“This life is yours. Take the power to choose what you want to do and do it well. Take the power to love what you want in life and love it honestly. Take the power to walk in the forest and be a part of nature. Take the power to control your own life. No one else can do it for you. Take the power to make your life happy.” – Susan Polis Schutz
Whenever I have free time, the two things I want most are to 1) spend it with my family and 2) be outdoors. I find nature so inspiring and healing.
Recently, on our way back from our Part 2: California Superbloom tour (Carrizo Plains followed by Antelope Valley Poppy Reserve), we stopped by Vasquez Rocks, in Northern Los Angeles County, with some friends. My boys were great sports about all the wildflower viewing, and were very good about staying on the trails and not harming the flowers. However, when we arrived to Vasquez Rocks, they were ecstatic. The trails were relatively empty and they could finally run! There were also many fun boulders and rock formations for them to explore and climb. Vasquez Rocks features 932 acres of impressive rock formations, an Interpretive Nature Center, Tataviam Indian sites, and several self-guided trails with educational stations along the way. Since it was already mid-afternoon by the time we arrived, we quickly stopped at the Nature Center to grab a trail map . They had a video describing the history of the area, as well as a few animal displays (including live snakes), which the boys enjoyed. From there, we took the Nature-Heritage Trail to the “Famous Rocks”. I think we hiked about 2 miles total round trip on the well-maintained, mostly flat, trail. Once we got to the “Famous Rocks”, I was planning to enjoy the view, and then turn around and head back to the parking lot. However, within the time I was taking in the scenery and took a photo, the boys started scrambling up the rocks. I decided to join them, and it was definitely worth it. This was the view from the other side!
Our entire family (ages 3 to 71) all agreed that this was a worthwhile detour on our way home, and that it would be fun to come back and spend more time hiking around. My friend, Laura, who grew up in the area, warned us that if you come in the summer, it can be very hot and there is no shade on the trails. As with any hike, it’s always important to be prepared, and bring enough water!
There is no cost for parking and no passes are required for the day-use area of Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park. Vasquez Rocks is located at: 10700 West Escondido Canyon Road. Agua Dulce, CA 91350 and the telephone is (661) 268-0840. Park Hours: Sunrise to Sunset; May 1st – September 15th: 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and September 16th – March 9th: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.