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Mt. McCoy – Cross Lit Hike

April 7 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm

A special treat: The cross will be lit! The Rotary Club lights the cross for the week from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday. I haven’t seen anything on the Rotary Club calendar yet, but I’m assuming they will continue with the cross lighting this year. If they don’t, then we’ll still do this hike.

Last year, we had a fantastic social event at the top (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/events/258473740/). This year, we’ll be doing the same.

We’ll meet in the parking lot at the northeast corner of Madera and Royal, just south of the Donut Delite, on the east side of the Clinicas office. We’ll walk from there to the trailhead at 2 Washburn St. where it meets Los Amigos Ave.

Other groups may be doing this same hike starting at other times, but we’ll start at 6:30p. Sunset time is 7:21p, so our hike up will be in daylight and we should be arriving near sunset.

The Hike:

While I rate this hike “Easy end of the Intermediate Spectrum” due to the 1 mile continuous incline that can get exhausting, a fit beginner can easily complete it.

We cross Madera and continue through the neighborhood for about 1500′, to the intersection of Washburn St. and Los Amigos Ave (https://www.google.com/maps/place/2+Washburn+St,+Simi+Valley,+CA+93065/@34.2645734,-118.8010877,18z/data=%213m1%214b1%214m5%213m4%211s0x80e82ee581e79e9f:0x42c324cfa0d16fd2%218m2%213d34.2645585%214d-118.7999842). Then we enter a path behind the houses and proceed for 250′ to the entrance. So far, there will have been very little elevation gain.

We’ll enter a series of switchbacks (zig-zag trail) for 1.2 miles to a large cross at the top. This is a steady climb across the face of the hill, always in full view of the neighborhood below. Beginners may find this climb difficult to continue at a fast pace. There is nothing wrong with slowing down while faster hikers move ahead, or resting for a minute several times during this climb.

It may seem easy to get lost because there are many different cross-paths up the face of this hill, but they all lead to the same place. Generally, whenever there is a choice of “left or right”, we take the easier and more worn path. If you happen to find yourself alone and take a wrong turn (aka steep cut), all paths lead up.

At the top by the cross, we’ll enjoy the gorgeous 360 degree views and share beverages and/or snacks (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879772).

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 goes 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.

Purple Sage

Grey-green leaves. Aromatic when crushed. Purple flowers. Aka, Tobacco Sage, with mild hallucinogenic properties when smoked. Can be used as a spice or made into a tea. Tea has medicinal affects: Antiviral, gargle for sore throats, reduce hay fever symptoms and other drying actions.

Photo of the Route:

Distance: 3 miles (round trip)
Elevation Gain: 700′
Difficulty: Fit Beginner (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879781)
Duration: 3 hours
Pace: 2.0 mph
Dogs: Yes, leashed.
Restrooms: Yes – at nearby places of business
Drinking Fountains: Yes – at nearby places of business
Parking: Free
Trail: Mostly single-track, excellent condition
Hiking shoes preferred, but athletic shoes will be OK.
What to Bring: 1 liter of water, + drinks or snacks to share (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879772).
Flashlight or headlamp.

Release of Liability: https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/pages/29622459/Is_Hiking_Dangerous/

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April 7
6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Event Category:


Clinicas Del Camino Real Inc – Madera
1424 Madera Road
Simi Valley, US
+ Google Map


Hiking Plus
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Trail statistics are approximate.  For safety purposes always assume they are underestimated. But don’t be disappointed if they are overestimated. Bring more water and snacks than you think you’ll need.

Trail descriptions are based on previous hikes. Current conditions are unknown until arrival. Expect the unexpected and plan accordingly.

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.

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