Day 2 in the Santa Monica Mtns had me awake from my campsite off Yerba Buena
Rd around 6:30a. After dressing, I moved the car a short distance down the road
crosses the road. Parking doesn't really exist
here, but one can make do with a few
to get off the road legally.
The summit is only about a mile from Yerba Buena Rd, most of it on the Backbone
Trail. Mostly surrounded by early morning fog, I followed the trail up through
several switchbacks, along a dirt road at a junction
and then to the west side of the summit. I noticed an
running up that side which worked quite nicely to get me up
to the west
summit. There are three points on the topo with equal contours, the middle one
appears to be the highest, less than a minute from the west summit. The
northeast summit doesn't come close to the other two in elevation
and I suspect it has an
extra contour shown on the map - I didn't bother to visit it. I didn't notice
the benchmark at the middle summit as shown on the topo, but then I didn't
really look very much. I followed another use trail coming up from the southeast
side to see if it was better than the ascent one. It wasn't. It took me down
almost a quarter mile in that direction before reconnecting with the Backbone
and lost a couple hundred extra feet of elevation that I would have to
regain as I followed the trail west back past the summit as it skirts around its
south side. I picked up the first of a number of ticks I would find on the day.
Most I would easily just brush off my pants, but a few of the luckier ones
would find skin before being discovered. Pesky critters, these.
This is an easy summit starting off Decker School Rd, utilizing
The summit is less than a mile away with modest elevation gain,
the only trick is taking a
left fork at an unmarked junction. This
goes virtually over the
summit with a short use trail going to .
The fog had not yet begun to dissipate, so were rather muted.
Found off Westlake Blvd, north of Mulholland Hwy, the peak is located on
private property. One can access it from an undeveloped lot, unsigned for No
Trespassing, on the east side.
I followed up to
(probably worth a few $$),
then higher past and then steeply up to
on a weak use trail.
More fog and a whole lot of - more
than a dozen picked up from the brushy
parts above the empty lot. Not much to recommend this one.
With more than 600ft of prominence, this was the most prominent summit I visited
on the day. Like the previous one, it lies on private property, but various
roads through mostly undeveloped parcels can get you to the summit with little
trouble. A white pickup was parked off Mulholland at
of the rough
dirt road heading up, which gave me pause. The route was unsigned for No
Trespassing so I figured I could simply apologize and leave if I ran
into someone. There was no one up the road, thankfully.
last time it was registered was 2014) is parked at a 180 degree bend in the
road. Above that is a messy lot with an .
that looks like shit now with another RV and all kinds of crap left about. I
couldn't tell if the property is still visited or not. I made my way higher to
another road and then to the summit, about 20min all told. There is a nice
little from which one can view
Lake Sherwood to and much of the
- if the fog hadn't still persisted.
On my way east along Mulholland Hwy, I paused to check out
I'd hopes of climbing.
There is a winery on its northwest flanks that might offer
a reasonable way up, but I didn't go onto the property to seek permission.
I examined the other sides of Saddle Rocks as I drove the road around three
sides of it, but it looked like hellacious brush everywhere I looked. With so
many active ticks in the area, the last thing I needed was a full-on bushwhack.
This was one of two interesting summits of the day, located in Malibu Creek
State Park across the creek from Goat Buttes West. It is an impressively
rugged peak viewed from all directions, especially from the north where I
approached. I parked on Mulholland Hwy on
of the park and used to hike
, past and to
one of the more popular sites within the park, even
more than the M*A*S*H location site near Goat Buttes. All manner of folks come
here to swim, picnic and apparently leave loads of trash. Sigh. It was pretty
busy today with a number of local schools off for Easter Break. Julie Gregg has
a TR on PB that describes a rather involved class 5 climb starting from the
pool, all of it unnecessary. I went to
of the rock pool where
there is a No Diving sign, then took a good use trail to the west away from
the creek that climbs to the summit. It is a fun bit of scrambling, no more
than easy class 3 but ,
sometimes sustained, and entertaining. The empty
beer bottles and other trash found along the way are detractions, as is
that seems to follow you all the way to the summit. The summit is an
open, rounded rock outcrop with lots of room. I picked up all the trash at the
summit, including some pink clothing that had been tied around a stick and
abandoned - apparently used to wave to some friends waiting down below. Who
does stuff like this? The sun had come out, a bit hazy still, but the views
were quite nice in all directions. Goat Buttes West rises sharply to
while the higher Goat Butttes East is prominent to
. I went
the same way, exploring an alternate return route along the creek on the
way back. Very fun summit, this one. Unfortunately I deleted the GPX track
before saving it. Rats.
This one is located on private property owned by the Salvation Army on the south
side of Malibu Creek SP, off Las Virgene Rd, the other fun peak of the day.
The Salvation Army folks are kind enough to provide
access M-F by coming to the office and signing a waiver. I can't stress enough
for others to do likewise rather than trying to stealth it. They have kid camps
on the weekends and sometimes take kids up the trail - it is pretty strenuous
and class 3 to boot, so the instructors don't need solo hikers knocking rocks
down on the kids (which is why it's not open to the general public
Sat/Sun). It's not obvious how to
get to the camp - one needs to go through the Tapia County Park entrance and
tell them where you're going so you don't have to pay a fee. I didn't know this
so I ended up parking off Las Virgenes Road and ,
entrance kiosk of the county park. The Salvation Army camp has
can be buzzed - I simply expressed my desire to hike the peak and they buzzed
me in, instructing me to come to the main office. The office is NOT the first
building inside the gate - that is a private residence, I found. The camp is
located down the road, across the creek on a steel/concrete
and then right, through the camp and across the road from
. The office
personnel were super sweet - even offered to provide a helmet if I would have
liked one, then gave me instructions to find the trail - north through camp,
past a 4-story building, then around the back side of the adjacent private
residence. The trail is to start (Big Cross Trail)
then just goes up roughly through brush, , .
At the longest stretch of class 3 there is
fixed to the rock for a handline, about 50yds in length. It is mostly
useless however, because it isn't secured at the bottom (which means you can't
put tension on it from the side) and the steel cable is slippery. Luckily,
it's not really needed since the class 3 isn't on the hard side, though still
is less than half a mile but more than a 1,000ft up -
fairly steep. There is a large wooden cross erected on one of
back in the 1990s. Looks like it could use some paint. The summit is not far
from Goat Buttes and higher than both of them, making for a pretty
Going back the same way, it was after 4p by the time I finished up. Though
I still had three hours of daylight I decided to take it easy the rest of the
day. Time to go look for some food...