Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Hiking the Catalina Trail
Here is a thought experiment for you, think of your favorite trail. Got it? Good. Now, can you tell me when the trail was built? Usually we just enjoy our trails and with few exceptions, we have no idea when they were built, re-routed, etc.
So I was beyond stoked to be able to get out on a brand spanking new trail (relatively speaking, it was built in 2010) in Glendale. Added to that the fact that I have yet to hike and I have been chomping at the bit to hike this puppy. So how was it?
Well the first part, the Mountain Do trail, is flat and rather bland circling the soccer fields (or football pitches, if you will). However. it quickly picks up steam as it switchbacks up to the San Rafael Hills ridgeline.
The Catalina trail is a beautiful singletrack trail
and there was a double bonus to today's hike as the desert flowers were blooming up a storm and amongst all the brown were patches of color:
You have two options on the "ol" Catalina Trail, you can take it all the way around the hillside, continuing the nice singletrack
or take the junction
up to the Ridge Trail of the San Rafael Hills. I suggest doing both (of course!) as the Catalina Trail isn't going to challenge the PCT for length any time soon.
The San Rafael Hills offer nice vistas of the northern part of LA and while planted firmly between the 2 and the 210 and housing developments, the Hills will give you at least a "sense" of the wilds. Plus the trails are under utilized so you will definitely get the place to yourself if you go.
Double plus?? Fire tower!
An inaccessible fire tower with a 10 foot high fence, razor wire and a padlock access to the top deck fire tower, but one nonetheless. There are a whole bunch of these things in the Adirondacks and I get overly excited whenever I see one in person. I was almost more excited to see this than the views.
In any event, I feel the Catalina Trail, while new, will become an old friend as I really look forward to tromping around there many times in the future. I definitely suggest checking it out!
Posted by Peter Flanigan at 9:15 AM