Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hiking The Hahamonga Wasteland

So I sez to the better half I sez, "let's take a non-taxing walk around the Hahamonga Watershed, it will be fun!" Haha, the joke was on me, the day was hot, the trail petered out causing us to bushwhack and ultimately we got some disc golf players mad at us, never a good end to the day.

The hike starts off pleasant enough when you pull into a a shaded parking lot at the intersection of Foothill Blvd and Oak Grove Dr in Pasadena.

There is a half-hearted attempt at cactus garden

as the trail wends its way south on a paved road

although you have the option of taking the "equestrian trail" that parallels the trail heading South. Considering the amount of horse droppings on the regular trail, I am not quite sure why they would create another trail for horses to poop on but so be it!

Eventually the trail starts to form a U and head to the East and you have to cross two bridges to get to the other side of the park.

The second bridge is a real beaut, almost worth the price of the free admission to get into the park. The Devils Gate Dam bridge

is an engineering wonder as it rises out of the swamp and a true testament to humanity.

The bridges also allow you some great views of the Angeles to the North.

Once on the East side of the park, the trail wends its way North on a typical fireroad/canoe trail.

From various trip reports and stalking the area via Google maps, you make your way North around various "lakes" or "ponds" and then trek West back to the parking lot in an alleged loop.

Well, first, there is definitely no water to check out, waaaay to dry for that. However, there are some desolate palm trees that remind me of the Salton Sea.

As we made our way North, it became increasingly clear that there was no thru trail to the West side of the park. Indeed, the only way across is to "bushwhack" (there are no bushes but still) across a rock strewn riverbed that was nothing but unpleasant.

Here is the view:

A fellow hiker perhaps?

What you are looking for is a distinct trail leading from the flatlands back into the park area and the trail is marked by a tree trunk.

By taking this trail you go through actual grass (a SoCal rarity)

and make your way through a disc golf course. I felt the glares on my back as we were holding up what was sure to be the round of the century as discs went whizzing through the air until cracking into a tree branch.

There are many trails that lead up to the shaded parking lot where we began our adventure so pick one and head up.

Sometimes you eat the bear and sometimes the bear eats you. This hike, while only 3 miles, doesn't give you a lot scenery and/or hiking-euphoria so I chalk this up to being eaten by the bear. There are better trails in the Arroyo Seco, this ain't one of em.


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