Sunrise over Boney Mountain and Sandstone Peak (W6/CC-056)
4 SEPTEMBER 2021 W6/SC-337
This was a strange and wonderful trip — it was my first mountain bike summit in many years — it was a trip to a summit that I am sure I have done sometime before in the last 40 years, but I mysteriously have no record of it — It was hard to find any summits to activate that are not affected by the statewide closure of national forests due to the lack of firefighting personal already engaged in fighting other fires — this ascent marked my final SOTA summit in the Santa Monica Mountain and the adjacent areas to activate — …and finally this ascent was both easy and hard.
My neighbor Chris generously gave me his mountain bike when he heard I was interested in activating summits via the pedals. This was this amazing gift’s maiden voyage and she performed excellently.
I got to Sycamore Canyon Campground at about 5:30 AM. The State Parks website said that the park was open for day use from 8AM to sunset. I didn’t figure that the parking lot gates would be locked until 8AM. It turns out you can park from 5AM to 10PM along the coast just around the point to the west by the big sand dune. From there it is a short trip back to the mouth of Sycamore Canyon.
When I said the trip was both easy and hard, I meant that the ride from the start to the junction of Guadalasca Trail and Wood Canyon fire road is a breeze. One of those rides that feels like downhill both ways. You actually go up about 450 feet in that 4.75 miles but it is all good, wide fireroad. The Guadalasca Trail is another story. I am not a mountain biker with a lot of skill. I generally don’t like single-track. Your skill level is most likely better than mine and this trail is probably no big deal. I saw a lot of guys and gals riding it. If I were to do this again, I would probably continue up the Wood Canyon fire road and follow Sierra Vista fire road to Rosewood fire road on to the summit. Longer by quite a bit and I’m not sure how well-used that route is.
At any rate the Guadalasca Trail never actually joins the Rosewood fire road and the two trails that bridge that gap are pretty overgrown and disused trails. I did one on the way up and the other on the way down. These segments are unmaintained and brushy. No fun.
Overall, this is about an 18 mile round trip — further than I would otherwise like to hike these days.
The fire road gets pretty steep above where the jump-over trail joins up. I walked both up and down that section. Also – I was attacked by a swarm of mosquitos at this point. Very weird for the Santa Monica Mountains – especially in such a dry year. They abated on the summit where a nice breeze was blowing.
There is good cell coverage from Verizon.
I had a great day on the radio making 16 QSOs on 40m, 20m and 2m including 3 summit-to-summits with California, Utah and Colorado. Thank you all for chasing – especially good to get so many regulars.
I saw a roadrunner on the way down. First one in a long, long time in the Santa Monica Mountains. Also saw a lot of quail and rabbits.