3.5 miles, 800′ gain, easy intermediate.
Note that we start from the Andora trailhead.
This hike will include an extended stay at the top, where we’ll have a snack share social event (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879772) for 30-60 minutes.
Nearly the entire trail is an incline. Fit beginners can complete this hike, but it will certainly get their blood pumping.
There are no super steep sections, but much of the trail is very rugged, much like a stair climb. This is not a conditioning hike, it’s a social hike. We’ll be stopping at various points to let people catch up and to make sure they make any turns.
The hike covers a portion of an old stagecoach road that linked LA with San Francisco in the 1860s. You can see holes that were drilled into the rock for chains to help the stagecoaches up the steeper sections, during which passengers had to get out of the vehicle.
We will begin near the intersection of Andora and Valley Circle. We’ll proceed up a rocky trail past a plaque erected in 1939 to commemorate the old stagecoach route, then we’ll proceed to the top of the pass for a great view overlooking the valley.
There are a variety of ways of getting to the same place and there are many different ways of returning. Please follow the host to take the chosen route. The return route may be slightly different than the way up through a parallel path.
Distance: 3.5 miles
Distribution: Most of the incline is in the first half.
Difficulty (https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/messages/boards/thread/50879781): Easy Intermediate.
Shape: Out and Back.
Pace: approx. 2.0 mph.
Trail Type: Fire road, double track, single track.
Trail Variations: Some parts of the trail is very rugged over large stones.
Duration: 3.0 hours
Drinking Fountains: No.
Parking: Park in the street.
What to bring:
1 liter of water for every 3 miles.
Hiking shoes/boots. Not required, but recommended.
Flashlight or headlamp.
Sunscreen and/or hat as needed.
Route: The host has plotted this route but never taken it.
Navigation: GPS navigation as needed. Several of our members are familiar with the route from this trailhead.
Hike type: Social.
We won’t be hiking at a fast pace because this is a social hike, not a conditioning hike. There is nothing wrong with stopping, even if it means every 50 steps.
The host may designate stopping points to let others catch up. This hike will include a stop for a snack and beverage share at the half way point. We’ll stop at junctions to make sure everybody makes any turns or chooses the correct direction at splits, else something will be used to mark the direction, usually a marking made of baking soda, or some sticks on the trail forming an arrow. There may not always be a sweeper designated to be the last hiker.
Each hiker is responsible for knowing their capability, only attending events where they are able to sustain the described pace, for keeping up with the group sufficiently enough to make the turns and not get left behind, and for making sure the host is notified if they are going to split from the group.
Sometimes hikers wish to move significantly ahead and not wait at designated stopping points. Please let the host know. They are on their own regarding route and navigation.
Here are a couple plants you are sure to see on this hike:
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. In the last summer, fall, and winter months, the flowers will have turned brown and the leaves take on a greyer color.
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.
Stage Coach Trail, Andora trailhead
9861 Andora Ave.
Chatsworth, CA 91311
Topanga Canyon (CA-27) south, 1.4 mi
Right (west) on Devonshire St for .4 mi
Left (southwest) on Valley Circle for .6 mi
Right (west) on Lassen for 43 ft.
Left (southwest) on Andora for 157 ft.
Release of Liability: https://www.meetup.com/Hiking-Plus/pages/29622459/Is_Hiking_Dangerous/