Upper Cabin Trail

A surprisingly difficult 10-mile, 2,700ft elevation-gain hike in the western Santa Monica mountains.

I drove out to Newbury Park to hike a loop route up the Western Ridge Trail and down the Upper Cabin Trail. Today was a heavily overcast day, and the upper portion of this route was so foggy that I could not see anything more than ~50 feet away.

Black Mustard at the trailhead

The first couple miles were an easy walk through flower-covered hills during this spring’s super bloom following a wet winter.

The Western Ridge trail is heavily overgrown and difficult to find at times. The brush is well-adapted to capture moisture from the fog, so soon I was wet (and cold) from passing through.

There’s a trail in here somewhere…

I missed that this is a “mountaineers” route, and was unprepared for steep class-three+ scrambling in my trail runners.

Reached the top of yet another steep section

There was no view whatsoever today from the top due to the fog. The route down the Upper Cabin trail was much easier; however, the trail was heavily washed out in places (at times just a narrow trench).

It was also so overgrown that I had to stoop over most of the way down to avoid low-hanging branches. At last, I came to the Danielson monument and it was an easy walk out from there.

I might do this again on a clear day for the view, despite the nasty condition of the trail.

West Ridge Trail on Right, Upper Cabin Trail on left.
Upper Cabin Trail Elevation Profile