Hike of the Week: Palo Comado/Chesebro Canyon/Shepards’ Flat Loop

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I am renaming this loop because I can’t exactly figure out what its true name is. Maybe it doesn’t have a name. This is how we approached it. (Again, I just follow Deb, but I am fondly recalling the hike via my memory and the photos I took of this gorgeous spot.) Here is where David of Nobody Hikes in LA, my hiking spirit animal, describes the approach from the opposite direction.

On a gorgeous Friday morning, we parked near the trailhead at Doubletree and Sunnycrest in Oak Park (take a right on Sunnycrest if you’re going north on Kanan). That trail leads you to Palo Comado Canyon fire road, and you can only go left or right.

We turned right and headed quickly left up the very steep fire road which takes you to Chesebro Canyon trail, through a wooded area and a non-smelly spot called Sulphur Springs. The terrain along this trail changes from rolling meadow, to oak covered creekside, to rocky desert. It’s breathtaking.

IMG_7535I was expecting to see characters from The Princess Bride pop out.

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IMG_7548It’s really not that steep. We figured that this sign is for bikers so they don’t bite it on that little drop-off ahead.

IMG_7556During the zombie apocalypse you can find me hiding up here.

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You have to watch your back though because this area is very popular with mountain bikers and trail runners. We saw a few women out that day but mostly it was good looking men. So, if you’re a single woman, this is may be a good spot to fake an injury and pick up an active guy. Or vice versa, of course. I’d hate to be thought of as sexist…

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Anyway, this trek takes you up to another crossroads at Shepards’ Flat. We took the Sheep Corral Trail to the west and turned south on Dead Cow Trail, which is a smaller trail that hugs a high ridge and meets up with Palo Comado Canyon fire road, which we took all the way back down to where we started.

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IMG_7581Dead Cow Trail

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IMG_7586That hill in the background was the first climb we tackled at the beginning of this hike.

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The loop, Deb calculated, was just about 7.5 miles long. The steep ascent at the very beginning made my legs work pretty hard, so I was sore for a few days. It took us about 4 hours, and we weren’t going very fast. Just enjoying the morning, and a well-deserved lunch after that.

First Hike of the Year – Simi Peak and China Flats

IMG_7494China Flats, on the way up to Simi Peak

Thanks to a standing arrangement with my friend Deb, I take a hike about once a week, and usually somewhere that is new to me. Deb is an important part of this because without a person who will expect me to go somewhere, I will stay in my house sitting at my desk and basically just atrophying while the kids are at school. Also, she knows all the trails and she usually drives.

This week it was Simi Peak and a short jaunt through a mountaintop meadow called China Flats. Technical expertise on this hike can be found here at Nobody Hikes in LA. I’m just here to show you how amazeballs it is at the top:

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The first mile is a very do-able climb up. We were passed by a dog (and its owner).

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We stopped at a lower peak to get a geocache, because that is how we roll.

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Then the trail snakes around the back of the mountain and goes through these beautiful oak groves and meadows.

IMG_7479If you look closer you can see a hobbit.

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And here is the view from the top. That road that heads south off to the other mountains is Lindero Canyon.

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To the west you can see the ocean. Well, I guess you had to be there.

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Just hanging out. In that metal drum below me is a log book you can sign to show you reached the peak.

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Then we turned around and went back down the way we came up. It only took us about 3 hours, with a few breaks. I recommend!

 

Block Party This Sunday at Malibu Country Mart

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Malibu Country Mart will turn into a street fair this Sunday, August 11, at 2:00, with a Summer Block Party just like the ones in your old neighborhood. You know, if your neighborhood was right near the Pacific Ocean and your neighbors were Ralph Lauren boutiques, 7 For All Mankind, and Mac Cosmetics.

The already lovely shopping destination and adjacent family park will host activities and attractions including a photo booth, tarot card readings, a petting zoo, balloon art, and face painting.  Multiple food vendors will be positioned around the Mart and will offer complimentary carnival treats such as cotton candy, popcorn, funnel cakes, churros, sno cones, candy apples, and ice cream. There will also be live music.

To cap off the day, bring your blankets and low chairs for an 8:15 outdoor screening of The Goonies. Nice way to ring in the end of summer. For more information check out Malibu Country Mart’s Facebook page.