This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Loop-De-Loop: Temescal Canyon Travels

I walk. Every day. One hour. No questions asked. Many answers found. I consider it my "Me" time. Generally, I stick to the same route. This can sometimes get boring. And that, calls for adventure.

Ever since I went to Yosemite National Park in September, I've been motivated to seek out more of the 'wild' of Los Angeles. Even in the most urban of areas, there are plenty of local hikes where I can play make-believe adventure. I just have to be willing to seek them out.

Temescal Canyon Gateway Park is one of those places. It's been on my list for awhile. Nestled in Pacific Palisades, Temescal Canyon is a popular hiking area. From the map, I could see that the park was right off Sunset Boulevard, just west of the fringes of Will Rogers State Park. Parking inside the park is $7.00. As suggested from other online hiking sites, however, I easily [and surprisingly] found street parking just outside the park. [I'm a person that hates to spend money on the idiocy of parking my car.]

The main Temescal Ridge Trail rises steadily above Sunset. Suddenly you'll find yourself high above the Pacific Ocean. It's a dramatic view, especially on a clear sunny day. I didn't find the hike to be tremendously strenuous, but it does require more effort than a leisurely stride so you should be in decently good shape before attempting it.

There is an elevation gain of about 1,000 feet. ( In comparison, my hike to Upper Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park had an elevation gain of nearly 3,000 feet... enough to make me both nauseous, dehydrated, and crabby. Yet, I was never so proud as when I completed that hike in its entirety!)

In addition to the view, which gets better with every step you take, there are also plenty of wildflowers and little critters to see along the way-- including grey squirrels, birds, and lizards.

On my descent, just past the waterfall, I happened to see a rattlesnake stretched along the path. I find reptiles fascinating and all, but I don't mess around with rattlesnakes. I stopped and gave him space. Within moments, I saw a female jogger bounding down the trail, full speed ahead. I raised my hand high and yelled a warning to alert her. She was extremely grateful. We both paused and stared at the rattler in awe. Eventually, he slithered away-- evidently bored with our company.

I'd highly recommend a daytrip to Temescal Canyon. If you take the main trail and stick with it, eventually it'll loop around, resulting in a pretty awesome roundtrip hike. After the hike, you can get back in your car and zip down to the beach, if you're so inclined or take a cruise down Pacific Coast Highway. It's also not to far from Brentwood and Westwood.

Here are some other tips:
- Bring sufficient water and snacks, especially on warm days.
-Apply sunscreen and wear a hat, whenever possible.
-Be aware of your surroundings. Rattlesnakes do live in this area (According to forest rangers in the area, rattlesnake numbers could be high this season, so be on the lookout!)
-Take pictures!

For more information about local hikes in your area, check out: Local Hikes

©2011 by KLiedle

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