Hike 15 – Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak

Posted by on Oct 20, 2012 in Blog, The Hikes | 0 comments

Hike 15 – Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak

While spending a week in Los Angeles for the private screening of Mile… Mile & A Half, a documentary about the John Muir Trail that I worked on, I had a chance to go hiking on one of my favorite trails of the Los Angeles area: Mishe Mokwa Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains. I really enjoy this trail for all that it offers, even if the views of the valleys and the ocean are hidden behind a marine layer. Six miles of beauty that only the Santa Monica Mountains can offer.

Jason Fitzgerald, co-director and director of photography of the documentary, was kind enough to join me on the hike. Also joining me was my friend Liz, who drove out from Santa Barbara for the outing. We met in Westlake Village and carpooled up the remaining 13 miles of mountain roads up to the trailhead. The weather was cool and foggy, which is nice since the trails up here can be tough in the heat, but that also meant that the amazing views would be curtained.

It seems like a lifetime ago that I hiked here for the first time. I remember it well since it was hike #6 of my original 100 Hikes Project. After re-reading my blog entry for that day, I still had a strong appreciation and sense of wonder about the trail, even after hiking nearly 3,000 trail miles between hikes. If I ever made a list entitled Reasons Hikers Would Enjoy Moving to Los Angeles, Mishe Mokwa Trail would be in the top ten.

Resources:

  1. 100Hikes.com – Hike #6 (2009)
  2. ModernHiker.com – Post-Rain Sandstone Peak
  3. LocalHikes.com – Mishe Mokwa Trail

Trip Stats:

  • Date of hike: October 20, 2012
  • Location: Santa Monica Mountains, California
  • Length: 6.1 miles

This map was made with the data my GPS captured on the hike.
For a more detailed trip report map, check this out.

Photos:

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We hit the trail around 9am. There were only a few other hikers that were taking advantage of the cool weather. Just a few weeks before, a heatwave crashed over Southern California.


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What’s a Kolby Kirk hike report without a photo or two of lichen?


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“Leaves of three, let them be.” Poison oak was everywhere around Split Rock.


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There were a few time that Jason and Liz had to wait for me. I found myself stopping frequently to photograph and study the nature along the trail. I just can’t help myself.


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Heading into the Split Rock Trail junction / picnic area. A nice place for a break. (Split Rock is visible at the far left of this photo)


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Liz is checking out a colony of lichen on a log next to Split Rock.


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Continuing on to Sandstone Peak. From here, it’s a nice and steady climb.


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Looks like a bird became a meal here.


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Liz nearing the top of Sandstone Peak.


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At the top of Sandstone Peak. Some hikers come up to the summit from a more direct route – one more reason why I like the roundabout Mishe Mokwa Trail.


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We made friends with the MOM Ridaz of Echo Park. They shared the beer that they carried to the summit.


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Liz touching the void from Sandstone Peak.

Here’s what the summit looks like on a clearer day.