Friday, September 5, 2014

Temescal Peak

Hiked: 9/5/2014
Distance: 7.2 miles round trip on trail
Summit Elevation: 2126'
Prominence: 627'
Elevation Gain: 1000'
Elevation Gain (in Empire State Buildings): 0.80
Round trip time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Recommended water: 48 oz.
Parking/Fees: Free at the end of Reseda Blvd. (or $5 if free parking spots taken)
Difficulty: Easy

For the second part of my Lower Peak double header, I made the 40 minute drive from Simi Peak to the south side of the 101 on Reseda Blvd. I hit the rush hour traffic as half asleep yuppies made their morning commutes in metal coffins (like I do most days). As you near the end of Reseda, you pass a few gated million dollar communities like the Silver Hawk Estates with giant fountains at the entrance spraying 30' up in the middle of a multi-year drought. Nice. I was surprised at the available parking. There was plenty of free parking and only one paid parking spot was being used. You hike an extra 0.2 miles from free parking, where I started.

There were a handful of hikers and mountain bikers on the trail, but none had Temescal Peak as their destination. I cruised up Mulholland, then Temescal Ridge. There was not much to get excited about for most of the hike along the wide smooth roads. After the restroom on the trail, I passed a giant sandstone conglomerate formation. I considered stopping to explore it, but decided to save my time for potential traffic problems on the way home. Eventually, I hit the backbone trail that goes all the way to Sandstone Peak and beyond. After a very short distance, I hit the use trail on the left and the final 100' gain to the summit. There was no register, but a USGS benchmark reading "Divide". I will have to do research to find out when it was officially named Temescal. From the summit, the views were not bad. The haze prevented me from seeing the ocean, but much of the Santa Monica mountain range was visible. I took a very short break to shuffle my water bottles and made the unexciting trip back to the car. I got lucky with the traffic driving home, making it back a full hour faster than planned.

Starting out

Sandstone conglomerate formation

Use trail to the summit

Temescal summit

Benchmark reading "Divide"

Looking west toward the Santa Monica mountains

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