Monday, April 23, 2012

Foggy, Soggy Hike In Rice Canyon

We had a very HOT weekend. Temperatures in the 90's, but then this morning, there was a thick marine layer and it was drizzling some when me, my brother Keith and my dog Hiker headed to Rice Canyon for a foggy, soggy hike.

We had just started out from the trail head when we spotted a coyote running around in the ranger's yard. It noticed us and started to run up the hill, but then it stopped and sat down and just watched us as we went on up the trail. It was only about 300 yards from us. It looked friendly, but we avoided it.

Because of the late rain we've had this year, the grass was tall and green and the creek was running. There were even a few wildflowers, but very few.

Keith lead us up the trail toward the meadow on the top of the ridge.

We stopped under a tree to snap a photo of the three of us...Me, Hiker and Keith.

There was a lot of moisture on the leaves from the drizzle.

Took this photograph from the ridge. You can see the fog on the mountain tops.

We started back down the trail toward the lower meadows and the trail head where the car was parked. We did not see the coyote again, but we did come upon this gopher snake. It was stretched out across the trail and scared the heck out of me. I am scared to death of snakes whether they are poisonous or not. Keith determined it was not a rattler, chased it into the grass and Hiker and I ran past it as fast as we could go.

We were muddy and wet by the time we got back to the car. I had to give Hiker a bath when we got her home.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Haskell Canyon Open Space

This morning, my brother Keith, my dog Hiker and I took a hike in the Haskell Canyon Open Space area in the Santa Clarita Valley. This area had been known for equestrians for years but opened up for hikers and mountain bikers about a year ago. I had attended the city dedication of this area with my friend Linda.

We started out at the trail head on Copperhill Drive in Saugus, CA and headed north up into the canyon.

As we were hiking into the canyon, we began to notice that there were a lot of strange looking wooden structures on trails that took off from the main trail. We started to inspect them.

We finally figured out that these were jump ramps for BMX bike riders. They were everywhere.

We hiked in a little over a mile before turning around and heading back to the trail head and the car.

This hike is not a very scenic one. If you just want to hike and not enjoy nature, this hike would be for you. I prefer oak groves and panaramic views. If we had a good season for wildflowers, I think this canyon would be a great place to see some. We ended up doing almost 2.5 miles with an 300 ft. rise in elevation.

The trail is mostly flat, but there are a few areas where you have a little bit of a steep climb.

Directions: Haskell Canyon is located north of Copperhill Drive, east of Haskell Canyon Road. Parking is available east of High Ridge Drive along the roadway. Parking is also available on Ranchview Terrace, off of High Ridge Drive, along the street curb. Signs are posted at the trailhead.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Morning Hike At Quigley Canyon Open Space - Santa Clarita, CA

This morning, my friend Linda came to my house and then she, me and Hiker headed over to the Quigley Canyon Open Space near Newhall, CA in the Santa Clarita Valley. We met up there with our friend RuthAnne.

This open space is fairly new and has recently opened up for hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians.

There are four loop trails in the area ranging from easy to difficult.

We did two of the trails...the City Trail and then the Fox Trail.

The trails start out in a large field and head off through oak trees and then proceed to head up the side of the mountain.

The City Trail takes you up to a vista point where you have views of the Santa Clarita Valley.

We headed back down to the meadow and then headed up the Fox Trail which lead us through more oak groves and along a dry creek bed.

Here we all are...Hiker, me, RuthAnne and Linda

After hiking 2.7 miles, we decided to call it a morning and headed back to the trail head where our vehicles were parked.

The City of Santa Clarita purchased the nearly 160 acres of this beautiful canyon nearly a decade ago, and it has provided the surrounding Equestrian homes in Placerita Canyon with hiking, picnicking, and equestrian trails in close proximity to where they live. The trails were refurbished in the spring of 2011, and now include four separate trails that total approximately 4.1 miles, offering pristine 360 degree views and undulating slopes in varying degrees of difficulty.

Directions:  Exit SR 14 at Newhall Avenue. Head northwest on Newhall Avenue and turn right on Railroad Avenue. Continue to 13th Street and turn right. 13th street curves to the right and becomes Arch Street. Continue on Arch Street to the first street on your left which will be 12th Street. Stay on 12th Street and it will make a slight curve to the right and became Placeritos Boulevard. Take Placeritos Boulevard to Quigley Canyon Road and turn left. Stay on Quigley Canyon Road until you reach Cleardale Street. Continue to where Cleardale Street dead-ends at the trail head.