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Circle X Ranch, CA

Guide 1 Triplog  0 Topics
  0 of 5 
no permit
81 1 0
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Difficulty 3 of 5
Route Finding 2 of 5
Distance Round Trip 7.6 miles
Trailhead Elevation 2,062 feet
Elevation Gain 1,500 feet
Avg Time Round Trip 5 hours
Kokopelli Seeds 15.1
Interest Peak
Backpack No
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32  2013-10-20 slegal
23  2005-05-21 slegal
26  2003-05-13 slegal
Author slegal
author avatar Guides 74
Routes 102
Photos 2,962
Trips 56 map ( 351 miles )
Age 59 Male Gender
Location Thousand Oaks, CA
Historical Weather
Trailhead Forecast
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Preferred   May, Oct, Apr, Nov
Seasons   Autumn to Spring
Sun  5:07am - 6:56pm
Official Route
0 Alternative

snakes on guard
by slegal

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Circle X Ranch is a part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area which is part of the National Park system. The hike is a loop trail on a section of the Backbone Trail and the Mishe Mokwa Trail. The section of the Backbone Trail that this hike travels includes Sandstone Peak, which is the highest point in the Santa Monica Mountain range. The trail also passes Inspiration Point. The loop includes a diversion to Tri Peaks before heading back to the Mishe Mokwa Trail.

The first part of the hike is up the Backbone Trail which starts out with a one mile climb to Sandstone Peak. The views are great from Sandstone Peak. From Sandstone Peak, the trail heads downhill slightly to Inspiration Point. Because Inspiration Point sticks out to the south somewhat, making for some unobstructed views that you can’t see from Sandstone Peak.

From Inspiration Point the Backbone Trail heads to the Mishe Mokwa Trail. From the Mishe Mokwa Trail there is diversion to Tri Peaks which provides some good views of the Newbury Park area. There is also some good caving in Tri Peaks. That said, we saw a rattlesnake at one of the entrances to the caves, so stay vigilant.

From Tri Peaks, head back to the Mishe Mokwa Trail. The Mishe Mokwa Trail starts out heading downhill toward a creek crossing. There is a picnic table near the creek crossing. After crossing the creek, the trail heads up along the south wall of the canyon, well below the Backbone Trail. From this high vantage point you have a good view of balanced rock along with some rock faces that climbers like to frequent.

Eventually, the trail reaches a junction that takes you back to the Backbone trail and back to the parking area.

Check out the Official Route and Triplog.

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2013-08-03 slegal
    WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.

    Permit $$

    Map Drive
    Paved - Car Okay

    To hike
    From US 101, exit at Westlake Blvd. in Westlake Village and take Westlake Blvd south to Mulholland Highway. Head straight onto Mulholland Highway. After about 10 miles on Mulholland Highway you'll reach a stop sign. Turn right and remain on Mulholland Highway for about a half mile. Turn right onto Little Sycamore Canyon Road. The road changes names to Yerba Buena Road along the way. Take this all the way to Circle X Ranch. From Malibu or Ventura take Pacific Coast Highway to Yerba Buena Road and take Yerba Buena Road all the way to Circle X Ranch.
    page created by slegal on Aug 03 2013 10:36 pm
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