Monday, November 24, 2014

Hike 2014.059 -- Arroyo Seco - Archery Range to Rose Bowl

Hiked Saturday, November 22. 4 miles. The official distance between the archery range and the Rose Bowl is 1.5 miles, but I wandered a fair amount around the Rose Bowl parking area and returned via the west side of the Arroyo, which felt a little longer than the east side. Also, I walked on down about 1/4 mile from the bridge to see the sycamore tree I mention at the end of the post.
My main goal of this hike was to see the "Suicide Bridge" (Colorado Street Bridge) up close. It's a a pretty bridge, composed of several concrete arches. I had seen pictures of it for years, and driven by it on numerous occasions. But I'd never walked under it. However, a few weeks ago, I did drive over it (not on a specific trip to see the bridge, but on a drive looking for a particular home in the Pasadena and South Pasadena area). So I got to thinking about making a trip specifically to see the bridge up close, and that's how this hike came to be.
With this as my goal, I scanned the Internet and studied on-line maps of the area, looking for a good access point. I settled on the one off of Arroyo Road, a bit north of California Blvd. The logic was, I know for sure where California Blvd is, it "crashes" right into Arroyo Blvd, where you've got to turn either left or right, so I could turn right on Arroyo, then look for the little road that would provide parking for the archery range. Each turn was obvious and would not be easy to confuse.
California Blvd runs west from Rosemead Blvd (CA-19) to Arroyo Blvd, crossing several major north-south roads between east Pasadena and Pasadena (including San Gabriel Blvd, Sierra Madre Blvd, Allen Ave, Hill Ave, Lake Ave, Los Robles Ave, Arroyo Pkwy, Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena Ave, and Orange Grove Ave.
That means anyone living along a slew of major north-south streets in the west San Gabriel Valley, or approaching from either the Foothill Freeway (I-210) or the Pasadena Freeway / Arroyo Seco Parkway / CA-110, or CA-134 (Ventura Freeway), you'll pass an exit for either California Blvd or for one of those North-South streets that intersect with California Blvd.
Again, you'd take California west until it intersects with Arroyo Blvd, turn right, then take the first turn on the left to get to the parking area for the archery range.I was going to be hiking pretty close to the Rose Bowl, and that the annual USC-UCLA game was going to be kicking off in the Arroyo Seco later that afternoon. It was still some four hours before kick-off, but the traffic was already building.
I continued along the actual path (that is right adjacent to the channel walls that contain the Arroyo Seco) until I was about equal to the Rose Bowl, then crossed over and into the tailgating area. It was colorful, dominated by blue and gold, but with a number of cardinal and gold pop-ups and apparel. These were the smart guys, who came early to beat the traffic and probably would stay late to miss the traffic leaving. I'm not even sure if they were going *into* the game, since it would be quite a production to break down some of these set-ups.
After much walking around, admiring the crowds, listing to the band, then walking my way back out, passing some rose bushes as I did, I returned the way I came.

When I got back to the Suicide Bridge, I passed over to the west side. There's a concrete slide beneath the bridge, by the way, and a service ladder that drops down to the slide. But it's quite a drop, and I had no interest in going down into what I was pretty sure would be very stinky water.

I did not manage any really good pictures of the bridge. Because of the growth inside the arroyo and other brides crossing the gorge, I got no really complete shots. But I will probably come back in the days to come and try some shots from spots at the top of the arroyo.

The trail on the west side of the arroyo has a steep incline (the rim of the edge of the arroyo) along much of the way. It feels more enclosed on this end than on the east side. Along the natural wall of the arroyo, the remains of trail steps (stakes and boards to hold back the soil) create the beginning of steps out of the arroyo. But I'm not sure if any of these steps actually made it all the way out. The one I walked up a bit surely did not. I was told that maybe some of these once went to properties that were taken when the roads here were built.
Once back at the north end of the archery range (the northern most target area is at a pedestrian bridge that crosses over the channel), I spotted a colorful sycamore tree, which I walked down to photograph. I also photographed some targets on the way back.

I'm guess about four miles for the day. Nice walk. Would have been a terrible drive. In fact, because of construction and lane closures at several spots on my drive back, the drive back was also slow, and very annoying. Still, at least I got a short walk in for the weekend.

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