An HWD Classic!

During the 1950s, when Ronald Reagan hosted TV’s “Death Valley Days,” he wanted a more rural retreat than his home in Pacific Palisades. So he bought a 305-acre ranch in the hills of Malibu as a place to raise thoroughbred horses and dubbed it “Yearling Row.” The ranch was damaged during the Woolsey fire.

Reagan Ranch (1957-1967), now part of Malibu Creek State Park, is a delight for hikers, who can enjoy the ranch’s rolling meadowland and grand old oaks. Trails loop through the Reagan Ranch and connect with the main part of the state park. We’ll use a combination of trails–Yearling, Deer Leg, Lookout, Crags Road and Cage Canyon–to explore Reagan Country and the heart of the park.

Yearling Trail

We’ll also be visiting the exterior set for the long-running television show M*A*S*H. The medic tents have been removed, but the location is still recognizable, providing a rich experience for hikers.

Between the MASH set and the ranch we’ll enjoy a short snack break at Century Lake. Part of the famous jump into the river by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Paul Newman & Robert Redford) was done by stuntmen at Century Lake (with plenty of Hollywood magic helping out) because the river in Colorado seen in the film wasn’t deep enough to support such a high jump.

On our return to the ranch we’ll take a side trip to a scenic vista point at the top of Lake View Trail will It will provide us a beautiful view of Malibou Lake and the surrounding mountains. Reagan was the honorary mayor of Malibou Lake in 1953.

Hike will be about 6.5 miles with 1,000 feet total ascent

Post Hike shenanigans at Ladyface Alehouse ( on the northwest corner of Kanan and Agoura Rds


The Old Reagan Ranch parking lot is on the Southeast corner of Cornell Rd and Mullholland Hwy

Interactive Map:

From the Ventura Freeway (US 101) in Agoura take the Kanan Road offramp and turn south. Follow Kanan, turn left on Cornell Way, bear right onto Cornell Road for a couple miles, cross Mulholland and turn left into Reagan Ranch.

From PCH/Santa Monica turn right onto Malibu Canyon for 6.3 miles then turn left onto Mulholland Hwy. After 3.2 miles turn left onto Lake Vista Dr (Cornell Rd). Turn left into Reagan Ranch


Not all of us are going to fit in parking lot, but there is parking on both sides of Lake Vista Dr. If you are parking in the lot, please park efficiently as show in this photo: 


The Organizers and members in this group are not professional leaders, guides, or mountaineers. The function of the member or organizer is only to organize the trip. Each person who shows up for a trip/meetup (and their guest or guests) is responsible for his or her own safety. By attending a hike, or any other event organized by this group, you are acknowledging that you and any guests that you bring are aware of the risks, dangers and hazards associated with the activity and freely accept and fully assume all such risks, dangers and hazards, and further agree to release and discharge the Organizers, Members of the Hiking With Dean Meetup Group from and against any and all liability arising from your participation in the group activities per the ASSUMPTION OF RISK AND LIABILITY WAIVER –

Perched high above the Palisades and Malibu, the vista from the Parker Mesa Overlook is stunning. You can see all of the LA basin laid out before you, the San Gabriel Mountains to the north, Catalina Island to the south, and the crescent shaped coastline of Santa Monica to the east.

This isn’t your usual Parker Mesa Hike! Our ridge route starts near the Los Liones Canyon trailhead and makes a bee-line up a ridge to the Overlook with a 1400 ft gain in a mere 1.5 miles. Some parts are steep and loose. You’ve been warned!

Here are some of sites long the ridge route. Click on photo to enlarge

At the top, on the Parker Mesa Overlook, there are a couple of benches where we can enjoy one of the most spectacular views of the Los Angeles coastline and a snack.

On the Parker Mesa Overlook

We will return via the hilly side trails of E Topanga Fireroad, and the beautiful Los Liones Canyon. The Los Liones Trail weaves through a lush canyon just a mile from the Pacific Ocean. Slivers of big blue sea can be seen from much of the ivy and chaparral-lined canyon

The Los Liones Canyon trail

***The No Fireroad rule will be in effect!***

This strenuous hike is a relatively short 5-mile loop, but packs a wallop with about 2100 feet of total ascent, and will bring you home much earlier than an equivalently challenging longer hike.


From Santa Monica or Malibu: Take the Pacific Coast Highway and turn on Sunset Boulevard. Go 0.3 miles on Sunset, take a left on Los Liones and drive half a mile to the end of the street. Park on the right side of the street in the lot across from the church.

There is plenty of free street parking, as well as two lots near picnic areas and restrooms.

With two waterfalls, scenic volcanic outcroppings, a variety of hiking trails, several pleasant picnic areas, and abundant open space, Wildwood park is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the nearby city.

