Malibu Creek State Park
Locate the trail head.
After the morning hike, I decide to go up to Upper Solstice Canyon where I can finish off the last bit of a loop I started in 2009. Going past the entrance to Lower Solstice Canyon, I am reminded that it is actually a part of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area by the locked gate across it. Some of the users of the overflow parking don't seem to realize the road does go somewhere and present minor obstacles to passage. Up at the end of the road, there is plenty of parking, so a grab a spot and start up Castro Motorway, the continuation of the road. At first the views are quite tame, but once up to the top and the north side opens up, they become excellent, if a little difficult to see.
|The Backbone Trail passes through the parking lot heading over these rocks to the southeast and should head along the motorway, but it has to reroute down into the valley instead.|
|Looking into the valley to the north.|
|Lovely rocks litter the top of the ridge.|
At the junction with Bulldog Motorway, which drops down from the ridge, I stay climbing on Castro toward the peak. The road cuts deeply through the rocks as it goes. With a few turns, the road hits a fence.
|The area is a patchwork of federal, state, and private lands, but you don't expect the signs to be mixed.|
|Homes along Mulholland Dr. and N9 down in the valley.|
|To the south, it is a little less populated in Upper Solstice Canyon.|
|Looks like the bully on Castro is still doing his thing, although he seems to have given up the pretense that he just doesn't like park rangers and admitted he really doesn't like people.|
This guy feels his easement should allow him to put a six lane highway across land he doesn't own. Meanwhile, the public easement can be blocked no matter what the law says. How it works is, he has more money than you. At least they have managed to keep him from further abusing his easement. I decide to head back and skip the few trails that head up and to the south and head down Bulldog a bit.
|Castro Motorway as it curves through the rocks on the ridge.|
|Malibu Lake far below.|
|Heading down Bulldog. It is definitely state park lands and they usually don't allow dogs on the "back country" trails.|
There's a road coming down from earlier on the Castro Motorway for the power lines and another one coming up from below. At first, I suspect that it might actually go through to allow a loop. Further examination of the bottom of the canyon, of course, shows that it does not go through, so eventually I just have to turn around and head back up.
|Lots of roads to travel around this valley, but they do not connect.|
|Looking again out into the hills to the north, it is clearing up and the view getting better.|
|Rounded sandstone out in the hills.|
Coming back down, I take a diversion down a spur that intersects the Backbone Trail reroute and then follow it up into the rocks to finish poking around.
|Looking back at the peak and the perfectly good road you may not walk along. (Many permits missing for putting all that up.)|
|A few nice colors out in the rocks.|
©2013 Valerie Norton
Posted 14 October 2013