Outside L.A., you can touch the sky
Peter N. Spotts spent a day in the Santa Monica mountains
Where did you go? A six-mile hike to the best place in the Santa Monica Mountains to touch the sky - Sandstone Peak, north of Malibu, Calif. It's the tallest summit in the range's National Recreation Area.
Where did you stay?
Downtown L.A. On a weekday morning, it took me 90 minutes to reach the trailhead. You can find details at http://www.localhikes.com/ Hikes/MisheMokwa_4472.asp
What did you do? Walked a lot, took plenty of photos, and enjoyed some sunshine and fresh air, slightly scented with sage. Yes, fresh air; on this day the summit was above the smog layer.
Where did you eat? Inspiration Point, toward the end of the hike. The menu was spartan - beef jerky, granola bars, and bottled water (bring two or three liters). But the entertainment was hard to beat: A pair of golden eagles soared along the cliffs that line the summit ridge, their shrieks echoing off the mountain's stone faces. There are no railings here so keep a tight grip on small children.
Would you go back? Absolutely. Reports from other hikers suggest spring may be the best time - the wildflowers put on quite a show. In the summer, allow time after the end of your trek to cool your feet in the Pacific at Leo Carrillo State Park.
• Where have you been? What did you do? Let us know at: Weekend