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Twenty-one Great Hikes:

With daylight saving time in full bloom, the next cycle of 21 Monday and Wednesday night hikes could be called “twilight hikes.” All on the Westside, the two-hour treks begin promptly at 6:30 p.m., in clear daylight, and return in as night begins.

On May 4, the first hike of the repertoire was the dramatic Los Liones trail up to the world–class Paseo Overlook, near PCH and Sunset Boulevard. Depending on who is there, and who chooses to lead, the group may take the easier switchback route up the east hillside and then go around the broad loop to the Overlook. Or, we could dig-in and head straight up the west face, a more difficult class 2 or 3 approach.

The explanation of this option sets the tone for all of the hikes: they are unofficial, unsupervised and great fun – as long as you understand that there is no escort or pre-designated leader. It’s meet at the trailhead and take off.

Don’t worry about joining the group mid-stream: every hike is different and the composition of the participants changes all the time. Mondays often draw more hikers than Wednesdays (some of our regulars choose to do the “Tiger” hike on Wednesdays), but we never know for certain. If you are not confident about your skills or condition, then I would urge you to bring a companion – so you won’t be alone just in case you fall behind. Most of the hikes are fairly obvious fire-road trails, but a few of them are off the proverbial beaten path and may even have some bushwhacking moments. Hikes on the less worn trails however, tend to move slower, and keeping up is less an issue than the willingness of the spirit.

On May 9, we moved into the Palisades Highlands and sequentially tackled five different trails along the Santa Ynez, including the Main Trail (toward Trippet), The Crack, Trailer, The Wind Caves, and Wirebreak.

From there, the cycle moves to trails east, including El Medio, Temescal and Chatauqua. On June 6, we begin three great hikes in Will Rogers State Park, and continue east after that. The final hike of the series is Franklin Canyon, above the Beverly Hills Hotel.

These hikes are all free. You just need to show-up on time – and come prepared with the basics: decent boots, a bottle of water in a fanny-pack (best to have your hands free) and a mini flashlight for the return. If you are sensitive to poison oak be sure to wear long sleeves and pants, as a few of our routes have heavy exposure.Fearless readers interested in free Monday and Wednesday night hikes should contact Scott Regberg at (310) 475-5735.

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