01 May 2005

Trail Canyon Trail

Angeles National Forest

Locate the trailhead.

Trail Canyon Trail is apparently named for the canyon named for itself. I guess I should put in directions for getting to places, but this one is over by Condor Peak, and the more active ones of us can make a twelve mile day hike of the peak and the canyon in a loop. Consult your local guidebook for the secret to the old entrance to the trail to Condor Peak, or you'll have an extra 1.5 miles.
But more importantly, this trail starts at the end of a quarter mile dirt road that is... quite passable, so long as there's no one to pass going the other way. Plenty of parking and trees at the end, but don't block anyone's driveway.

Pass the couple of cabins and you'll be on your way into the trackless wilderness. And if it's really trackless, you're going the wrong way. The trail is very easy to follow. Pick your season right and you'll have a floral display. May may be a little late, but we still got some flowers.

A bit of thistle, a late season flower anyway.

Some more purple flowers standing tall in the sand.

Also, the trail does indeed follow a canyon, as advertised, with the usual fast growing hardwoods. And possibly an Antonio behind one of them.

Small segment of creekbed.

The trail doesn't stay down in the canyon, though. It climbs up to give a view of the falls that are just a little over a mile up the trail. I think they are the largest in the county that I have seen.

Distant falls from above.

The trail comes right down to the creek again a hundred feet or so past the top of the falls. The rock in the bed was cut very flat and wide right at the edge of the falls.

Top edge of the falls.

Some people like to tell stories about other people's misfortunes as they climb to the edges of slopped rocks ready to dump anything just past the edge of a fall. They shouldn't do that.

Top and beyond.

Cool little pools and slides are off in the safe direction from the edge. Though that day, they were more cold than cool. Feet were exposed and pants rolled up and bits of water well away from the thundering edge were experienced to be sure of this fact.

Small pools and slides carved from the rocks.

This is where I take advantage of the little swiveling LCD thing on my camera to take a picture that ordinarily couldn't be aimed properly. This was at arm's reach. I told you that rock dumped off the wrong side of the edge.

The edge and no man's land beyond.

A little blurry and over exposed where there was sun, but super cool visual of the falls.

The edge and all the way down to the round pool below.

And now a soothing image of the plants on the canyon wall.

Plants on the opposing canyon wall.

At this point we got lazy and had some lunch and laid about on the rocks and certain ones of us (me) got a bit of sunburn on some lower exposed bits where shoes had not been replaced and pants had not been rolled back down. Then we gathered ourselves back together and hiked back down the trail with a slight detour along a well marked spur of trail. I'll leave it to the imagination where this is.

Bottom of the falls.

From sun to deep shadow.

Falls from top to bottom.

And it may be the wrong order, but here's the top.

Top of the falls from below.

I just like these two.

Top of the falls and the high, square rocks above them.

Falls with some details of the erosion.

Going back brought more views of the creek, such as these flood control dams that are somewhat common along these Angeles canyons where long standing cabins can be found.

Two anchient flood control dams upstream.

And also brought some flowers like these little purple things.

Large bush of small purple flowers along the trailside.

And this blooming yucca. I'm not sure I've seen any yucca blooming quite like this one was.

Huge yucca flowers at bottom giving way to bugs ready to burst forth at the top with lots of yucca flowers in between.

The participants in this hike were:

Valerie poses Antonio poses
Valerie Antonio
(Click for another look.)

©2005,2006 Valerie Norton
Last updated 3 February 2006

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