April 29, 2008

Hike Report: Oakwilde

The forecast was for hot weather ... perfect for a ten-mile hike through along a shady canyon stream.

David and I began from the Switzer picnic area, in the Angeles National Forest north of Pasadena. A fire was burning in the mountains not too far east of here, threatening some homes in Sierra Madre, and on the drive up we could see some of the smoke. However, it was far enough away that it wouldn't affect us.

The picnic area is very popular, being so close to the city. Even at 9:00 in the morning, a number of people were already there. We passed by numerous picnic tables, including one group of tables with pink tablecloths and pink streamers all around, and a pinata. Somebody was setting up for a big party.

After leaving the picnic area behind, we arrived at the Switzer Falls overlook. This began the sunny middle section of the trail. We saw countless lizards scurrying on the ground ahead of us, and even a few snakes. Eventually, the trail dropped back down into the shady canyon, and arrived at the Oakwilde backpacking camp.

Not quite a century ago, Oakwilde was a popular resort area with roads and cabins. All that is left of those days is a few stone walls and cement foundations, which seem so out of place now that the only way in is a narrow trail. David and I ate lunch and walked around a little, remembering when we used to camp here when we were scouts.

On the way back, we stopped at a smaller waterfall that dropped into a small pool. We dipped our feet into the water. Actually, I did more than that---I got completely wet! The cold water felt great. We then proceeded back up the canyon. By the time we reached the now crowded picnic area, my lungs were feeling a little woozy from the smog; maybe some smoke from the fire was also present in the air. Other than that, though, it was a very enjoyable hike.

The photos:

The trail into Oakwilde
One of the walls left from the resort.
The stream; I think it's Arroyo Seco.
David, who only got his feet wet.

1 comment:

Michael said...

Looks fabulous.

Take Care