Thursday, May 31, 2007

Devils Canyon or My Birthday Project #8

My friend Tom and I decided to be more adventurous last weekend and instead of doing the regular strenuous in-city Runyon Cyn hike, we decided to head into the Angeles National Forest. Now, having really never been there as adults, we didn't know what to expect. Tom did a little due diligence and chose a trail well into the forest. As it turned out, we couldn't get there because of a landslide...that occurred 5 years ago.

We didn't know that, so we headed off on the 2 highway and in just a few minutes from L.A., we found ourselves deep in the forest and mountains and climbing (in Tom's car) very steep and curvy roads. After 30 minutes or so, we realized we were starving and that we both forgot to bring food for trail. Fortunately, there is a biker restaurant/bar --Newcomb's-- in the middle of the forest that serves up great grub.

We fueled up on one of the best egg sandwiches I have ever had and continued, despite the fact of the landslide. After a few more miles, we realized we needed an adventure pass and returnedto the restaurant to buy one -- $5. A few minutes before Newcomb's is Devil's Canyon. This would have to do.

And do it did. It's a strenuous upside down hike -- you hike down to the bottom and back up to the trailhead. None of it was too steep, but it was quite hot and we didn't know what to expect. From upper elevation of the trail, we saw cacti, but as we got closer and closer, there were plenty of pines and more verdant vegetation. Since the rain season was so poor this year, the creek at the bottom was very still. It's quite possible we didn't make it all the way down before we headed back up, but even if we had, I would bet the water features of this hike are currently limited.

All in all, it was about a 2 and a half hour hike and was filled with the peace of a mountain wind whistling through tall trees. And it's oh so close to L.A.

If you have a chance, escape to the Angeles National Forest.


tomo said...
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tomo said...

hi Miles (and his loyal readers... )

My two cents on the recent Devil's Canyon post....Love the blog recap. Great use of the photos. I perhaps would have added more SUPERLATIVES and CAPITAL letters, but perhaps this is against your style guide. I mean, we were breathing PURE MOUNTAIN AIR at 7,000 feet just 50 minutes from the smudgy downtown air of LA. it was BRILLIANT and the AIR WAS VIBRATING in devils canyon, we could almost see every particle of light beaming around us.
that's kind of how I recall it... I hope we'll do it again soon and that others will join us as it was so cool.