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Sage Ranch Lollipop – Fit Beginner

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Sage Ranch Lollipop – Fit Beginner

As of July 7, 2020, the first part of the clockwise loop was closed, but we found a new and cooler route with a perfect place for a snack-share, complete with picnic table.

We’ll head up the ramp and begin the hike counter-clockwise. This ramp will be the only significant incline, but is still suitable for fit beginners (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879781). It is paved, runs 1/4 mile, and about 125′ of gain. It will get your blood pumping, but that’s OK because this is not a conditioning hike, it is a social hike.

We’ll continue until we see a trail junction heading to the right and behind the rocks. We’ll follow it around and go up on the rocks to a secret area where the rock has been carved out.

After, we’ll continue back to the main trail and follow it the rest of the way around. When we come to a sign that says “detour” because the path forward is closed, we’ll take the detour.

Shortly after the detour starts, there will be a picnic table.

We’ll decide on the hike itself, whether to have the social event where the rock has a circle carved out, or at the picnic table on the return half of the loop.

It is a steady climb up most of the way back, but fit beginners can handle it. It will eventually lead us back to the top parking lot. From there, we’ll take the asphalt path and down to our cars.

Note that we have been scolded in the past by the ranger for being on the trail after dark here, so we’ll try to get back to our cars by dark.

We’ll stop whenever necessary to regroup.

Other than what was mentioned earlier in this description, all of the gain is distributed with no difficult or extended elevation climbs. This hike has all the look and feel you would expect of a mountain hike in this area. Most of the walk is a well maintained rocky trail.

This takes us through Sage Ranch Park, with interesting rock formations all around, a very cool overlook onto the valley at the half way point, and even an overlook onto part of the old Santa Suzanna nuclear test facility.

Below is a picture of Turtle Rock.

About the parking:

There are two spots to park. The first (where we will meet), is right at the entrance along the west edge of Black Canyon Rd. This is a free gravel lot, but parking is limited to about 30 cars.

If the free lots gets filled, continue about 500′ west up a steep incline, where there is another lot with payment required via self-pay envelopes. In early 2018, it was $5. If you plan on parking in this lot, bring exact change.

For this hike, we’ll walk up to this lot, so you can wait there of you don’t want to make the climb from the lower lot to the upper lot.

The park is officially open from sunrise to sunset. Prior postings for this hike, had this warning: If you do park in the pay lot, be sure you return before sunset, else risk a ticket or being locked in by a ranger.

Interesting Notes:

Here are a couple plants you are sure to see on this hike:

Black Sage

Multiple brown buttons going up the top of the stalk, that may have white flowers. Green leaves. Purple or white flowers that are dark brown as they dry on the plant. Squish the leaves and smell.

A rare and sought after Black sage honey is also made from the honey of bees that pollinate the Black sage plant. Black sage is utilized in the culinary world as an aromatic and flavorful herb. It can be used in recipes wherever traditional sage is called for, however keep in mind that foraged Black sage has a much stronger flavor than that of traditional store bought sage.

Its flavor marries well with winter squashes, brown butter, poultry, venison, pears, cheese, potatoes and other herbs such as rosemary and thyme. Use fresh in a variety of different preparations or leaves can be dried and stored for future use as a dried herb. Black sage was used traditionally by Native Americans known as the Chumash people to form an herbal soak for the bath to be used in the treatment of bodily pain, specifically for the feet and lower legs.

Yerba Santa
Saint Herb, Holy Plant, Mountain Balm.

The Spanish who came to early California were so impressed with the plant that they gave it the name Yerba Santa.

Leaves were chewed to relieve dry mouth. Leaves were smoked or chewed to relieve asthma, coughs, colds, headaches, and stomachaches. Infusions of Yerba Santa leaves and flowers were used to treat fevers, coughs, colds, stomachaches, asthma, rheumatism pleurisy, chronic bronchitis, tuberculosis, and to purify the blood. Heated leaves were placed on the forehead to relieve headaches and other aches and sores.

The sticky leaves stay in place upon the skin. Mashed leaves were applied externally to sores, cuts, wounds, insect bites, and aching muscles. Mashed leaves were also used to reduce the swelling and relieve pain caused by bone fractures. The branches and leaves were burned in steam baths to treat rheumatism and hemorrhoids. Contains chemicals that are thought to loosen mucus in the chest and may increase urination.

The Hike:

Distance: 3 miles
Duration: 3.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 560′
Difficulty (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879781): Fit Beginner
Pace: 2.0 mph
Dogs: Yes if leashed, per State law
Restrooms: Yes, at the start, but you may have to walk up a 1/4 mile incline to get to it.
Drinking Fountains: Yes, at the start, but you have to walk up a 1/4 mile incline and down into the picnic area to get to it.
Parking: Free in the gravel lot, $5 to park up the incline at the top.
Trail: Fire Road and rocky trail, good condition.
Known Dangers: Rattlesnakes, slip-‘n-fall

What to Bring:
1-2 liters of water.
Snacks and/or beverages to share (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879772).
Hiking shoes preferred, but athletic shoes will be OK.
Flashlight or headlamp. The last 30 minutes may get dark.

Picture of the route below the description.

Directions:

Sage Ranch Loop Trail
1 Black Canyon Road
Simi Valley, CA 91304
Coordinates: 34.241330, -118.671742

From the 118

Exit Topanga Canyon and head south for 2.5 mi.
Right (west) on Plummer St. for 09. mi.
Continue as the road curves left, becoming Valley Circle Blvd. and then Lake Manor Dr. for 1.2 mi.
Left (south) on Valley Circle Blvd. (do not continue onto Box Canyon Rd.) for 500′.
Right (west) on Woosley Canyon Rd. up the winding hill for 2.5 mi.
Right (north) on Facility Rd. for 500′.
Left (west) into lot.
Free parking is on left, paid parking is up the incline at the end.

From the 101

Exit Valley Circle and head north past Roscoe Blvd. for 5.9 mi.
Left (west) on Woosley Canyon Rd. up the winding hill for 2.5 mi.
Right (north) on Facility Rd. for 500′.
Left (west) into lot.
Free parking is on left, paid parking is up the incline at the end.

From Simi Valley

E. Los Angeles east of Yosemite Ave. for 0.5 miles
Right (south) on Christine Ave. for 0.5 miles
Right (west) on Katherine Rd. for 0.1 miles
Left (south) on Katherine Rd. for 0.2 miles
Right (west) on Katherine Rd./Oak Knolls Rd. (last right before end) for 0.1 miles
Left split onto Black Canyon Rd. for 1.9 miles
Note that this road gets very narrow. Go slow – 15 mph or less.
Free parking on right at intersection with N. American Cut off Rd., paid parking is up the incline at the end.

Release of Liability:
You assume all risks of this hike. See the Meetup terms of service https://www.meetup.com/terms/)

June 10 2021

Details

Date: June 10
Time: 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Hike Categories:
Website: Visit Event Website

Venue

Sage Ranch

1 Black Canyon Road
Simi Valley, CA 91304 US

+ Google Map

Organizer

Hiking Plus
Website: Visit Organizer Website

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