Southern California is such a beautiful area to examine. From the sunny beaches to the Joshua tree and jackrabbit filled deserts. The peaceful mountains to the remarkable canyons, and everything else. All of its nature is simply breathtaking, and I absolutely love it. Since I live an outrageous amount of miles away from my employer, I have the pleasure of taking several scenic routes. My two main ways of travel are driving through the mountains of Angeles National Forest or hitting the busy freeway. Today, I prefer the mountains, but when I first moved to California almost two years ago, I always took the highway because I felt it was the “safer” of the two.
During the day while driving, I love admiring this treasure. Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park was formed in Santa Clarita and approximately 30-40 minutes north of Los Angeles. The first time I passed by, I did not imagine it being an actual park; I only assumed it was another sensational scenic view. After months of commuting to work, I finally decided it was time to visit and explore these massive and phenomenal rocks. My first visit to the park was quite exciting and, for sure, an expedition. I felt like Dora the Explorer during this hike because there were so many things to explore.
When arriving at the park, there’s an information board with a few neat facts. The only points I’m going to mention are the movies filmed in the park. Yes, movies! Some popular ones include The Flintstones, Wild Wild West, Holes, Over The Hedge, and Planet of the Apes. Of course, the board also included warnings of wild animals such as bobcats, mountain lions, coyotes, and snakes. I was not thrilled about that, but hey, that’s what comes with the hiking lifestyle; I have to accept the scary possibilities. Luckily, my sister and I were able to complete the hike without being attacked- haha, successful!
The overall trip throughout the area was delicate but complicated to begin. Even with using the AllTrails app, it was a challenge to find the start of the trail. I will admit that it is relatively easy to get lost within the rocks. There’s isn’t a super clear pathway throughout the entire park, so I’m thankful for my hiking app. Since I’m kind of a thrill-seeker, I found excitement in climbing some of the rocks to get better views, so that was astonishing. One thing that amazed me was the horse trail and how steep it was. All I could envision was a horse plunging down the hill. Plus, I was looking forward to seeing a horse but no luck- there was nothing but enormous piles of horse manure.
Exploring this area was the first time I discovered actual cactus. Growing up on the East Coast spotting cactus is nonexistent, so I was super stoked about those findings. I’ve always loved the plant and dreamed of seeing the larger ones in person, but unfortunately, these weren’t large. They were little mini baby cactus, but I was still happy with seeing them. Recently I tried to grow some, and it was an epic fail. I may try again soon, so we’ll see how that goes!
For sure, if you’re ever in SoCal and would like to experience this stunning park, go for it because my photos do absolutely no justice! However, I highly suggest going during the beginning of fall or spring because it was freezing during winter and scorching hot during mid-spring. Be sure to bring plenty of water because I don’t doubt the possibilities of getting lost without the proper guidance app or an actual map for those who are “old school.” Wearing sunscreen and a hat would also be ideal due to there being little to no shady areas. I hope at least one of my readers will be able to visit this beauty so I can hear all about it! Please don’t hurt yourself trying to take an epic photo climbing on the rocks, but please, “Live a Little” while doing so.