COVID precautions still apply. Please be mindful of other people’s space.
BOULDERING, ROCK HOPPING & UNEVEN HIKING SURFACES.
Wear shoes you can get wet. You’re almost guaranteed to go in at least knee deep into the water at some point. We’ll be exploring past our usual lunch spot three miles in with regrouping points along the way.
Write up is Don’s:
Please be sure you’ve read the write-up. Not a race, but you’ll need to keep up. If you fall behind, just stay with the creek and enjoy. We’ll be returning the same way and pick you up on our way back if you haven’t already returned on your own. There are usually multiple ways to travel, just keep your eyes open and look around. By this I mean staying on a particular side of the creek, crossing or in some spots going right down the middle.
Distance: 7+ miles
Elevation Gain: 700 ft.
Duration: 5 hours, I won’t be in a hurry.
This is a multiple rated hike. Your rating depends on your capabilities. The heat will dictate how much time we spend in the water. This is a great hike for kids that are careful. Dogs, friendly and picked up after are fine here as well. There is poison oak on this trail!
YOU WILL BE GETTING WET!!
Elevation gain and loss is less than 700 feet for this one. There IS some bouldering, but mostly rock hopping. I’ve decided to use rafting terms to give a better description. This hike has Class I rock hopping and a few Class II’s, but is nothing like Santa Paula Creek or Bridge to Nowhere. Of course each time we try and go in a bit further and ya never know what we’ll come across. Good luck staying dry. This is an out and back route along a trail that is hard to follow at times. Walking sticks might be helpful in some areas and you might also want to wear pants as there will be some areas of the trail that are overgrown. If it’s hot and you want to take a dip, BRING OR WEAR A BATHING SUIT.
Piru Creek in the Los Padres National Forest rushes down the eastern flank of Pine Mountain in Ventura County, it’s captured behind the dam that forms Pyramid Lake in extreme northwestern Los Angeles County, and then exits below the dam through Piru Gorge and tumbles south to Lake Piru and, eventually, the Santa Clara River in Ventura County. If we were to hike to Lake Piru it would be 14 miles. We’re going to hike from Frenchman’s Flat, working our way down the cottonwood and willow fringed banks. The creek slips over water-worn boulders, some the size of cars, and collects in silt-bottomed pools. The seamed and shattered walls down the length of the gorge, up to 500 feet high, disclose at least five distinct changes in the bedrock as you travel downstream. These rocks reflect a variety of ages, from older than 600 million years (Precambrian metamorphic rocks) to tens of millions of years old (Eocene sedimentary rocks). Several faults cross the route, including the northernmost end of the San Gabriel Fault.
PARKING PASS REQUIRED As with all National Forest Land a parking pass is required and can be purchased at Sport Chalet, Big 5 and other places. $5/day or $30/yr. You will get a ticket here.
Directions: On the 5 freeway go about 6 miles north of Lake Hughes/Castaic and exit at Templin Hwy. Go left, under the freeway and turn right at Golden State Hwy. Take this to the end, this is Frenchman’s Flat.
Carpooling/Caravaning: I usually stop at the Valencia Starbuck’s on The Old Road; exit the 5 Fwy at Valencia Blvd., head west and turn right on The Old Road. 26802 The Old Road, Santa Clarita 91381. Be ready to leave from this location by 8:00.
PLEASE – Know your limits and abilities. Bring snacks and drink plenty of liquids when hiking. Check weather conditions and dress accordingly and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Watching out for poison oak, snakes, ticks, uneven footing, spectacular views, beautiful fauna all while interacting with awesome (usually) fellow hikers can be extremely hazardous, rewarding and fun.
The Farzan Rule: Posted hike times are the time the hike starts or we leave from a posted shuttle location. I’m aware other Meetup groups offer a grace period for late arrivals; we don’t. It’s your responsibility to know the location of the meeting spot and be there and ready to participate at the posted time. If you have any concerns about the directions feel free to contact the organizer of the event, preferably in advance of the event and not at the start time. I’m of the opinion that it’s not fair to delay an event when the majority of attendees have arrived on-time. (so named after a conversation I had with a certain un-named member)
RSVP’s: If you RSVP for an event be responsible and update your RSVP if your plans change. If your plans change at the last second and you’re not able to update your RSVP also let us know. In my opinion a no-show is someone who has no regard for following the guidelines we request from our members and will risk being removed from future events that have a limit.
VHC HIKE RATING SCALE
Rating a hike is subjective, meaning the difficulty of a hike will be in direct relation to how often you hike and the type of hike you prefer. Keep in mind that any hike can have the following: un-even hiking surfaces, various obstructions, water and/or water crossings or bouldering and/or rock hopping. A great hike will have all of these!
1 – A long walk
2 – 4 mile hike w/little elevation gain
3 – 5 mile hike w/up to 1000 ft. elevation gain
4 – 5+ mile hike w/up to 1500 ft. elevation gain (heart rate increases at times)
5 – 7+ mile hike w/over 1500 ft. elevation gain (heart rate increasing even more at times)
6 – 7+ mile hike w/over 2000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be trying to remember how to perform CPR)
7 – 5+ mile hike w/over 2000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be muttering expletives to yourself)
8 – 10+ mile hike w/over 3500 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be angry with the hike leader)
9 – 10+ mile hike w/over 5000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be thinking of reporting the hike leader to the authorities)
10 – Use your imagination
Class 3 Scrambling: Scrambling or un-roped climbing. You must use your hands at times to hold the terrain or find your route. This may be caused by a combination of boulders, steepness and extreme terrain. Some Class 3 routes have ropes in place for assistance.
DISCLAIMER / RELEASE OF LIABILITY
IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ BELOW IN ITS ENTIRETY:
I am a volunteer (i.e. not liable for the group). Safety is a priority for everyone in the group. Think of this as hiking with a group of friends.
Outdoor sports and other events we plan can be inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in any posted event, you’re taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. The Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup Group and its organizers are not trained leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to lead or participate in trips. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions. If you choose to sign up for any Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup events, you are releasing the Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup Group and it’s organizers from all liability in case of possible injuries as stated in paragraph 6.2 of the Meetup “Terms of Service” located on the bottom of the Meetup website. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.