Cave of Munits
By Robert Bernstein
We recently had to go to Los Angeles for my wife's citizenship interview. I will hold off on comments about that until the process is complete. But we did make the best of it by getting in a couple of interesting hikes in the area around Chatsworth not known to be that interesting.
Here are my photos and video of our little adventure to the Cave of Munits!
The first thing you might wonder is: What is or are Munits? According to legend, Munits was a Chumash sorcerer. Here you can read the legend which is full of death, revenge and dismemberment.
Fortunately, we did not suffer any of these ill effects. But we did have a bit of a challenge finding it at first. Google Maps will try to send you into a gated community at the end of Bell Canyon Road near West Hills. The woman at the gate was pleasant enough about letting us turn around with no ill will. And she even gave us general directions to a better entrance.
The correct entrance is from Vanowen Street, just one tenth of a mile west of Valley Circle Boulevard in West Hills. You will see this City of Los Angeles sign welcoming you to El Escorpion Canyon Park. There seems to be some dispute about the correct spelling.From there we started walking west on the wide trail, hoping to meet someone who could direct us to the mysterious cave.Along the way we saw some intriguing peaks inviting us to explore.
But we kept with our mission to find the Cave. People were friendly enough, but the responses ranged from no recognition to various conflicting directions. But then we got very fortunate, indeed! A very pleasant and helpful local named Tom who not only told us the directions, but guided us right to the cave entrance!Tom makes this hike several times a week in order to do a more challenging adventure involving ropes and a more precariously located cave. I made this video of his adventure, until he disappeared out of sight.
Here was the daunting view up toward the Cave of Munits.Merlie stayed below as I scouted up into the cave. It is a bit slippery and scary getting up the first section, due to being worn smooth by other hikers.But it was definitely worth the challenge to see the beautiful cave formations. We don't have anything quite like this in the Santa Barbara area. The closest we have are the Wind Caves at Gaviota which are much smaller. This cave has the feel of a cathedral, complete with the high cathedral ceilings!
This was the view looking up.It was a bit scary peeking back down from high up in the cave.I was delighted to discover that Merlie found her way to the top of the cave on her own!Once again, Tom came to our rescue by joining us up there and pointing the best way down. This was the view of the way down.It was a bit precarious is places, but still much safer than descending back inside the cave.We made our way back around below the cave and I posed for this photo.