Sunday, February 21, 2010

Hike 24--Monrovia Falls

Just wanted to squeeze in a little hike between the rain. Today was Hike 24, Canyon Drive to Monrovia Canyon Falls. ~4.25 miles

There are several possible lengths for this hike. If you pay a $5 entry fee, you can drive in to the visitor center and have a 1.5 mile roundtrip hike. If you pay your fee and park at the lower lot, you've got a 3 mile roundtrip hike. If you want to save your $5, you can park down on Canyon Blvd, south of Ridgeside (observe the alternate-side parking restriction for streetsweeping). This adds roughly 1.2 miles or more to any round trip in Monrovia Canyon Park (depends on how many cars are there when you arrive, and how far down the street you need to park).

In my case today, it took about 15 minutes to get from my car to the Falls trailhead, and about 12 minutes to get back. It was also just under an hour to walk from the trailhead to the falls and back to the trailhead.

The picture above is of the waterfall, today. I also visited it once before, on Jan 13, as Hike #6.

Also, on Hike #12, Jan 27, I hiked from Canyon Blvd to Deer Park, which is listed as 3.2 miles from the start of the Boy Scout Road, one way. It was another .75 of a mile or so from the start of the Boy Scout Road to my car. Additionally, Hike #17 on Feb. 7, which I started on Melcanyon Drive in Duarte, ended at White Saddle, 4.6 miles from the Boy Scout Road.

Regarding the hike to Deer Park, that hike begins where the private Boy Scouts road splits from Monrovia Canyon Drive. Shortly the split, you begin a brief but steepish climb, to the top of Sawpit Dam.

The dam's been decommissoned. Even before it was decommissioned, they cut a "notch" in the dam to prevent it from overfilling and collapsing.

You continue past the dam on the paved but private (and closed to general motor vehicle use) road. After about 1 mile, the pavement ends. Just about that same point, you have the option of leaving the road to walk on a single-track trail. Or you can keep walking on the now-dirt road. The road is slightly longer, but the trail has more hills, and crosses several side-canyons on the way to "Deer Park."

Deer Park used to be a resort. Now, it's just a few walls of an old cabin, plus the remains of the rock remains of the stable.

You can continue a bit further up the canyon, but the way gets steep and difficult.

Or, you can get off the trail and rejoin the dirt road.

If you join the dirt road, another mile or so up brings you to White Saddle Junction. The reason for the name seems pretty apparent to me:

White Saddle

A white rock protrudes through the scrub, looking a little like a saddle.

From there, it's just 1.2 miles further to Mt. Bliss and 6 miles to Fish Canyon Road (Hikes #17 and 23).

Alternatively, it's 3.2 miles from White Saddle to Red Box-Rincon Road.

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