!
I'll be away for the holidays but am scheduling this hike so the regular PM Blazers can hike in my absence. Given the shorter days, plan is to do the full route in 2:30 or less, including our customary stop on the Topanga lookout.
Please note that the guest feature is not activated for this meetup. On all my hikes, I expect everyone coming to have signed up themselves, read the write-up, and arrive informed and prepared.
Hope to see you on the trails,
Time for the next meet-up of the fit and fabulous PM Blazers!
Our afternoon PM Blazes are conditioning hikes intended for people hiking at an intermediate level or above and seeking time outdoors with fun and friendly people sharing similar interests and fitness goals.
Our hike format emphasizes easy-to-access and scenic 5-8 mile conditioning routes with intermediate-level elevation gains, a total hiking time of 2-3 hours at a moderate to fast pace, periodic rest and sightseeing stops, and optional technique discussions and conditioning exercises (based on individual and group interest).
We schedule our PM Blazes as late in the day as the season allows, minimizing hiking in the dark while encouraging people with a variety of work and home schedules to get great conditioning hikes in during the week and tune-up for weekend adventures.
Here is info on our scheduled hike…hope to see you there!
Topanga Ridge Trail
Hike Type: Conditioning
Route Type: Out & back
Distance: 4-5 miles
Elevation gain:[masked] feet
Terrain: Fire road & ridge trail
Dogs allowed: Yes
This hike will take us 4-5 miles roundtrip to one of several dramatic overlooks above Stunt Ranch State Park, Calabasas Peak, and Topanga, Old Topanga and Cold Creek Canyons. From almost any spot we choose as our break and turning point, there will be striking views north into Ventura County, northeast to the San Fernando and Simi Valleys, and southeast and southwest to the Pacific Ocean. The route passes through and over a variety of interesting geological formations, including large weathered sandstone outcroppings and colorful rock slabs.
Our route and total distance can vary based on the group, available time, and weather conditions, but aims to cover a dramatic ridgeline trail that leads high above the surrounding canyons and hills to the panoramic Topanga Lookout situated above the Pacific. Though the hike is fairly short in distance by Blazer standards, it involves significant elevation gain, winding and rocky trails, and some steep sections and light (Class I) grappling. Overall, this route is reasonably strenuous but extremely rewarding. People not yet hiking at an intermediate level or uncomfortable with hilly and narrow paths can start with us and then continue to Calabasas Peak when we turn onto the steeper ridge trail.
The hike begins on the Calabasas Peak Trail, an open fire road that provides a moderate but steady uphill ascent in a northeasterly direction from the Stunt Road trailhead. Early in the hike, there are beautiful views of the Santa Monica Mountains and Stunt Ranch State Park to our left and then Topanga Canyon as we reach Red Rock Canyon Road and the turn to the Topanga Ridge Trail after about a mile. When then leave the Calabasas Peak Trail and begin a steeper southerly uphill trek along the informally-named Topanga Ridge Trail. This route will take us along spectacular tilted and pocketed sandstone formations set against the mountains, and offers increasingly dramatic views of the area as we proceed. After completing our ascent, we return and descend north on the Topanga Ridge Trail until we again reach the Calabasas Peak Trail. We then finish our hike by descending southwesterly to the Stunt Road trailhead.
The route begins on a canyon floor but then ascends to and proceeds along open ridgeline. Since we start in a fairly sheltered location and reach exposed areas open to the Pacific and surrounding valleys, weather can range from calm and humid to misty with ocean winds to quite warm and dry conditions. We will stop along the Topanga Ridge Trail to grab a snack and enjoy the great view. On our way back, especially after sunset, we can enjoy the canyons in the gathering twilight.
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. (On this hike, a long-sleeve shirt and eye protection are recommended to protect against overhanging brush.)
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 off-street parking is available at the dirt turnout on Stunt Road
Please do not leave anything of value in your car, at this or any other trailhead.
From the 101 – exit at the Las Virgenes Road exit and go south (toward the ocean). Drive 3 miles to Mulholland Highway and make a left turn. Continue 4 miles to Stunt Road and turn right. Go one mile, and park and meet in the dirt pullout on the right. (The trailhead is across the street at the gated fire road.)
From the PCH – turn up Malibu Canyon Road and drive 6.5 miles to Mulholland Highway. Turn right and continue 4 miles to Stunt Road. Turn right and drive one mile. Park and meet in the dirt pullout on the right. (The trailhead is across the street at the gated fire road.)
DISCLAIMER / RELEASE OF LIABILITY
IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ BELOW IN ITS ENTIRETY:
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.
All participants must be 18 or older, or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
PLEASE CONTACT ME WITH ANY QUESTIONS!