3.0 miles, 800′ gain, easy-intermediate.
This hike is rated easy-intermediate because it is a continuous incline for 1.5 miles. This isn’t real steep, but it is continuous, and many beginner hikers have indicated this should be rated intermediate (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879781).
That said, there is no reason a fit beginner cannot complete this hike. If needed, just stop and rest along the way, even if it’s every 50 steps. This is not a conditioning hike, it is a social hike, and you really can’t get lost.
The only junction is 200 yards before the top, where we’ll turn right to complete the climb.
At the top, there is a picnic table and 360 degree incredible views that are especially wonderful at night. We’ll have our typical snack-share (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879772) social event at the top for 30-60 minutes before heading back the way we came. Please bring some food and drink to share.
The top has been known to sometimes be very cool and windy. Please bring something to put on in case it is that way at the top.
You will see several plants of note:
The Cahuilla Indians used the leaves interchangeably with other tobacco species in hunting rituals and as a poultice to treat swellings, bruises, cuts, wounds, boils, sores, inflamed throat, and swollen glands. It does not contain nicotine.
It contains anabasine, a similar compound, which is highly toxic to humans and animals. It is more toxic than nicotine. Ingestion of the leaves can be fatal. It is being investigated for use as a biofuel. All parts of this plant are toxic. Used as an insecticide. Do not smoke.
The blue or purple berries are gathered and made into elderberry wine, jam, syrup, and pies. The entire flower cluster can be dipped in batter and fried while petals can be eaten raw or made into a fragrant and tasty tea. Spit out the seeds. Elderflower water is also used in perfumes and sweets.
Most agree that they do need to be cooked if you are going to eat more than just a few out of hand. That’s because they have a small amount of cyanide producing glycosides, which are released upon digestion. Fully ripe black berries are not toxic and you can eat as many as you like. Boiling or baking takes care of any “toxic” issue as does drying raw berries.
From the 101 take the Ventu Park exit (3 miles north/west of the 23) and go South toward the ocean. At Lynn Road turn right. VERY soon you will pass an open space on your left. Watch for the entrance to Regal Oak Ct on your left, where you will turn left. Take it all the way to the end and park. This is a neighborhood, so please keep the noise down.
We will meet not quite at the end of the road. We’ll cross a gate along the side of the street and across from the houses, then move 100 yards to the right and enter the trail.
Hike Distance: 3.0 miles
Distribution: Most of the incline occurs in the first half, which is a continuous climb.
Difficulty (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879781): Easy Intermediate.
Shape: Out and back.
Pace: approx. 2.0 mph.
Trail Type: Double track, single track.
Duration: 4 hours
Drinking Fountains: No.
Parking: Free along the street.
What to bring:
1 liter of water for every 3 miles.
Hiking shoes/boots. Not required, but recommended.
Flashlight or headlamp.
Sunscreen and/or hat as needed.
Snacks and/or beverages to share (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879772).
Release of Liability: https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/pages/29622459/Is_Hiking_Dangerous/