Hiway BM P300
Peak 2,356ft P300
Peak 2,392ft P300
Del Valle BM

Sat, Dec 22, 2018

With: Jackie Burd

Etymology
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 GPX

The family was taking two vehicles to SoCal for the holiday this year because there were more folks to carry back with us on the return. Jackie and I went down a day earlier than Mom and Ryan so I could spend an evening with my sister and Jackie could go on a date with her boyfriend who lived down that way. I would insist of course that we leave San Jose early enough to give us time to hit up a few peaks on our way to Santa Clarita. Three of the four peaks we tagged were in the Liebre Range around the Castaic Lake area off Interstate 5, all them short outings. Despite heavy holiday traffic enroute, we managed to get the four peaks in with time to spare before we were due at my sister's home at 4p.

Hiway Benchmark

Our first stop had us exiting I-5 below Pyramid Lake and driving a portion of the Old Ridge Route that predates Interstate 5 and the Golden State Hwy as a means to get between SoCal and the Central Valley. Hiway BM is found a few hundred yards off this weakly maintained paved road. Washouts have closed the road to through traffic for decades now, but other sections north and south are still driveable by the adventurous. We parked off the road to the west and hiked the short distance to the summit on an old, mildly overgrown use trail. There was a register at the top left in 2016. Laura Newman was the last to sign in, no great surprise. Curses!

Peak 2,356ft

These two unnamed summits are located east of Castaic Lake. A paved road goes from Lake Castaic up Lake Elizabeth Canyon to the small community of Lake Hughes. Both of these are found off this road. Peak 2,356ft is perhaps a quarter mile from the road, the area having recently burned off the brush though the use trail leading to the peak is easily discerned. The summit is a large rock outcrop, with no route easier than class 3, easily the most fun we had on the day. Once at the rock outcrop, Jackie took the easier class 3 route up the north side while I followed a more sporting climb on the west side. It was funny to scramble past several bolts that had been placed on the relatively easy granite face. Our routes converged about 2/3 of the way up the 40 to 50-foot high outcrop. Here we took another sporty route up the west side (easier route continues on the north side). We took the easiest options down the north side on our return. Fun scrambling on this one.

Peak 2,392ft

Found about 3/4mi to the east of Peak 2,356ft across a small canyon, there is a dirt road from the north that can be used to get quite close to the summit. A sign indicates the Forest Service road is closed to the public due to the fire, but this had been routinely ignored and an alternate track has been established around the locked gate. We drove up to a saddle on the SE side of the summit where a short walk leads to the top. Parking at the gate makes the route about a mile and a quarter each way.

Del Valle Benchmark

This minor summit is located west of the I-5/SR126 interchange at the northwest end of Santa Clarita. The paved road that runs east of the summit is inconveniently signed for No Parking on both sides of the road. We explored other parking options, but eventually settled on an unsigned, ungated spur road immediately adjacent to the water tower access road we planned to hike. This spur road goes only a short distance down from the main road to a dry catch basin where we parked. The water tower road is gated, but a use trail can be found going around the gate and fence. We walked the road up to the tower where it was necessary to climb some steep culverts above the tower to gain the summit. Jackie decided this was a bit too brushy for her liking and waited at the top of the tower for my return. I found the route hardly brushy at all, but still a bit steep. Above the culverts, a use trail leads to the summit with a cool view overlooking the broad (and dry) Santa Clara River flood plain along which SR126 follows west to Oxnard. A generic, undated, unstamped USGS benchmark is found at the small summit. I collected my daughter on the way back down to end the day. Time to meet up with Sis, shower, and then ... sushi!

Continued...


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