Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hike in Mentryville/Pico Canyon

Today my brother Keith and I hiked in the area of Mentryville, CA in Pico Canyon. This is an historic place located near Santa Clarita, CA.

Friends Of Mentryville, CA

We started out by exploring some of the old buildings that are still standing in Mentryville. There is also a lot of old machinery that was used for drilling oil. This area is very rich in oil and the first commercial oil well in California is located here.

We headed up the trail and came upon a "fork" in the trail that looked interesting. We were looking for wildflowers and this "fork" looked like it would be a good place to find them. We headed across lush green grasses and into a beautiful ravine where huge oak trees were growing. A small stream was flowing down below the trail that climbed up the hill into the canyon.

On both sides of the trail, there were beautiful blue lupins. After about a half mile in, we came to the end of the trail, so we turned around and headed back to the "main" trail we had started out on.

This trail followed the small stream up into the main part of the canyon where the old oil fields were. Along the way we came upon an old oil derrick. Farther up the trail we found the first commercial oil well in our state. We also saw many beautiful wildflowers.

We did about a 3 1/2 mile hike and enjoyed every minute of it.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hiking Vasquez Rocks - 03/13/2010

What started out to be a Saturday photo-op at Vasquez Rocks County Park turned into a 3-mile hike. I drove up to Vasquez Rocks to look for wildflowers, but once I got there, I decided to start hiking some of the areas in the park that I had never investigated before. Usually when I head up there, I stay mainly around the “famous” rocks, the ones that everyone has seen in the movies and on TV shows, but today, I hiked out behind the “main rock” then headed over to a section of the Pacific Crest Hiking Trail. The Pacific Crest Trail, or PCT, travels from Mexico to Canada through 3 western states, California, Oregon and Washington. Here is a link to information about this trail:

I had hoped that there would be wildflowers, but the only ones I saw were some little purple ones that blanketed the floors of the canyon and a couple of others that were actually some bushes that were in bloom, one being Bladderpod. There were a lot of people there enjoying the park and even some rock climbers.

All in all, I had a great morning. Spent 2 ½ hours exploring and loving every minute of it.

If you are interested in reading more about Vasquez Rocks County Park, here are some links that you may find interesting:

Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Narrows Hike - March 11, 2010

Took another hike in the Towsley Canyon Narrows this morning. The weather was perfect.
I love hiking this area this time of the year. Everything is so green and the stream is still flowing. I love the rock formations here.

I was looking for wildflowers. Found some, but they are all very tiny. I do not know what any of them are, but the are pretty.

Saw several hawks and turkey buzzards. After walking through the Narrows, I climbed a little higher up the trail and found a nice flat walk where I sat for about 20 minutes and just cherished the scenery.

Friday, March 5, 2010


I've been on hikes in Towsley Canyon before, but today I decided to explore The Narrows area of the Towsley Loop Trail a little more.

The Narrows is on the "back" side of the loop. I parked up by the ranger station and headed up the hill.

There was a little bit of water running in the creek today.

The Narrows have interesting rock formations and areas that appear to be "caves" but do not go back into the cliffs very far.

After exiting The Narrows, I climbed the path as it went up the mountain, but only went as far as the first major turn where it starts to become very steep. Here I turned around and headed back down the trail, hiking approximately 2 to 3 miles. I had hiked this entire 5 mile loop in 2008, which I consider an accomplishment for me.

Seems like everytime I hike I see more and more "seniors" out enjoying the trails. The folks are in their 60's and 70's and they are staying healthy by hiking

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


Beautiful morning when I looked out this morning so decided to go on another hike in Placerita Canyon. Again I hiked the Canyon Trail....2 miles in and 2 miles back.

Along the way a nice young man (maybe 40sh) passed me on the trail and spoke to me. Asked me how far it was to the waterfall. I was just below the bubble pot when he came along. I told him about how far it was and that there wasn't any water right now. He went on up the trail and when I got to Walker Ranch he was there looking at the fireplace hearth. He asked me if I knew anything about it so I told him that the cabin down at the center used to be there. He sat on the bench with me and told me that he doesn't work Wednesdays, so that he is trying to get out and hike once a week. He said he'd hiked up around Castaic lake and over on the Piru Creek Trail but had never hiked the Canyon Trail and he was really enjoying it. We talked for about 15 minutes while we rested and then I told him I had to start back down the trail. He seemed like a nice guy.


Then coming down, I came across 4 senior citizens hiking....2 men and 2 women. I'd say they were in their late 60's early 70's. They stopped and talked for a few minutes too. You meet nice people out on the trails.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Golden Valley Open Area - 03/01/2010

Today I decided I wanted to hike an area I had never hiked before. I drove up into Placerita Canyon to the Golden Valley Open Area, parked the car and started up the trail. This area is very grassy. During our wet season, there a small creeks running all through the grasses.

The area was very muddy due to our past rains, but I continued to trudge up the trail, which kept getting steeper and steeper.

Along the way I saw some early wildflowers and some great views of the area. After about 1/2 mile in, I decided that this trail was way to steep for my liking, so I turned around and headed back for the car. I usually don't give up this easy, but this time, the huffing and puffing really got to me.

I got back into my car and drove 1/2 mile back down the canyon road to the Placerita Canyon Natural Area and walked around there for awhile.
I really want to take advantage of all of these flowing creeks and green grasses while I can because by June all of this will dry out, turn brown and die.