Steepness at Sandstone Peak

This Saturday I visited Circle X Ranch’s very own Sandstone Peak, AKA the highest peak across the Santa Monica Mountains at 3,111 feet elevation. Fun fact: Santa Monica Mountains stretches across a whopping 156,671 acres! The drive up to Circle X Ranch is almost as breath-taking as the hike! (I mean it… I died) I recommend driving in from the 101 rather than PCH; it’s so much more vibrant and scenic! I definitely meant to go to a nearby hike in the mountain, but Waze led me here and I had already stretched and caked on sunscreen. You bet I was staying my patooty right there and doin’ it! The rangers warned us, although the peak is 1.5 miles away, it was extremely steep. Pish posh right? WRONG. Get ready to sweat! The incline is ridiculous all the way up, but the view is so so worth it!

With gnats in your face and dust in the air, you’ll find yourself at the beginning of a never-ending incline. Instantly, you catch a whiff of wild mint and continue straight up from there. I made stops every few minutes (yes minutes, it was that steep) to catch a breather and absorb the landscape. Just about every turn exposes you to a new jaw-dropping sight of the mountain. Reaching the peak was one of the most rewarding experiences ever. When you get to the top, you have a 360 view of the world. But duh, you’re at the tip top of the Santa Monica Mountains! This is your moment of mountainside relaxation absorbing the sun rays. From our California coastline, you get the best of both worlds from the mountains and beach.

Just a few tips:
– Be sure to bring lots of water; three 8oz bottles may or may not be enough depending on how hot it is.
– Keep an eye and ear for bikers coming from the Backbone Trail; they’re coming down fast!
– Cake on loads of sunscreen– there’s hardly any shade on this trail. Or cover up with dry-fit windbreakers and a cap!

This is surely a productive way to spend your Sweaty Saturday! Be sure to strike your victory pose at the top, and hashtag #SweatySaturdays on Instagram!

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