SEE WHAT A WEEK OF RAIN DOES TO OUR LOCAL WATERFALL PARADISE!
WHERE: Circle X ranch, in the western Santa Monica Mountains
NOTE: BECAUSE THIS HIKE GETS REALLY POPULAR IN WATERFALL SEASON, WE ARE LIMITED TO 50 HIKERS MAXIMUM, AND CAR-POOLING IS MANDATORY--THE RANGERS GET A BIT CRANKY IF WE PACK THEIR PARKING LOT. WE ARE LIMITED TO 12 CARS.
CARPOOLING IS MANDATORY--A GOOD SPOT TO MEET FOR CARPOOLING IS ON PCH ACROSS FROM NEPTUNE'S NET (AT YERBA BUEBA ROAD). THEN DRIVE UP THE HILL 5 MILES TO THE PARKING LOT. Park in the lot with the sign saying "Sandstone Peak trailhead".
DRIVING TIME: Typically it takes an hour from downtown or west L.A to get here.
ITINERARY: WHEN: 3 PM, Sunday April 3rd
3 pm: Meet at Sandstone Peak trailhead parking lot
We will first past a series of cascading mini falls. Then we will connect with the Grotto trail, and cross a much bigger waterfall. Soon, to our left,we will see falls #2 and 3. Then when we hit the canyon bottom and an old campground, we are really close to the grotto.
The Grotto is really cool because this is a 20 foot underground waterfall, located in a room under a giant boulder in the canyon. On the way we may pass nice smelling wildflowers, if the lilac flowers are blooming yet.
7 PM--watch the sunset and optional dinner at Neptune's Net (located at PCH and Yerba Buena Road)
HOW LONG IS THE HIKE: About 4 miles each way. This is an upside down hike, we go down past 4 waterfalls, then come back up. The last tenth of a mile of the hike requires some climbing over boulders to get to the last waterfall (the grotto--which is the underground waterfall in the picture above)
ELEVATION LOSS AND GAIN: We will descend 800 feet to the grotto in around 4 miles. Then take the elevator back to the top. Only the last tenth of a mile at the last waterfall requires some climbing over large bouders.
WEATHER: expected to be sunny
WHERE TO PARK?: There are 4 dirt parking lots at Circle X ranch. However, we will meet at the Sandstone Peak trailhead (see map)
PLEASE PRINT OUT THIS PRINTABLE VERSION OF THE MAP SHOWING WHERE TO PARK:
ALSO, HERE'S A PRINTABLE GOOGLE MAP: click on link
(NOTE: THE BLUE DOTS FOLLOW THE ROUTE WITH THE LEAST HAIRPIN TURNS--FOR THOSE THAT GET DIZZY EASILY)
--BRING A HAT!!!! BRING 2 QUARTS OF WATER PER PERSON. STAY HYDRATED!. Also, you might get wet crossing the stream. We're in no rush, so let's be careful!
PHOTOS OF THE HIKE:
FROM DECEMBER 27, 2010: http://www.meetup.com/hiking-196/photos/all_photos/?photoAlbumId=1200522
HERE'S A DESCRIPTION OF THIS HIKE FROM MEET-UP IN 2009:
BRING: WATER, A HAT, SUNSCREEN, COMFORTABLE SHOES WHICH YOU DON'T MIND GETTING WET, AND FOOD---THIS IS NOT TOO HARD OF A HIKE!
HOW TO GET THERE:
FROM THE WESTSIDE, take the 10 freeway to Pacific Coast Highway, go west past Malibu to Yerba Buena Road. Turn right, go up the hill 5 miles to the Circle X ranch ranger station, and about a half mile past that is the Sandstone Peak trailhead.
IF YOU CHOOSE TO TAKE THE 101 FREEWAY: take the 101 Freeway west to Kanan Dume Road in the city of Agoura Hills. Take it to the south, towards the beach. In about 5 miles, you will come to Mulholland Highway, Turn right, going west. In about a mile, the road forks. Take the left fork onto Encinal Canyon Road. Follow this for about 2 miles. It will run into Decker road (also called Lechuza or Highway 23). Turn Right. This will lead very shortly again to Mulholland. Turn left (west). A short distance ahead is an abrupt right turn called Little Sycamore Rd. (The name soon changes to Yerba Buena Road--don't worry !). Take this twisty road for another 2 miles and you will see the parking area for the Mishe Mokwa trail, go another half a mile and park at the Sandstone Peak trailhead --YES--PARK THERE!. (If you continue west on this road for another 1/2 mile, you will see the ranger station--we are not starting from here, however, there are restrooms and drinking water here)
FINALLY, (LEGAL DISCLAIMER)--YOU ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR BEING CAREFUL ON THIS HIKE. BY COMING ON THIS HIKE, YOU AGREE TO NOT HOLD ANYONE AT MEETUP RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY INJURIES.
And for more cool hikes this week, see my Calendar of Meetup hikes in L.A.: http://lameetuphikes.... (http://lameetuphikes.blogspot.com)