Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hike 2013.011 -- Rubio Canyon

Hiked Sunday, February 24. Well, I'm still WAY behind on my hike write-ups, and it doesn't look like I'll be catching up any time soon. So I'm going to drastically shorten the length of my posts, at least for the next week or so.

Took a short hike in the mid-morning, before having to head off for work. I chose the trailhead near Rubio Canyon and Loma Alta Drives, in Altadena. Most of this hike is covered in this previous write-up.

Using this trailhead rather than the one at Pleasantridge Drive adds about 1/2 mile roundtrip and probably 120 vertical feet to the hike. Given the short length of this hike, I wanted the extra distance.

Given the slew of recent rains, I was thinking the front range falls might be looking pretty nice this weekend. Sorry to say, I was somewhat disappointed.

Ribbon Rock and Moss Grotto lived up to their names, with a rather thin ribbon of water making its way down the two lowest major falls of Rubio Canyon. Nonetheless, I decided to push on, to the overview of Thalehaha Falls. Water there was very unimpressive. I won't even bother posting a picture of that one.

One point to note is that the erosion on the route up towards Thalehaha and beyond is significant. I think the least damaging route to Thalehaha overlook is to loop around the large willow that was once in the middle of the canyon. Pass on its right and loop 270 degrees around, approaching the gravelly cliff from that angle. Head up towards the fountain grass, staying high as you across the clayish-grassy area.

I briefly continued pass the overlook before deciding that I was causing too much erosion for what wasn't going to be much of a view. Leontine Falls only gets about half of the water that runs down Ribbon Rock and Moss Grotto. Given how little was making it over them, continuing seemed stupid.

So I turned around, heading back towards my car. Just before getting back to the Camp Huntington Road (the paved road that connects with Loma Alta), my eye was caught by the golden petals of wallflower. I snapped a number of pictures of the 4-6 plants that were growing right near where the trail that heads east, out of Rubio Canyon, begins. I followed that trail about 1/4 mile, just high enough to get some shots back towards downtown Los Angeles. Then I returned back to the canyon, then back to my car.

I'm calling it three miles for the day. Might have been less, but given the steepness of the sections I walked, the exertion was definitely tougher than three level miles.

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