Some of the highlights along the way:

Mont Clef Ridge, Santa Rosa Valley, Box Canyon, Lizard Rock, Paradise Falls, Indian Creek

And would you believe it, a train?

You don’t see this on the usual Wildwood hike – an old barn. We’ll pause here and maybe even play on some old farm equipment


Fun Fact: Almost 10 years ago we were the first and only group to connect the upper Santa Rosa trail with the Lower Santa Rosa trail by marching down grass covered slopes. Since then an official trail has been built in the same location named the Shooting Star trail. Another secret trail made public!

Here is a creek fed by Paradise Falls. There will be a couple of creek crossings on this hike. Nice, huh?



Lizard Rock – Our first break spot. There will also be restrooms later along the way at Sycamore Flats



There are two waterfalls in Wildwood Park. Here is Indian Falls. Lots of people walk right by this one without even noticing. We won’t!



The only thing standing in our way is the Mount Clef Ridge



Fun Fact: Mount Clef Ridge is a 1,076 ft volcanic mountain in Thousand Oaks, California. It is a volcanic outcrop that resulted from lava eruptions 30 million year ago.  Mount Clef Ridge was featured in the film Flaming Star (1960) starring Elvis Presley. The horse training scenes in Dark Victory (1939) starring Ronald Reagan also features sequences by the ridge. An army was storming off Mount Clef Ridge in the film Spartacus (1960). The ridge was also featured in Wuthering Heights (1939), where the ridge dubbed for Peniston Crag, England


All aboard!!!!!!!!!



Hike will be about 9 miles and strenuous. No beginners, experienced hikers only

Post hike lunch at
Jinky’s Thousand Oaks
1724 E Avenida De Los Arboles Thousand Oaks, CA 91362

Here are direction from Wildwood:


Take either Lynn Rd or the 23 to Avenida de los Arboles. Turn west and drive toward the Wildflower Playfields . Turn right on Canna St — parking lot is on the left.

Come join us at a concert by The Wardens at King Gillette Ranch to help support the post-fire recovery in your local parklands.  

The Wardens – Scott Ward, Bradley Bischoff and Ray Schmidt – are a Banff National Park-based trio whose stories rise from the very land they’ve protected for the past 60+ years. 

The Wardens’ mountain music – blending folk, roots and western styles – is a piece of Canadiana reflecting the pristine wilderness of the Rocky Mountains. The trio have performed at Folk Alliance International, Canmore Folk Fest, Alberta Showcase and shared the stage with Blue Rodeo, Paul Brandt, Scenic Route to Alaska and Ian Tyson. wardens

“A sell-out house and one of our best performances in 30 years…I wish I could put them on in Canada’s biggest concert halls so that more people could be carried away by their music and their tremendous humanity.”
Dr. Tark Hamilton, Artistic Director, Deep Cove Folk Music Society – 2018

Doors open at 6pm. Show begins at 7pm. This is an indoor event in the auditorium at King Gillette Ranch, seating is limited. 

To attend this event please make a suggested donation of $25 for general admission – to be offered on arrival at the door.

Any donation made over and above $15 (which is the accepted value of a ticket) can be claimed against tax. 

Of course, we welcome larger donations as all funds go directly to support post-fire recovery in your local parks including but not limited to:

Paramount Western Town: 


(Above Photo by David Crane, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)


(Photo by NPS)


Replacing wildlife tracking cameras destroyed in fire:


Rehabilitation and Replanting efforts:



(Photos provided by Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area)



We are currently accepting event sponsorships inkind donations. Please contact to make arrangements. 





Please note: food or drink are not available on site.

The Woolsey Fire has burned almost 90% of the parkland in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area and the Park Service has surveyed the damage to Western Town in Paramount Ranch — the only unit of the National Park Service dedicated to telling the story of America’s film industry.

Paramount Ranch served as the starting point our popular “From Colorado to Korea” hike on the former set of Dr Quinn Medicine Woman. Paramount Ranch has been an active filming area since 1927, with more than 300 films, commercials, television shows, and web videos shot in the park. Even during shoots, the public was allowed to access the park and potentially get a chance to see Hollywood at work.

The Damage to Western Town

Western Town is – for all intents and purposes – gone. The vast majority of the structures built as sets, including two from the original Paramount Ranch built in the 20s and a building used as a residence by an on-site ranger were burned to the ground.

Two buildings that survived the fire were the train station built for “Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman” and a church built for “Westworld.”

Rebuilding Western Town

If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity in the Santa Monica Mountains once these agencies are ready for your help, please fill out this Jotform — — and tell them you are with Hiking With Dean hiking group. Once the region is safe for volunteers, they’ll get in touch with you. They will also keep you informed about volunteer opportunities as they arise, but not until after Jan 7.

Let’s get out there to give our Santa Monica Mountains a little TLC as they heal!