With the publication of fastflyer‘s The SuMMit Challenge, my interest in doing some Santa Monica Mountains caching has been renewed. The Challenge requires finding a cache within .2 miles of the 24 named peaks in the Santa Monica Mountains. When it was published last month, I checked my stats and realized that I needed 8 peaks to complete the challenge. Tuesday morning, I found Briar Summit, the only qualifying caches for Briar Summit. Today, I went for -Parker Mesa Overlook-, again the only qualifying cache for Parker Mesa Overlook. 2 down, 6 to go.
I have a few parking passes that need to be used before the end of the year, so I parked in the Trippet Ranch parking instead of parking on the street for free. The morning was chilly–at least for us wimpy southern Californians–about 40 degrees at 8:30 AM when I started hiking. The skies were fairly clear and there was a moderate wind from the north. All things considered, I enjoyed the cool rather than the 100+ degrees that can occur in the summer.
My goal was to find -Parker Mesa Overlook-, but there were several other caches along the way. Once I got hiking and figured a cache would be nearby, I looked at my GPS. No caches–at least no caches along my trail. The glitch was caused by user error–me–I maxed out the number of caches that could be installed on the GPS. I hadn’t cleared out some old PQs from a couple of vacation trips. While I thought I loaded the Parker Mesa caches, there weren’t added. I kept hiking, hoping to get some Internet access on my phone so I could download the Pocket Query. I did get some coverage and was able to enter the coordinates manually. I’d already hiked passed half the caches and would have to get the caches on the way back.
This was my first time hiking this trail. I enjoyed the views–either of the canyons on either side of the trail or the Pacific Ocean ahead–the entire walk. The only complaint–a minor one–was the trail profile. UP, then down, then UP, down. Repeat. But that is why I was on the trail today. I really needed to get some good exercise and fresh air. And I got plenty of both.
Here I am at the end of the trail at Parker Mesa Overlook. The view of Santa Catalina was blocked by haze, but there was a very good view of the Santa Monica Bay shoreline and all the way passed Los Angeles to the east.
I did get all the caches south of where I got their coordinates. On the way out, I skipped 2 because I didn’t feel like going off trail and walked by The Pit Stop because I wasn’t paying attention. I kicked myself when I got home because I need The Pit Stop for the Santa Monica Mtns History Adventure Challenge cache. I guess I will be coming back to this neck of the woods sooner that I had planned.
There weren’t too many flowers out. Not really the time of the year for that. I did see a few nice toyon bushes (see the opening photo) and this nice display.
Here is the track of the hike, with a minor GPS issue at 2.25 miles. The GPS turned off somehow. The signs and map state that the hike is 3.0 miles one-way. I did a bit over 7 miles. The map is oriented with north on the left.
I recommend this nice hike. I’m not sure if I want to do it mid-summer, but in the cool of December, it was very enjoyable.