31 January 2010

Rubio Canyon

Altadena front country

Locate the trailhead.

The snow is all quite melted again and the water level not quite still at storm surge level, but I decided to go out and see Rubio's falls once more. At least a few of them. Sometime, I would like to go up to the valley high above for the day, but this wasn't the day. I would also like to see where the well trod path that goes up past the water storage and into the bit of canyon area between Rubio and Eaton goes, but this wasn't the day for that either. This was a day to hike up to the first falls and then decide what else to hike to. That ended up being both to the top of the first falls and the little falls behind it and then up to the lookout for the biggest waterfall.

The trail continued to look about to be washed away in places and yet somehow no worse than before the rains. The falls by the pavilion I've never seen are still buried. The falls we do see are still short. Everything was as it was left, except there's quite a bit more water whooshing over the edge. I climbed up to the space between the tiers for the full, surrounded by waterfall, effect.

A peek at the water tossing itself over the edge.
Looking over the edge of the falls as the water leaps out into space.


Looking doooooooown.
And looking a little further over the edge to the pool below.

The upper falls with a touch of rainbow color.
A look at the upper falls with just a touch of color from a little bit of rainbow in the spray.

I also sketched a small willow that was making its home on the edge of the ledge between the tiers. I decided to try out my sepia color brush pen on this paper and see how annoying it is, but the brush pen decided to explode a bit as I opened it. Which was, of course, over the paper. I got a huge drop of sepia sitting there and had no idea what to do about it as I also had huge drops of the stuff on my finger so wiping it up looked a little dangerous. I tried to make it work, but didn't end up with my background rocks actually being in the picture.

Sketch of a willow on a ledge.
My sketch of a willow making its home on the ledge between the waterfall tiers.

After that, I decided to climb up to the top, which involves climbing up the steep canyon on the right side of the falls and then cutting back over. The trails seem just a little more established than before. The first one goes to the top of the falls, and the second one goes to the lookout for the big falls. I took the first one first. The scary bit didn't seem particularly scary this time. There's actually another trail that goes up and over the scary spot, but it is does a lot of extra up and down at very steep angles.

Both waterfall teirs from the top to the bottom.
Looking down the top tier to the rock I sat on for sketching and then down the bottom tier to the rock pile below.

The next fall is a little one with very close walls just a hop, skip, and jump up the stream, so I went there.

The little waterfall just above the last one.
The little waterfall that is just upstream from the last one.

I turned back and hiked the short spur of usage trail back to the side canyon, then up further to the next turn off. From the canyon, the flattened edge that once held the inclined railroad is very clear.

The flattened mountain side that was used to get up to Echo Mountain and the resort there with ease.
The edge of the mountain is flattened and there are a few spots that can be seen where a wall has been built to build up the mountain side while other spots were shaved away. This was the route of the inclined train that took people from the pavilion in Rubio Canyon on up to Echo Mountain where there was a resort. Today, there is a trail that goes up this incline.

From the upper trail, there was a spur from this one to overlook the little waterfall. In quick order, I found myself overlooking the tallest of these waterfalls and another little one below.

Tallest falls along the way.
These are the tallest falls in the canyon, if I recall correctly. The one at the top, not the one at the bottom.

Top of the tall falls.
The top of the very tall waterfall.

Brottom of the tall falls.
The bottom of the very tall waterfall.

The short waterfall.
The short lower falls that are also visible.

I rather liked the round space that the lower waterfall occupies. I sketched it, this time without any color brush pens involved.

Scetch of the lower, short waterfall and environs.
My sketch of the lower falls and the narrow canyon above it.

Then I turned back down to go home. I remembered to get a somewhat proper photo of that first waterfall on the way back.

The waterfalls from back a bit, plus some of the rubble that is shortening the lower one.
The first waterfalls again. The lower falls tumble into rubble from someone's illegal and unsuccessful road building instead of about 40 feet of space. They're also getting a few trees to help stabilize the rubble.




©2010 Valerie Norton
Posted 5 February 2010

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