Friday, June 18, 2010

Hike 68: Sawpit Canyon

Hiked Thursday, June 17. I ended up cutting this hike short; I just couldn't take the bugs! They seemed to get worse and worse as I approached Deer Park. Buzzed around my ears and face, and ocassionally bit me. Very unpleasant.

My initial plan was to hike from outside of Monrovia Canyon Park at least to White Saddle, via the road that is paved to the Boy Scout camp, then becomes dirt pretty much indefinitely into the Angeles National Forest. I had previously hiked the road from "Deer Park" (near the cabin) out of the park, on the exit portion of Hike 12 (January 27). I had also hiked from Duarte (Melcanyon) to White Saddle (Hike 17, Feb 7). However, it would appear I've never posted about eitehr of those hikes. I don't have time to post about them at the moment, but I will do so after I finish another job application.

Despite the plan to go at least to White Saddle, I ended up turning around where the Twin Springs trail meets the road. According to the signs on the trail, it's 2.8 miles from the "trailhead" (actually a fork in the road, with the main road heading towards Monrovia Canyon Falls and a private road, closed to cars but open to hikers and bikers, bears right, past Sawpit Canyon Dam and on to White Saddle and beyond). That makes it about 5.6 miles roundtrip. In addition, there's the distance from just south and west of where Monrovia Canyon Road heads towards the park, and the trailhead. I'm guessing that was about a mile, roundtrip.

The only nice thing about the hike was that flowers were blooming. Most were familiar by now: white cliff aster, yellow monkey flower, yellow mustard, red Indian pink. One new one was a very bright, red and pink flower. Looks to be related to some of the big lilies we get in the desert. They were prominent at the very start of the trail, which runs along the road, so they may not be native to the area. There were also these red and orange flowers, which I have seen before but have not yet tracked down a name.

[Edit--I have tentatively identified the flower below as a "Canyon Liveforever." The actual plant throwing up these flowers is hidden by the leafy plants above it.]

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