Afoot and Afield Los Angeles County  by Jerry Schad

Afoot & Afield Los Angeles County

by Jerry Schad (Wilderness Press)
Afoot and Afield Los Angeles County  by Jerry Schad
Los Angeles County sits astride one of the earth’s most significant structural features—the San Andreas Fault. For more than 10 million years, earth movements along the San Andreas and neighboring faults have shaped the dramatic geology and topography evident throughout the region today. The very complexity of the shape of the land has in turn spawned a variety of localized climates. The varied climates, along with the diverse topography and geology, have resulted in a remarkably diverse array of plant and animal life.

© 2010 Jerry Schad /Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Afoot & Afield Los Angeles County" Guide Book
199 Trail Guides

In previous editions of this book, the trail following Agua Blanca Creek was linked to the Pothole Trail in the form of a loop hike. That was when hikers had access by car to Blue Point and the former Blue Point Campground nearby. Then, the Pothole Trail became severely overgrown, and the paved service road along the west side of Lake Piru was closed to autos.
La Jolla, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 20
This wide-ranging traverse takes you from Shortcut Saddle to Chantry Flat, through wooded and fern-draped canyons, and over a major divide. The closure of the Rincon-Red Box Road to motor vehicles has made this area effectively more remote from civilization (and any form of help in an emergency) than it has been for decades.
Monrovia, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 11
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Diminutive Arroyo Sequit Park, a 155-acre former ranch that is now a unit of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, is a bit hidden in one of the more remote parts of the mountains between Malibu and Thousand Oaks. This patch of land appears drab and dry at least half the year-but winter rains can transform it instantly into an emerald paradise. Bring the kids here for a little hiking, picnicking, wildflower hunting, or bird-watching.
Malibu, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.2
Sierra Madre’s impeccably maintained Bailey Canyon Park includes a small, shady picnic area, and the lower part of a trail that now goes all the way to the Mount Wilson Trail above Orchard Camp.
Sierra Madre, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.2
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Sharply terminated by the Los Angeles River flood channel and Interstate 5, Beacon Hill stands as the last eastward gasp of a 50-mile-long mountain range—the Santa Monicas. Back in the early 20th Century it served a utilitarian purpose as the site of an illuminated beacon for Grand Central Airport in Glendale. Today it presides over flatlands overrun by industrial buildings.
Hollywood, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2.5
Bear Canyon, as secluded and beautiful as any small canyon in the Front Range country, enjoys the added benefit of good trail access from two sides.
Altadena, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 7.5
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Bear Creek and its myriad tributaries drain about half of San Gabriel Wilderness—roughly 25 square miles of steeply plunging ravines and canyons.
Los Angeles, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 9.7
Barely a mile’s walk from the busy little community of Mount Baldy, you can be sitting on a rock, communing with Nature, feet dangling in the sun-and-shadedappled, crystalline stream of Bear Canyon.
San Bernardino, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.5
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From the south end of the Verdugos’ summit ridge, your gaze takes in the San Gabriel Mountains, much of the L.A. megalopolis, and even the ocean on occasion. Do this trip late in the day if you want to enjoy both a spectacular sunset and a blaze of lights after twilight fades.
Glendale, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.5
O’Melveny Park’s Bee Canyon is a terrific place for exploring with little ones. Presided over by sky-scraping cliffs and shaded by a veritable jungle of young willow saplings, this is natural L.A.’s answer to Disneyland’s Adventureland. During most of the year water seeps, or flows, down the canyon’s silty bottom, so you’d better wear old shoes if you intend to probe the canyon’s upper, nearly trailless reaches.
Santa Clarita, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 2
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The more lengthy trek in Monrovia Canyon Park takes you up the Sawpit Canyon drainage to Deer Park, the site of a tourist lodge popular during the early 20th Century. There you’ll see the remains of a stone lodge built by Monrovia building contractor Ben Overturff in 1911.
Bradbury, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 7.1
The short and easy, self-guiding Big Pines Nature Trail highlights many of the native trees and shrubs of the Big Pines area. The trail originates behind the Grassy Hollow Visitor Center and starts by winding up through a sparse grove of centuriesold Jeffrey pines.
Big Pine, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.5
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Tall, aromatic pines and firs, and thin air (elevation averages 7500 feet) lend a High-Sierra-feel to the north slope of Blue Ridge. The nicely maintained Blue Ridge Trail climbs about 1000 feet up this slope to meet the Pacific Crest Trail just outside Blue Ridge Campground.
Big Pine, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.6
This long trek down Palos Verdes’ wild west side visits crescent-shaped Lunada Bay plus a half dozen mini-coves, and traverses the wave-torn base of the sea cliffs below Point Vicente. Time your hike so that low tide occurs when you’re below the lighthouse at Point Vicente, which is one of the tighter spots along the coastline.
Los Angeles, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 5.7
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Girded by freeways and busy streets, the trails around Puddingstone Reservoir in Bonelli Regional Park are hardly the place to get away from it all—unless, perhaps, you arrive early on a Saturday or Sunday morning. During those quiet times you can get a sense of how peaceful a spot this was before World War II. In those distant days, the reservoir nestled among serene hills overlooking a patchwork quilt of citrus groves.
San Dimas, CA - Hiking,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 7
This is the classic grand tour of Malibu Creek State Park’s rugged backcountry. Along the way you’ll tramp along the crestline of the Santa Monicas, circling high above the park’s most conspicuous landmarks. Mountain bikers, who use a slight variation of the route, typically make this a 3- or 4-hour task, but you’d better allow about double that amount of time on foot.
Malibu, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 13.7
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Far from sight and sound of the city, the Burkhart Trail blazes a lonely path over Pleasant View Ridge and down into the upper margins of the Mojave Desert.
Los Angeles, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 12.2
Caballero Canyon’s convenient trailhead allows San Fernando Valley hikers to gain easy access to the trails of Topanga State Park without having to drive either the curvy Topanga Canyon Boulevard or the notoriously rutty dirt section of Mulholland Drive.
Tarzana, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 4.2
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The climb to Calabasas Peak should appeal to both exercise buffs and landscape photographers. The non-trivial gain and loss of elevation make a great workout, and the geologic formations passed along the way are some of the most photogenic in the Santa Monica Mountains.
Malibu, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.6
Topped by craggy blocks of white conglomerate rock, Castle Peak affords what is probably the most expansive view of San Fernando Valley’s west side. From the top, a sea of ground-hugging subdivisions is seen lapping at the foot of the mountain and stretching toward a vaporous horizon.
Los Angeles, CA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.4
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