January 20, 2011

January Hike: Pico Canyon

Last weekend, I went for a hike with friends to Pico Canyon, in the hills just southwest of Six Flags Magic Mountain.  It was a beautiful, warm day - the kind of day that makes me glad I live in southern California.
Pico Canyon was the site of the first commercial oil well in California.  There are some historic sites left from the old village of Mentryville. 
The hike began in a shady canyon; this time of year, the sun's rays have a hard time reaching the canyon floor.  After awhile, the trail left the canyon and ascended to a ridge, which provided a sweeping view of the Santa Clarita Valley.
Round-trip was about eight miles, and although it included over 1000 feet elevation gain, the miles went by fast. 
I mentioned last week that I was going to be hiking in the Santa Monica mountains.  Well, the plans changed slightly.  I don't think these can quite be considered part of the Santa Monicas.  In fact, I'm not really sure what mountains these are.  I do know that the following picture is very typical of the scrub vegetation in the low hills throughout Los Angeles County.

Up close, many of these plants are quite beautiful.  Some of them I recognized, but others I didn't know.  I was recently given some book store gift cards, and think I will use them to buy a book to help me identify some of these plants.

Our trip consisted of three adults, two young girls, and one dog.  All completed the hike easily, with energy to spare. 

2 comments:

bikesantaclarita said...

Love that hike myself. I went the week before the snow with my kids and we had a blast! This time of year is best as you mentioned the sun isn't as strong.
Michael

Danny Bradfield said...

bikesantaclarita, thanks for reading my blog. I actually bought my bike at an independent bike store in Santa Clarita, but mostly I ride it around Long Beach where I live. I imagine that Pico Canyon would make for a nice ride, just as it made for a nice hike!