Southern California (Los Angeles) Chapter

The Southern California Chapter of American Pilgrims serves the greater Los Angeles area. Broadly stated, the purpose of this local chapter is to keep members connected to the Camino and to introduce new people to the phenomenon.  We plan to accomplish this in a number of ways, such as social events, walks, mentoring future pilgrims and serving as a local host for hospitalero training through American Pilgrims.

The chapter will be scheduling walks, talks, potlucks and much more! These will be listed here but you may also want to check the Local Events page for other events that may be of interest. Contact chapter coordinators Kurt "Carlos" Schroeder, Anita Baroldi, Geoff Davies and Kurt Buckley at for more information or to be added to the chapter e-mail list.

To see more about what we're doing and to join the Camino conversation, check out our Facebook page:


12-Mile Walk: Santiago de Compostela Parish to San Juan Capistrano Mission
Saturday, March 17, 2018, 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM

If you are able to walk 4 miles, this walk will demonstrate that you can turn those 4 miles into a walk of 12 miles in one day. This SoCal Chapter's Orange County walk simulates a typical day walking on the Camino into or out of a city, including rural roads and creek trails.

The walk starts from the Santiago de Compostela Church in Lake Forest (21682 Lake Forest Dr, Lake Forest, CA 92630). This is the only church outside of Santiago, Spain with this name. There is even a statue on the church grounds from Spain made out of Galician stone.

During the walk we take several long breaks. On hot days we have a Camino Angel that provides us with refreshing drinks and snacks to supplement those that you have brought. We end our walk at a California Mission that was founded by a long-distance walker, St. Junipero Serra. This Spaniard sailed from Spain to Veracruz and walked from there to Mexico City and on to Baja and parts of Alta, CA. The chapel at Mission San Juan Capistrano built in 1782 is thought to be the oldest standing building in California. After the walk, we enjoy a late lunch at the Cedar Creek Inn which is directly across Mission San Juan Capistrano. Here we can share more Camino stories for newcomers with seasoned peregrinos, and sometimes we celebrate a "Shell Ceremony" for members about to embark on their first Camino!

During the week before the walk, you will receive additional information regarding parking location and times. Please click HERE to RSVP. Contact for this event is Susan Beckenham,, 626-226-6417.

Q&A Session
Saturday, March 24, 2018, 1:00 - 5:00 PM

The Q&A Session is led by Anita Baroldi; Anita covers the "who, what, where, and when" issues of the Camino. This session also gives new pilgrims the opportunity to ask questions about any aspect of walking on the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. 

As we have limited seating at this event, we would like you to make a reservation. In Mission Viejo and specific address will be provided upon receiving your RSVP. New and returning pilgrims are welcome. Contact for this event is Susan Beckenham, drsbeckenham@gmail.com626-226-6417.

Serrano Canyon Hike and Picnic
Saturday, March 24, 2018, 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM

This SoCal Chapter hike provides options for multiple levels: Challenging, moderate or leisurely self-guided. All hikes start at SYCAMORE COVE STATE BEACH! A Camino picnic will follow the hikes back at the Sycamore Cove. 


Challenging Group: Approximately 11 miles with an 1,100-ft. climb.This group will start by hiking up Big Sycamore Canyon (same as our Moderate Group) and then veer off to climb through Serrano Canyon, a deep water-carved rock gorge filled with Oak, Sycamore, Bay Laurel and poison oak. This single path emerges into the Serrano Valley, a gorgeous rolling grassland filled with wild flowers and backed by views of the dramatically rising wall of Boney Mountain. After the high point, this group returns to the Big Sycamore Canyon trail leading back to the beach (note: the Moderate Group will also take this return leg).

Bring plenty of high-energy snacks and plenty of water for our brief rests. And we recommend you bring hiking poles to assist with multiple stream crossings (some of which may be active, depending on the rains) and in some places the trails may be disrupted by rains between now and then. Mosquito repellent may be needed.

Boots on and ready to depart the Picnic Area at 8:15 AM. Please be at the park gates no later than 8:00 AM for check-in; parking tickets can be purchased even before the park gates open. 

Moderate Group: Approximately an 8-mile walk with the first half being gently uphill, then returning downhill by the same route. The hike proceeds through nature on the Big Sycamore Canyon Trail, a well-maintained fire road. We expect to maintain a gentle 2-mile per hour pace. Boots on and ready to depart the Picnic Area at 8:45 AM. Please be at the park no later than 8:15 AM.

Leisurely--Self-guided: This is self-guided, so arrive when you wish and set your own pace and distance walking the very gentle incline of the beautiful Sycamore Canyon fire-road trail. Adjust your schedule so as to return to the Picnic Area by 1:00 PM.

The potluck: Our Spanish inspired potluck picnic will start after the last hiker of the last group has returned to the Picnic Area (estimated to be 1:00 - 1:30 PM). We will have some limited ice chests in cars for items needing to stay cold. 

Meeting Point click: Sycamore Cove State Beach
9000 W. Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA 90265

The park charges for day use parking: $11 for seniors & $12 for non-seniors, so carpooling is encouraged. Visa or MasterCard REQUIRED to pay!

To RSVP for this event, use the following link and complete the online RSVP Survey: Should your plans change, please let us know (by text or call) as soon as possible. Contact for this event is Susan Beckenham, drsbeckenham@gmail.com626-226-6417.

In 2018 the chapter will be scheduling walks and potlucks. For future events check out our Facebook, and be sure that you're on our e-mail list.

Are you interested in learning more about the Camino?
If you are thinking of walking the Camino and are interested in learning more, we can pair you with an experienced pilgrim who can answer your questions on how to prepare and what to expect. Just email us at and ask to be connected with a mentor. Experienced Camino walkers and cyclists who would like to serve as mentors should contact us so that you can be added to our resource list. Potential mentors should provide us with your name, ZIP-code and a brief rundown of your experience including walking or cycling, which route and when. Also you can visit American Pilgrims on the Camino on Facebook for great dialogue, photos and a running commentary about the Camino from like-minded pilgrims.

Rev 02/27/18