Dome Point loop hike, November 20, 2016.

Having gone “dark” for several weekends after reaching my 200 HPS peaks last month, both Diana and Jorge were encouraging me to “get back on the horse” and join them on a hike in the Santa Monica Mountains.

So I got up early to drive to their house, which is about an hour away. By the time I got onto the 405, it started raining steadily. Just before reaching the 101, I called Jorge to find out what the situation was around their house, and he told me that the skies were clear, so I kept going. With about 5 miles to go, the rain stopped and the clouds broke up to show blue sky!

From Jorge’s house it is just a short drive to the trail head for Dome Point. I had hiked to Dome Point several years ago, but did not remember much about it. The trail initially meanders through a large area of tall grass with great views of the surroundings. From there the trail goes up and then down along Sycamore Canyon, taking a sharp right turn at the lowest point. From there, the trail steadily goes uphill via long switchbacks to a junction at 1,437 Feet where we followed the trail to the right continuing uphill for a short distance to a “use” trail on the right, which lead us to the summit of Peak 1918. We took a short break here to view the wonderful rock formations we would be climbing around on our way to the summit of Dome Point far above.

The “use” trail quickly became a tough scrambling trail, first going steeply uphill along a huge rock face, and then through a very steep drainage wash. The only way to get up this wash is to pull yourself up on branches and roots of the bushes along the wash. Once we reached the top of the “wash”, we had to scramble up a steep rock slope to a nice view point, where we took a well-deserved break.

Back at it, the “trail” dropped almost vertically down the other side of the rock we had just climbed up to, and hiked back uphill through a narrow pathway with very tall shrubs on either side. Once we passed this “corridor”, we scrambled along another rock face to where we reached the final plateau from where we could see the summit of Dome Point. The last stretch to the top was not too hard, and we were enjoying the magnificent views of the Santa Monica Mountains!

Diana and Jorge had a great surprise for me: to celebrate my 200 HPS peaks, they brought 3 bottles of Whiskey! (Mini Chocolate bottles with Whiskey inside). Yummy!!! Diana had also cut out the summit photo of my 200th peak finish, which she glued on the outside of a gift bag. Inside was a wonderful card and a beautiful Cairn Pendant!

Once the Whiskey was gone, we started our hike back down. Just below the summit Dome, is a second Dome that Diana decided to climb and I followed just behind. At the top Diana wanted to do her traditional Yoga pose, which I had to copy of course. Jorge was able to take a successful picture before I lost my balance! On we went to the next rock outcrop, which Diana had to climb too, of course.

From there, we started our downhill hike via a long and steep gully that has been washed out over the years, and is now quite deep and wide in some places. At the bottom, the trail reaches a monument commemorating Richard Danielson, who was the donor of Rancho Sierra Vista Park. After a short break there, we hiked back to the main trail, and followed it all the way back to the Satwiwa Native American Indian Culture Center, which we visited for a little while, before getting back to the car for the ride home.

I want to Thank Diana and Jorge for pushing me to get out of the house once more and surprising me with their thoughtfulness and generosity in remembering my 200th HPS Peak!

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