I need to do some training for my backpacking trip in August. I plan on hiking up to Mesa Peak on Saturday 7/21/12. I hike at a moderate pace. This hike is cross posted with Meet up. There are 10 people going so far. Since it’s going to be a hot weekend I plan on starting at 8:00am. The hike is 6.6 miles roundtrip on one of the most beautiful parts of the 60-mile Backbone Trail, which runs through the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The section we will be on is also called the Mesa Peak Motorway.
The route begins at Malibu Canyon Road, climbing 1,358 feet up to a long ridge line that leads to Mesa Peak, with spectacular Pacific views. The terrain is a mix of single and double-file trail and open fire road.
The initial section of our hike is wooded and shaded, and it's a workout to get up there, though the trail is firm and mostly open. Then the route gives way to open hillsides and ridge lines. Once we're up on the Motorway, it's open, with ocean breezes. Since we begin on the floor of Malibu Canyon and reach exposed areas above the Pacific, weather can range from calm and humid to misty with ocean winds to quite warm and dry conditions. We will stop at Mesa Peak, to grab a snack and enjoy the great view. I think Saturday will just be HOT.
There's a parking lot at the trailhead, which costs $10. There is some free parking in a dirt lot at the corner of Piuma Rd and Malibu Canyon Rd- you can park there and walk the 1/4 mile to the trailhead. I plan to park there or on Piuma Rd. $10 is a bit much for parking in my opinion.
Google map works well, just put in a destination of Las Virgenes Rd & Piuma Rd. 91301.
From the 101
Exit Las Virgenes Rd and head south, approximately 5 miles to Piuma Rd. Continue 1/4 mile past Piuma, and you'll see the parking area/trailhead on the right. (Las Virgenes Rd becomes Malibu Canyon Rd at Piuma)
Take Malibu Cyn Rd north ~4.5 miles, parking area will be on the left.
Rain won’t cancel the hike. We can only hope it will rain.
The Fine Print/Please Read!
Wear lug soled shoes, long sleeve shirt and long pants for brush and tick protection, and dress in layers for comfort.
Bring at least 1 liter of water per 3 miles, snacks, hiking poles (if you use them), camera and the "Ten Essentials".
Carry rain gear if the rain forecast is 20 percent chance or better.
Know your own capabilities and plan accordingly.
No guests or "plus ones" please. For liability reasons we must have everyone join the group, and agree to the standard Meetup "Terms of Service", especially section 6.2, here.
Be on time -- It is extremely rude to be late and expect 20 people to wait for you. Even if you call, it is still inappropriate to think that they should wait for you.
Don't be a no show -- How hard is it to remove your name? TAKE IT OFF IF YOU CANNOT MAKE IT! The earlier the better so someone else that wants to go, can.
Any outdoors activity can be challenging, fun, or a painful experience, (often depending who you are with), even deadly and more painful depending on you, your abilities, circumstances and sometimes just bad luck. Accidents happen. Please do not sign up if you are not comfortable with what you are doing, or if you think you don’t have the needed skills for the event. You will be agreeing to take responsibility for yourself, your actions and not to hold organizer/group leader, participants, or anyone liable but yourself by signing up for this event.
Most importantly: Have Fun!