Sunday, January 31, 2010

FERN DELL PARK - GRIFFITH PARK, CA - 12/11/06

Right in the center of the city of Los Angeles is Griffith Park. Within Griffith Park is Fern Dell Park, a beautiful trail that follows a year-round stream up the mountain side.

You can do a short hike (which I did) or you can go all the way to the top where the Griffith Observatory is.




The lower part of the trail is very lush with native as well as non-native plants. Once you've gone past the main area of the park, the trail starts to climb and is very steep in some places.



When on the lower part of the trail, it's hard to believe that you are in the city.
If you take the upper trail, you will see spectacular views of the city and if it's a really clear day, you can see all the way to Long Beach and Catalina Island.


Highlights: Beautiful views of Los Angeles and beyond. Views of the Griffith Observatory. Ferns and other tropical plants.


Near: Hollywood, CA/Glendale, CA
Distance: Lower trail is about 1 mile one-way.
Hike Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on how long you sit and enjoy the view.
Difficulty: Easy
Trail Condition: Well Maintained Trail
Hike Type: Out and Back


Trailhead: From Interstate 5, head west on Los Feliz. Turn north on Fern Dell Drive.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

TOWSLEY CANYON HIKE #2 - 04/10/08

After my first hike in Towsley Canyon, I started looking for a hiking partner. I found out that a woman I used to work with, who is also retired, enjoyed hiking, so I contacted Sandi and asked if she would like to go hiking with me.

On April 10, 2008, we headed over to Towsley Canyon and started our 5.1 mile hike on the loop trail. We started out in a slightly wooded area and then came upon what is referred to as "The Narrows".



While in this deep narrow canyon, you can see fault formations and there is a small creek running along the canyon floor, which you cross back and forth a few times.


Once you are out of "The Narrows", you start the climb up the loop trail. It "snakes" along the sides of the mountain topping out at an elevation of approxmately 2200 feet. The views from this point are spectacular.


Next you start your descent down the mountain where you encounter steambeds and small tar pits bubbling up out of the ground. The trail then passes through a grove of oak trees and there is a small babbling creek running along side. The trail eventually brings you back out to the parking area.


While on the trail, you may encounter some turkey buzzards. We did! Plus there are a lot of lizards and watch out for snakes. Thank God we didn't run across any! It was springtime when we took this hike, so there were several species of wildflowers.




See Towsley Canyon Hike #1 for highlights and details on this hike.

Friday, January 29, 2010

TOWSLEY CANYON HIKE #1 - 03/31/08

This was my very first hike after I retired. Even though I retired in 2006, I did not realize for 2 years that there were all of these wonderful hiking trails and nature areas in the Santa Clarita Valley where I live. I had been going for walks on all of the bike trails in the city limits here, then one day while I was surfing the Web, I came across a site that told all about these nature areas and I was thrilled!


My first hike in Towsley Canyon was a "short" one. I went there by myself to check the area out. The wildflowers were blooming and everything was very green.



Since I had never been there before, I had no idea where the trails were or where they lead. I came upon a sign that read "Towsley View Loop 5.1 Miles". I decided I'd head up this trail a little ways and see where it took me.


The first part of the trail was in an open field, but eventually I came to a grove of oak trees where a small creek ran. The sound of the babbling water and the birds was very relaxing.
After going in about 1/2 mile or so, I decided to head back and take a side trail that I had seen along the way as it lead to a hillside of California Poppies and Blue Lupins. I wanted to take some photos.
This side trail took me through tall green grasses and up the side of a mountain.


The trail kept getting thinner and I felt as though I would fall off the side of it, so I finally turned and headed back for the main trail where I decided to start back to the parking lot and drive home.



My actual hike on this day was only about 1 mile to 1.5 miles as I went late in the afternoon and had not really planned for a long hike.


Highlights: Spectacular Geological formations, Rugged Mountain Views, Tar Pits, Plant Variety


Near: Newhall, CA
Distance: 5.1 miles round trip (if you do the entire loop)
Elevation Gain: 1671 ft (if you do the entire loop)
Hike Time: Approx. 3.5 hours for entire loop
Difficulty: Moderate
Trail Condition: Well maintained trail
Hike Type: Loop


Trailhead: Take the Calgrove exit from the Golden State Freeway (Interstate 5). Turn west back under the freeway and take the Old Road south to Ed Davis Park at Towsley Canyon. Drive 0.6 miles west on the graded entrance road to reach the picnic area and nature center. Park your car in the dirt lot to the right and the proceed up the graded road towards the floodplain of Towsley Canyon

Thursday, January 28, 2010

LATEST HIKE - 01/28/2010

I'll start off with my latest hike which was this afternoon.
I hiked the Waterfall Trail in Placerita Canyon. Placerita Canyon is in the Santa Clarita Valley of Southern California. There is a nature center there and many fun trails to hike.
During our "wet" months (January and February), there is a waterfall and a nice stream running through the canyon. We just had a 7-day rain storm last week, so there is plenty of water up there right now.
Here is a map of the Placerita Park/Nature Center. You can click on any of the photos to see a larger version of them.

The Waterfall Trail takes you on a 1.2 mile round trip through a green field where old oak groves grow. You start to climb up the hill and into the deep, narrow canyon. The trail dead-ends at the waterfall, which drops about 12 feet.
Sometimes you will see Acorn Woodpeckers in the trees, or you may even see some squirrels or deer along the way.








INTRODUCTION

I live in The Santa Clarita Valley in southern California.
There are several hiking trails and nature areas around our valley. In the summer, it is too hot to go hiking, but during the winter, spring and fall, the weather is perfect. Several of the trails follow wet-weather creeks and end at waterfalls. Several of them have oak groves and grassy fields. In the springtime, there are wildflowers all over the trails. A few of the trails even have "tar-pits" where oil bubbles up out of the ground to the surface.
I am an amateur photographer, so I combine my love of hiking and taking photos.
I am 60 years old and enjoyed hiking when I was a teen. After I started working, I stopped hiking for many years, until I retired. Now I try to get out when the weather permits. I usually hike alone. I used to have a friend who would hike with me, but she hurt her back and cannot hike now. My brother hikes with me when he comes to visit. If I could find a group of seniors that hike in my area, I might join them.
In this blog, I will share some of my photos with you and I will share information about the areas I hike.
I will start with my latest hike, but I will also tell you about past hikes I've been on.
I hope you will enjoy this blog and will follow it.