Tuesday, September 20, 2011
I wanted to get out of LA but not too far out. So where to go? After doing a quick lap around the Google Maps, I stumbled across the little green space of Powder Canyon.
I didn't know what to expect as I drove down the dirt road near the weirdo town of La Habra Heights and came to some horse stables.
There are several trails throughout the Canyon area which can basically be done in a loop. This the less taxing way and the more taxing way, I suggest going counter clockwise. However you have to have your wits about you as several trails branch off and are unmarked about which way to go.
I started off on the Black Walnut trail which hoofs it up and up onto a ridgeline.
Still, when you get up there you are rewarded by stunning mountain views.
I left the shot with the power lines in there because truly this park is bordered by humanity. Even if you can't see the houses (which is often), the power lines (and possibly wind turbines coming soon?) are everywhere and even if there aren't power lines, the park is on the final approach to LAX so its rare that you aren't reminded of humanity.
After the Black Walnut trail, I hooked up with the Powder Canyon trail which got me out of the sun and into some nice tree scrub brush.
I thought it was going to be a rather benign hike until I saw this sign.
Well well well, so I could be eaten by a mountain lion eh? These signs where EVERYWHERE. With so many rabbits sharing the trail, it was little surprise but still, lions!
The variety of the terrain is really interesting. Exposed ridgelines, shady tree-lined trails, with white trees
and then...Horses ?!?
Yes, horses. In fact, the "evidence" of horses were all over the trails. I never shared trails with horses back East so when I first went around the trails of Griffith Park, I was surprised at the leavings of various equines. I realize that it is part of the nature but there has to be a better way to manage these things so you don't have be sidestepping them every 50 feet.
In any event, this trail is apparently part of a very old Anza trail which had a very cool history.
I kept hiking around the trails and after another leg burner
You bust out on top with some amazing views of the mountains. It IS worth it, just hang in there.
Don't be afraid to look around either, there are some cool grasslands and other scenes.
Now, while there are signs up at general trail junctions, there are many times when the trail splits off onto other defined trails but those trails lead nowhere. Basically, here is the rule of thumb, if the trail splits and one heads to an electric tower, DON'T go on that one.
One trail you definitely should go on is the Purple Sage Trail. There you will encounter some great trees, some great wind and some great views of the OC.
And yes, there is apparently purple sage and I was freaked out by it!
Overall, horse trail aspect was less than desirable but this is a nice little canyon jaunt that you can make into about a 6.5 mile hike with some good leg busting hikes. If you are looking for a quick out from LA, this is a really nice hike.
This is THE map for the area, have at it: http://www.habitatauthority.org/pdf/LoRes_Powder_Cyn.pdf
Posted by Peter Flanigan at 8:42 AM