Monday, April 30, 2012

Day 529: Nicholas Flats - Meadows Trail - Lake - Malibu

Hidden Lake

Day #529 * Hike #608 * New Track #530
Friday April 27, 2012
Nicholas Flats - Meadows Trail - Lake - Malibu, CA
Santa Monica Mountains
My Tripometer: 1.5 Hour * 2.75 Miles * +275 Feet
The Trailhead (no dogs)
From the 101 Freeway in Thousand Oaks, exit on Westlake Blvd (23 South).  Turn right on Westlake Blvd and continue south towards Malibu on the very windy road.  At 7.0 miles from the 101 you will reach the stop sign at Decker Canyon and Mulholland Highway.  Continue straight on Decker Canyon for another 2.4 miles.  Make a very sharp right turn onto Decker School Road.  Please note, Decker School Lane is only 1.3 miles from Mulholland DO NOT TURN on that.  Once on Decker School Road, take the street to the end 1.5 miles.  Park under the tree and begin your hike... 
 The highlighted Pink Route that I took Today

Great for Kids!
A quick simple hike to the lake is less than a mile round trip with only 75 feet of elevation gain.  It doesn't get easier than that, but I went out without instructions or a map so I kind of got wild lost...

 Turn right at the junction (about a quarter mile down the shaded trail)

I came to this area last summer but I jogged right past this junction.  It's easy to see but for some reason I thought that I would hit the lake by going straight.  Although I didn't have my map on me, I remembered that the lake was to the right.  After you turn right on the Nicholas Flats Trail you will reach a fork in about 10 strides.  The more promising trail is to the right, so I took that route.  However, TO REACH THE LAKE, TAKE THE LEFT FORK.

 0.3 miles from the fork to the Meadows Trail

Just before reaching this junction you will pass a trail that forks back to the left.  It's like a figure 8 so I didn't want to go back and I didn't want to go straight so a took an easy left turn through the flats.  The lake has to be up this way, right?

 Grassy Nicholas Flats

 The trail

 Hmm, the trail climbs through this, no big deal...

 Awesome Ocean Views

There were a couple of other trails spurring off but they didn't have signs so I remained on this main trail.  I was pretty sure at this point I had gone the wrong way to see the lake but why not, let's keep going.  It was a good workout.

 This trail looked like it went up forever.
Although there was no sign, I turned right on another trail

 Where am I going?

Nicholas Flats was in my vision to the right so I figured that I was heading towards the Meadows Trail.

 Nice Mountain

 Aha!  Turn right on the Meadows Trail
There was no other way to go, no straight or left, just right

 Malibu Springs Trail to the left, nah, next time

 Back through the flats

 I did make a figure 8
Left to the car, right to the lake?

 A bird in paradise

 Water level dropping over the years like Lake Mead

As I was jogging, I could tell that this area was quickly approaching because the sounds of birds and life became more vibrant.  There was no other noise around.  No cars, motorcycles, airplanes or people.  I was on a solo mission and had this all to myself.  The rocks told a story about how the water level had dropped over the years.  There is no creek system feeding water here but I did notice a pipe which probably drains some of god's juice (water).  I imagine a century from now this lake will be all but gone unless we have another 40 days and 40 nights.

 A hidden lake in the middle of the Santa Monica Mountains

 I took the outer trail around to the rocks

 Lizard Rock?
 Real Ocean Views!

I scrambled across the rocks and took many pictures but pictures do not represent the majestic beauty here.  This is an easy one between Malibu and Thousand Oaks so you have to mark this trip on your to do list. 

Back at the car and on Decker Canyon Road, it's only 2.5 miles to the PCH.

Accident on the 101
I wasn't even going to take the 101 from PCH but I was nearly out of gas.  I barely made it to Las Posas.  A typical Friday afternoon in Cali...

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