Thursday, March 29, 2012

Hike 2012.018 -- Arroyo Pescadero, Deer Loop and part of Arroyo San Miguel.

Hiked Tuesday, March 27. I wound up here because I keep forgetting which streets run where. I was actually trying to get to Turnbull Canyon Road, but, duh, Colima Road doesn't intersect with Turnbull Canyon. ;D

From the south, take Colima Road north, through Whittier. About one mile past north of Whittier Blvd, you'll pass Mar Vista Street. Then you'll pass a church (on your right). The next traffic light has a sign hanging from it that says something like, "Murphy Ranch Baseball Complex." The field is also on your right.

Right after this light, there's a left turn pocket for you to get into the parking area for Arroyo Pescadero and Arroyo San Miguel trails.

I hiked Arroyo San Miguel a few weeks ago. Previously, I hiked both Arroyo San Miguel and Arroyo Pescadero in the same day. Obviously, my hikes this year have been much shorter than in past years, because I need to fit the hikes in around my work schedule.

The trail map is linked here.

From the trailhead, I followed my curiosity up the "wheelchair accessible" trail, which is a short (maybe 75 yard long) loop along the top of the trail. When I got back to the main trail, I went up hill, and walked the Arroyo Pescadero trail in a counter-clockwise direction.

The Arroyo Pescadero heads northeast, approaches the end of the arroyo, then loops back to the southwest. It's an oval loop that drops in altitude from the trail head and leaves you well below the canyon tops the entire way. According to the linked map, it's 1.3 miles for the whole loop. It's probably about 3/4 of a mile to the Deer Loop Trail.

When I hit the Deer Loop, I made another right and continued on that loop, which is .8 miles in distance. I walked that loop, then rejoined the Arroyo Pescadero. I walked past the parking lot to walk a few tenths of a mile of the Arroyo San Miguel Trail, just to Colima Road. This was to give myself a 3+ mile hike. I covered about 3.3 miles, I would guess.

The north-eastern part of the hike covers areas where "habitat restoration" is continuing. There are lots of California pepper trees and few eucalyptus. By contrast, once you get to the Deer Loop section, nearly all of the trees are eucalyptus.

The wind was blowing strongly during my hike, and several turkey vultures, hawks, and crows rode the wind with outstretched wings. The wind also let them hang almost motionless relative to the ground at times, so I got some decent shots of them.

Overall, I have to admit this is one of the less attractive trails in the Puente Hills. A lot of the walk is on old asphalt. There are plenty of Eucalyptus stumps near the start, and mostly large eucalyptus around the Deer Loop. The most expansive views are near the trailhead. There aren't many flowers, either. But there were lots of squirrels and rabbits, which is probably what attracts the turkey vultures and hawks. Also, I suspect deer really can be spotted around the Deer Loop later in the evening. There's good tree cover, but also comparatively open views with grasses to eat.

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