Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Hike 2011.085 -- Henninger Flats

Hiked Wednes-day, November 23. Yep, back in the LA area for Thanks-giving. Also, I'll be moving back to the San Gabriel Valley some time in the middle of the month.

Flew in yesterday. So, after a day of sitting at an airport and sitting on a plane, I had plenty of pent up energy to burn. After a morning at the driving range and an attempted hike near the Rio Hondo River (foiled when I discovered that the access point I used as a kid has become overgrown--still accessible, but not the walk I had planned), I decided to drive up to Eaton Canyon for a 6 mile hike up to Henninger Flats.

I parked in the Eaton Canyon Nature Center parking lot (off Altadena Drive, just north of New York Drive). From the parking lot, you head north, through several nature trails. After about 1/4 mile, the trail crosses Eaton Canyon Wash. It was dry today, despite the recent rains.

Several signs have been posted in Eaton Canyon since the last time I was here (about two months ago). Just after crossing the wash, there was a sign warning about poodle dog bush, which I first learned about early last summer. Don't remember ever seeing them grow in Eaton Canyon. Since they're a post-fire plant, you'd think their peak would have been several years ago.

There was also a sign warning against trying to get to the top of Eaton Canyon falls, undoubtedly a response to the numerous rescues and fatalities that were necessitated by unprepared or overly ambitious hikers here.

Newly installed signs indicating "Coyote Canyon" and "Walnut Canyon" (the first and second canyons to your right as you head north along the first bit of the trail, respectively) and when you are entering and leaving Eaton Canyon County Park and Angeles National Forest are also posted. The sad part is that I know they're new (as in probably no more than a day or two old) because there isn't any graffiti on them, yet.

I walked a brisk pace both ways, although I stopped for picturing taking frequently. Heard plenty of woodpeckers, pounding away. Not a very good picture of them, but their red crowns were very distinctive. They are apparently acorn woodpeckers.

Lots of flowers starting to bloom, too. I recognize the buckwheat (which still have dead heads of seed, within which small white blooms are starting to form. Same with the sage, which have blooms appearing within former seedpods. Sun flowers, cliff aster, plus several other flowers that I either have forgotten or never knew their names, were also visible.

The sugar maples down in Altadena are in the midst of their color change. They are a mixture of green, yellow and red. Meanwhile, in the actual mountains, the most colorful leaves belong to poison oak. Not a good idea to collect them!


  1. Hope you are having fun at home!

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  3. It was a hectic visit, it being Thanksgiving and all. I'm back in Kentucky at the moment, although in about two weeks I get to start packing and planning any stops along the way back home. If the weather cooperates, I'll probably try one of the canyons in Petroglyph National Monument that I didn't have time for on the way out, then either Petrified Forest or Grand Canyon (possibly both, but probably not). I've been to both before, but don't remember doing any significant hiking in Petrified Forest.