This is a personal favorite and is made even better with substantial water. Let’s see how much there is after all the rain this week. Due to unknown terrain, I’m limiting it to a small group to stick together and trek safely. Keep in mind, there will be bush whacking, slippery rocks, unknown water hazards, loose soil and PO. Plan on getting your feet wet – water will be unavoidable this time around.
Distance: ~7 miles
Elevation Gain <2000 ft.
Trail: A loop, fire road, single track, rock hopping, scrambling and bush whacking.
Duration: 5-6 hours
This write up is Don’s:
From the Trippet Ranch area of Topanga State Park we’ll head down to Santa Ynez Falls and then keep going past the falls making a loop. We did this for the first time in March 2012, repeated it with a different route out in 2013 which we’ve learned to enjoy. Getting over the falls will require some ropes that are usually there. There is a bypass route to avoid this climb, but it will require a short steep climb. Shortly after this area there is another obstacle that will require certain climbing skills. Once again there is a bypass for this spot with another and longer climb that starts with an interesting crawl over a huge rock slab. After reaching the highest point in this area we will have a steep descent to meet the others in our group that chose to climb over the original obstacle. Next up will be an area that requires highly advanced climbing skills or a ladder. On our February 2014 visit to this area we brought and left a ladder to get past this spot. Fearful that Park Rangers might remove it we hid it close by. Will it still be there? During the remainder of the route we will encounter other various obstacles including 3 spots that will have ropes to aid our ascent. Some spots will require crawling through bushes for short distances as well.
Might be a good idea to wear pants and a long sleeve shirt. Gloves would also be advisable.
How many times have we been in Topanga SP heading out to Parker Mesa Overlook or returning from Eagle Rock and walk right by this trail head. Santa Ynez Falls Trail follows a shaded creek to a gorge containing a short waterfall.
After less than a half mile from the Entrada Ave parking area of Topanga SP descend along the single-track trail. Cross through a dense forest to the first of many creek crossings. Rock hop the babbling waters and follow the trail to a junction. The trail continues to Vereda de La Montura in the Pacific Palisades, while the trail to the left continues toward Santa Ynez Waterfall. Take this single track, which drops down to the creek, crosses it, and turn left, heading upstream.
Stroll along the calming creek through the quiet forest. Breathe deep and listen to the trickling water. That relaxing fragrance comes from the leaves of the California Bays along the trail. Oaks and sycamores pitch in to add more shade and keep the canyon cool.
The trail remains alongside the creek, crossing it at points. When the canyon walls close, you are nearing the waterfall. The narrows present a small obstacle. The water pours over a cluster of rocks in the center of the gorge and there is no easy way to continue walking. Either cross the ledge to the right, passing below a low overhang that could be difficult for taller hikers, or hop across the creek and climb up the rock to the left. Both routes are feasible for agile hikers.
Above the obstacle, rock hop and climb a few hundred feet further to Santa Ynez Falls. The 18-foot waterfall looks diminutive outside of the rainy season, but the enjoyable hike to the cascade makes up for it.
State Park = No Dogs
From the Ventura Freeway (101), exit at Topanga Canyon Boulevard, drive south over the crest of the mountains and proceed three miles to Entrada Road (not Entrado!) and turn left. Keep to the left at every opportunity until you reach the park’s main parking lot (about one mile)
From Pacific Coast Highway, travel north on Topanga Canyon Boulevard, pass the post office at the center of “town,” then turn right on Entrada Road. Keep to the left at every opportunity until you reach the park’s main parking lot (about one mile). Parking is $10.00 (exact change) in Park. There is some street parking (free) outside of the park on the road.
The Fine Print
PLEASE – Know your limits and abilities. Bring snacks and drink plenty of liquids when hiking. Check weather conditions and dress accordingly and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Watching out for poison oak, snakes, ticks, uneven footing, spectacular views, beautiful fauna all while interacting with awesome (usually) fellow hikers can be extremely hazardous, rewarding and fun.
The Farzan Rule: Posted hike times are the time the hike starts or we leave from a posted shuttle location. I’m aware other Meetup groups offer a grace period for late arrivals; we don’t. It’s your responsibility to know the location of the meeting spot and be there and ready to participate at the posted time. If you have any concerns about the directions feel free to contact the organizer of the event, preferably in advance of the event and not at the start time. I’m of the opinion that it’s not fair to delay an event when the majority of attendees have arrived on-time. (so named after a conversation I had with a certain un-named member)
RSVP’s: If you RSVP for an event be responsible and update your RSVP if your plans change. If your plans change at the last second and you’re not able to update your RSVP also let us know. In my opinion a no-show is someone who has no regard for following the guidelines we request from our members and will risk being removed from future events that have a limit.
VHC HIKE RATING SCALE
Rating a hike is subjective, meaning the difficulty of a hike will be in direct relation to how often you hike and the type of hike you prefer. Keep in mind that any hike can have the following: un-even hiking surfaces, various obstructions, water and/or water crossings or bouldering and/or rock hopping. A great hike will have all of these!
1 – A long walk
2 – 4 mile hike w/little elevation gain
3 – 5 mile hike w/up to1000 ft. elevation gain
4 – 5+ mile hike w/up to1500 ft. elevation gain (heart rate increases at times)
5 – 7+ mile hike w/over 1500 ft. elevation gain (heart rate increasing even more at times)
6 – 7+ mile hike w/over 2000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be trying to remember how to perform CPR)
7 – 5+ mile hike w/over 2000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be muttering expletives to yourself)
8 – 10+ mile hike w/over 3500 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be angry with the hike leader)
9 – 10+ mile hike w/over 5000 ft. elevation gain (at times you might be thinking of reporting the hike leader to the authorities)
10 – Use your imagination
Class 3 Scrambling: Scrambling or un-roped climbing. You must use your hands at times to hold the terrain or find your route. This may be caused by a combination of boulders, steepness and extreme terrain. Some Class 3 routes have ropes in place for assistance.
DISCLAIMER / RELEASE OF LIABILITY
IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ BELOW IN ITS ENTIRETY:
I am a volunteer (i.e. not liable for the group). Safety is a priority for everyone in the group. Think of this as hiking with a group of friends.
Outdoor sports and other events we plan can be inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in any posted event, you’re taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. The Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup Group and its organizers are not trained leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to lead or participate in trips. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions. If you choose to sign up for any Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup events, you are releasing the Valencia Hiking Crew Meetup Group and it’s organizers from all liability in case of possible injuries as stated in paragraph 6.2 of the Meetup “Terms of Service” located on the bottom of the Meetup website. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.