Friday, December 5, 2014

Hike 2014.031 -- Castaic Lake State Recreation Area: West Ridge Trail

Hiked Saturday, June 14. 3 miles. Another very old hike I hadn't blogged, yet. It was another "first time" hike for me; I had a surprising number this year, particularly as a proportion of my actual hikes. Definitely more "first hikes" this year than last year or the year before.

This was also a work-related hike. My employer sponsors several outdoors, park activity trips a year, always on a Saturday. Since I had never hiked Castaic before, I was really looking forward to this one. Unfortunately, it's been months since the visit, so I can't recall exactly where I began. Lake Castaic is off of I-5, well north of "town," but well before the Tejon Pass. It's about 41 miles from Downtown Los Angeles
I do recall that, from our meeting point, we started along a concrete sidewalk, which paralleled the lake, for at least 1/2 mile. After passing some recreational equipment, we headed across a dry wash area for another 1/2 mile or so before making a loop to the right and heading up a trail that climbed the ridge overlooking the lake.
Followed this trail for another 1/2 mile to maybe 3/4 of a mile. Near the "end," there was a clearing with railings. I think we turned around there.
I do recall the view being pretty nice, in all directions. Lake and park down below, grassy hillsides, distant mountains.
Turned around and returned to where we started. I'm figuring 3-4 miles for the day. Not a very careful hike, I spent a lot of time contemplating in advance. I just followed the hike leaders.
Nice way to spend a Saturday morning. I wish my workplace did even more of these outdoor events, but I'm sure the coordination and cost is pretty substantial. In theory, the payoff is in healthier workers and lower health insurance costs. Not sure if the events are frequent enough to engender those benefits, but, as noted, I do like having that extra incentive for an occasional hike in a county or state park.

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