Needs a location
The Conejo Open Space Challenge: For the second year, the Conejo Open Space Conservation Agency (COSCA (http://www.conejo-openspace.org/)) is putting on an event to get us to experience some of the beautiful but possibly less well known trails in the Conejo Valley. To encourage us to complete the challenge, prizes are offered to some people who complete all ten segments of the Challenge before May 1, and also to those who take the best photos along the way. You prove you hiked the segments by emailing photos of a specific location to the organizer, or by joining this Meetup event. You can learn more about the Challenge from this flyer (http://www.venturacountytrails.org/COSCA/2013ConejoChallenge.pdf).
We'll finish the series with this eighth hike, completing the last two trails: Oakbrook Vista Trail and Hidden Meadows Trail. Between these two trails we'll sneak a side-trip up the Secret Passage to Simi Peak for a much more challenging hike through some outstanding sandstone formations and incomparable views over Oak Park. This will be a shuttle hike so we'll meet at the end, carpool to the beginning, hike to the end, then carpool back to the cars we left at the start. Click here (http://www.venturacountytrails.org/RecentPhotos/2009-05-09SecretPassage/_Page.html) for photos from a previous hike to the Secret Passage.
This is a much more difficult hike than the previous ones in this series. Parts of it are very steep and there will be short sections that are so steep that you'll need to use your hands to steady you as you climb. For people who want to complete the series but don't want to do this hike, Ed Hansen has stepped up to lead an easier hike that covers the same route except that it skips the steep and more difficult Secret Passage. You can sign up for that hike separately here (http://www.meetup.com/calabasasdayhikers/events/108982522/).
The Secret Passage is one of my top three favorite hikes in the area. If you like a bit of a challenge, you won't be disappointed!
Distance: 6.0 miles
Climbing: 1700' cumulative
Pace: We'll hike at a moderate pace with frequent short breaks on the steeper sections to catch or breaths. We'll need to hike together as a group so that nobody gets lost by taking a wrong turn at one of the several forks we'll pass through.
Driving Directions: We'll meet at the Hidden Meadows Trailhead on Falling Star Avenue in Thousand Oaks. From the 101 Fwy, exit Lindero and turn North. Proceed up Lindero and turn left on Kanan. Take the first right onto Falling Star Ave. and proceed to the end. Park on the street at the Hidden Meadows Trailhead.
Lunch: We'll be going out to lunch after the hike and you can join us if you like, but that isn't required to participate in this event. We'll be looking for suggestions as to where we should go to eat.
This hike is being cross-posted to the Calabasas Day Hikers Meetup group. (http://www.meetup.com/calabasasdayhikers/events/108489062/)
The Fine Print/Please Read!
You don't need to RSVP "NO" if you can't make it--let's save the "NOs" for the folks that wanted to go, then needed to change their minds.
Wear lug soled shoes, long sleeve shirt and long pants for brush and tick protection, and dress in layers for comfort.
Bring at least 1 liter of water per 3 miles, snacks, lunch (if posted), hiking poles (if you use them), camera and the "Ten Essentials" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Essentials).
Carry rain gear if the rain forecast is 20 percent chance or better.
Know your own capabilities and plan accordingly.
No guests or "plus ones" please. For liability reasons we must have everyone join the group, and agree to the standard Meetup "Terms of Service", especially section 6.2, here (http://www.meetup.com/terms/).
Be on time -- It is extremely rude to be late and expect 20 people to wait for you. Even if you call, it is still inappropriate to think that they should wait for you.
Don't be a no show -- How hard is it to remove your name? TAKE IT OFF IF YOU CANNOT MAKE IT! The earlier the better so someone else that wants to go, can.
Any outdoors activity can be challenging, fun, or a painful experience, (often depending who you are with), even deadly and more painful depending on you, your abilities, circumstances and sometimes just bad luck. Accidents happen. Please do not sign up if you are not comfortable with what you are doing, or if you think you don’t have the needed skills for the event. You will be agreeing to take responsibility for yourself, your actions and not to hold organizer/group leader, participants, or anyone liable but yourself by signing up for this event.
Most importantly: Have Fun!