Monday, April 11, 2011

Hike 15- Westridge Canyon- Chasin' The Coyote

Tucked in the eastern sleeve of the Santa Monica Mountains is the Westridge-Canyonback Wilderness Park, Up through the winding canyon road of Brentwood, the trail I hiked was not super challenging but it gets you high and then access to ridgelines that interconnect amongst the SanMo mountains. There were many, many bikers on the trails so if you have 2 wheels, I think you will enjoy these trails.

Many thanks to @Eggwork for several of these photos.

For us "booting" it up the hill, you have to start by going up Mandeville Canyon Road. I am not going to say this trail was hard to find, but actually I AM going to say this trail was hard to find! Also, the trail me and my hiking partner eventually found probably wasn't even part of the overall trail system but we took it anyway (on a side note, it actually WAS part of the trail system, it was the DWP Trail but when you are on it, its not obvious).

The trail starts up through scrub brush and broken fire trails going over switchbacks and then eventually making its way up and South. You have to be Vewwwwy careful because the trail continues South and eventually ends at a power line stanchion. After looking at the Pacific for a few minutes but scratching our head about where the heck the trail went,

 we doubled back and eventually found it. The advice I can give you in 2011 is to look for the construction work on the trail and then make a sharp right and find a small side trail to take you in the proper direction?

And what IS the proper direction? Well its toward this thing...

The tallest peak thereabouts called San Vicente. Before you get there, you must continue walking up the fire trails until you plateau onto the ridegline and my is it beautiful.

It is some beautiful country up there. If the smog was less smoggy, you could see LA, the mountains, the sea, everything. It is great up there.

Eventually you get to the San Vicente peak which was home to the NIKE system. No not that Nike, this Nike.


On top of the peak is a great observation tower where you can see a lot of Southern California, from the smokestacks of Manhattan Beach to aspiring actresses losing their way in the Valley (and the good parts as well).

After chillin out at the top for awhile, we decided to head back down the mountain rather than taking the network of trails spiderwebbing their way in the mountains. If you were loaded up with water, supplies, etc., you could really put some miles on your pedometer going around the ridges of the SanMo.

Starting on the way down, we ran into a coyote. Rather, he was running away from us but up a trail.

 Trying to do my orienteering, I determined we could continue on that 'yote trail and end up bushwhacking back to the main trail. Well that didn't work out too well as the ridgelines were separating as they moved south but we kept following the coyote who stopped several times to check us out. Still, if you are looking for some great kayak trails that head South but not near your car, I definitely suggest taking this route.

Overall, this hike is a good short, non-taxing hike. Its about 2-3 miles roundtrip but if you are looking for a longer hike, there seems to be a great network of trails that are worth checking out.

Final score, 3 out of 5 coyote yips.

Here is another trip report
Here is the map I should have consulted first:


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