Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hike 2012.046 -- Temescal Gateway Park to Will Rogers State Historic Park, and Inspiration Point

Hiked Saturday, July 14.

After my Temescal Canyon and Ridge hike and lunch, I headed off for hike two of the day, from Temescal Gateway Park to Will Rogers State Historic Park. After heading north, past the snack shop again, the loop road was again before me. This time, I took the right side of the loop, where the sign pointed you if you wanted to go to Will Rogers.

It's 2.1 miles one way to Will Rogers, and it's a tough 2.1 miles, with a very substantial and steep altitude gain near the start. You're practically climbing stairs in places.

The photo-copied map from the Santa Monica Mountains Conservan-cy shows you climbing from 375 feet above sea level at the trail head to 710 feet above sea level in the first roughly 1/2 mile. After topping out at 775 feet above sea level, your trail provides views to the south, and occasional open views up both Rivas and Temescal Canyons. Then you descend a switch-backed portion of trail, which drops you down into Rivas Canyon.

Rivas Canyon has a dense canopy of flora. It's also largely overgrown by ivy. Reminds me a bit of Sturdevent Canyon, though with more ivy and less water.

The remainder of your hike heads down the canyon, where you lose 150 feet over about a mile, then climb back up along the back of a ridge, gaining 125 feet as you pass near several private homes. Cross a grassy field, with another private home on your right, and the road heading into Will Rogers State Historic Park also on your right. You'll see the entrance station down there, too.

I continued along this trail, past an unsigned trail that headed steeply up the hill on my left. That would be the "bypass" trail I'd take a little later.

First, I headed down towards the developed section of the park, all set to splurge a few bucks on something cold to drink.

Didn't find that. I did find flush toilets and a drinking fountain. Also, a polo field, where Pacific Palisades was taking on Beverly Hills. Yeah, I'd say they'd be part of the 1%. ;D

I watched about ten minutes of play as I let the coastal breeze cool me off, even as I sat in the sun (though with my floppy hat shading my face and shoulders). Then I headed back to the water fountain, drank some more, and filled my empty water bottle.

Climbed back up the stairs that go from the visitor center back to the trail, and eventually made it back to the bypass trail (Actually, I took a detour that probably added a mile or so to my total distance for the day). Headed up a few hundred yards, where it rejoins the sweeping fire road that is the main Inspiration Point loop. Turned right. Soon came to another sign. It said .2 miles to Inspiration Point if I went straight, or .4 miles if I turned right. Given that I had already walked plenty, I took the shorter way.

That way passes north of Inspiration Point, and approaches from the south. The coastal fog still hid the ocean, and even threatened to flow over the polo field.

Snapped some pictures, then headed back the way I came.

Along the way, I passed a trail that came in from the northwest. I also saw a kiosk, so I walked a few hundred yards out of my way to look at the map. Chatted with a middle-aged guy about hiking in the area. I also confirmed that this would be where the Backbone trail would make its way from near Inspiration Point, west and north, through Topanga State Park. If not willing to go that far, the middle-aged guy told me that Lone Pine was a common turn-around destination for day hikers. I also noted that one could make a loop of this section of Backbone with the Rustic Canyon trail.

Finally started my return trip, having taken about a ten minute break at the kiosk, after another five minute break at the top of Inspiration Point. Yet, I was soon chatting with a couple of other hikers, a younger (than me) couple making their way around the loop. Had to cut that chat short, though, as I soon reached the cut-off trail.

Soon enough, I was back, over looking the road that enters Will Rogers park. Then back along the trail towards Rivas Canyon, and, beyond, the connector trail.

As I headed back, down into Rivas Canyon, I passed another couple. They were wearing sandals. I had seen them earlier along a stretch of the loop trail (they were heading down the main trail, far to my left, when I reached the main trail from the cut-off trail and made my right). On the Inspiration Point loop, they were under-shod, but going down the steeper, narrower, rockier Rivas Trail seemed a little silly. Don't know how far they went that way, but I hope not too much further.

Approximately 5.5 miles on this hike. Substantial and steep trail heading to Will Rogers. Easier heading back. No major drop-offs. Dogs are permitted on this trail, unlike most in the state parks.

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