Laziness has been calling my name lately. I have hiked a bunch of the trails around Los Angeles but laziness has been whispering in my ear about not going an hour plus away to hike new hills and dales. 30 minutes away from LA seems to be my sweet spot as of late but I am quickly running out of those trails as well. What is a hiking-guy to do? Well, perhaps Elsmere Canyon in the wonderful Antelope Valley (while reinforcing my laziness) will give me a good hike. Did it?
(this is where you are headed)
There is no shade and even though I hiked this trail late in the day, I had to stop several times to hydrate. At least some nice Nature Fairy cut some steps up the trail at one point!
There was one portion of the trail without signage that made me stop for several minutes trying to figure out what is what. I didn't take any pictures of the junction but basically if you are hiking North to South on the West trail and once you gain the ridge you will come to a T. You want to take the trail to the right (South) and then follow that until you see the trail going down and to the right. Do not take the trail down and to the right.
Eventually you start to make the turn into the canyon proper.
(Photo Title: Picturesque Schizophrenia)
Once you go down into the canyon
you basically have 2 choices. You can either head back out to the parking lot via the Creek Trail or head back up the canyon walls completing the Elsmere Canyon loop. I decided to both and headed back up the trail, once again tromping in the opposite way of the footprints.
Bonus points for going up this way? You can make yourself a tar baby along the way.
Trudging up the canyon again after already gaining and losing the altitude sucks, no way around it
but once you gain the ridgeline those views of the Antelope Valley make the climb up slightly worth it ;)
After getting beaten down by the sun, hiking along the Creek Trail is a nice alternative as the entire stretch of its .7 tenths of a mile is shaded. Some of the sights are sweet
and some, well leave something to be desired
(and yes, that is the "creek" of the Creek Trail)
So overall was this my favorite hike in the AV? No but it still was an AV hike and the views and the rock formations make the small 1/2 hour drive from LA worth it. I HIGHLY suggest you do this hike early in the morning or late in the day during the Summertime, otherwise you will be sweating buckets.
You want a trail map? Here your trail map!