Hikes of 2014 list, I've been pretty busy the past few weeks. I'm now all the way up to 21 for the year. Lots of hikes, but they're all pretty short. Used to be, one hike would be 10 miles, 12 miles, or more. Now, even with 3 or 4 hikes, I'm only getting that kind of mileage. It's a little sad, but also more realistic, given my limited time.
This is the latest of my hikes (one of 2 from Saturday). It was also my second trip to Saddleback Butte State Park. My first trip was three weeks ago.
FYI, the State Park's website for Saddleback Butte is here. The brochure with a map of the park is here.
But I wasn't coming from home today. I was coming from the west, having visited Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve (state park, to be blogged soon) and Ripley Desert Woodland State Park. The Poppy Reserve is about equidistant from I-5 and CA-14. If heading from the Poppy Reserve to Saddleback Butte, you can shoot right under CA-14 on Avenue J. Once on the east side of CA-14, shopping and eating (and gasoline) options are plentiful, though I didn't know it at the time and stupidly bought a couple of gas station hot dogs for lunch at the first station I saw.
If heading down Avenue I, look for Sierra Highway, and make a right (this was several blocks past the gas station, though not so far away that I'd bother moving into the left lane without a really good reason. Don't go into the right lane too early, though. Most of those become right turn only lanes, and you don't want to be forced to turn too early.
Immediately after the station, the next signal, on your left, is Avenue J. Turn left and continue an additional 17+ miles. At 170th Street East, you're there. Continue straight a bit past that corner, and the day use entrance is on your right. Or, turn right at 170th Street East and continue about 1/2 mile to the campground entrance, on your left.
Meanwhile, there were several new additions, not all of whom am I sure about their names.
In addition to what's shown, I also saw a lot of fiddleneck. But nearly all were the same yellow variety I've been seeing in all of my other recent desert hikes (most of which I haven't blogged, yet--I'm working on that!). But one, and only one, fiddleneck plant I saw had these orangish buds. So that one made the cut. :D
At any rate, about a 3 mile loop for my second hike of the day. Minor elevation gain and loss of maybe 200 feet. Easy, scenic, and I got to talk to some fellow amateur astronomers. All in all, a good day.
Incidentally, after the hike, I tried tracking down two county "parks" I saw on the map: Butte Valley Wildflower Sanctuary and Carl O Gerhardy Wildlife Sanctuary. Near as I can tell, both county "sanctuaries" are just signed areas. No designated parking or trails. I guess the long range plan is that, when housing someday covers this area (yuck), these areas will remain "wild." That's something, but I really hope the areas around the sanctuaries stay wild for a good long time, too.
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You were lucky to find some wildflowers. I went hiking this morning in Santa Clarita and didn't see any.ReplyDelete
Head on out to the eastern Antelope Valley.ReplyDelete
There were also some poppies in the state poppy reserve. Not a good year, but still several patches of color. I'm still working on that post. Hopefully, I'll get that done by tomorrow night.