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Los Angeles County: A Day Hiker's Guide
by John McKinney (The Trailmaster)
Cold Creek Canyon is one of the secret treasures of the Santa Monica Mountains. A year-round stream and a protected north-facing canyon nurture a rich variety of ferns and flowering plants in the 600-acre preserve. Cold Creek Canyon was once part of a ranch, homesteaded in the early years of this century. It later served as a ranch/retreat for the Murphy family members who donated their ranch to The Nature Conservancy in 1970s, stipulating that Cold Creek be forever preserved in its natural state. The natural world of Cold Creek Canyon is diverse. Lining Cold Creek are ferns, flowers and cattails. Winter rains swell the creek, creating a dozen small waterfalls. A hundred bird species have been sighted within the preserve, including golden eagles. Hikers may encounter a squirrel raccoon, deer or even a bobcat. Wildflower-lovers will find much to admire. Early bloomers (February to April) include the white blossoms of the milkmaid. Later in spring, look for the bright yellow canyon sunflower and the yellow-orange-spotted Humboldt lily. Remember that this is an upside-down hike; the elevation gain occurs during your return. Save some energy.
Best Easy Day Hikes: West Los Angeles
by Bryn Fox Pitterle (Falcon Guides)
This hike travels down into the Cold Creek Canyon amid aunique array of plants and wildlife. From this shady trail youcan see wildflowers like stream orchids and scarlet monkeyflowers and pass by the ruins of an old house carved fromsandstone.
Nice to do on a day you are bored. With out the rain these last couple years everything described in the review is dried up. The old rock house is cool. Easy hike.
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