Day 332 ~ Runyon Canyon Trail Los Angeles, CA

February 20th, 2017 ~ Day 332

Runyon Canyon is the place to hike in LA, or so I’ve been told. Supposedly with its proximity to the city a lot of celebrity’s come here for a hike. We didn’t see any. 

One thing about this park I wasn’t told, is that there is no parking. Having to park off the city street a block and a half away, I did a little urban hiking. I’m grateful for it, because the beauty I was able to experience in the photo above, was well worth it!

Runyon Canyon is located in Los Angeles, an urban park, the first we’ve done all weekend that wasn’t in Griffith Park. The park is located at the eastern end of the Santa Monica Mountains. 

Our trail began up a fire road, where access is gated off to vehicles. From what we could tell, we would be hiking a loop. We could either go downhill over and back uphill, or we could continue up the fire road, that of which we did. 

It was a foggy morning out here on the trail. Hiking amidst the mist. The clouds were coming in and covering the hills we were heading towards. 

Foggy views of the city below, a city which you can barely see. The green grass so superb in its bright vivid color. I thought Arizona was green, Arizona has nothing over the beautiful green of California. I’m glad we came here to experience this beauty. 

Hilly landscapes surrounding us as we continued to head uphill. Valleys all around this canyon. I’ve never been to this part of California. I’ve been to Hollywood, but at the time, I wasn’t out here exploring nature. California is such a beautiful place to hike!

As we climbed higher, looking into the canyon below, we saw what appeared to be a circle of rocks on a side trail below. Unfortunately, we wouldn’t have time to get closer and check out the interesting piece of work. 

It continued to get misty out, the higher up we climbed. Coming closer to the fog that was behind me, stood a house. You couldn’t tell from this photo though, as it’s covered in the fog. 

As we made it to the highest point of elevation in the park, 1320 feet, known as Indian Rock, we were ready to head downhill. 

We ran into a dog who looked like Max, my mom’s doberman. Seeing this dog reminded me of my mom. A reminder to me that maybe my mom is actually with me on this journey. Now in heaven, she can finally join me on my hikes like she always wished she could do. 

We came to the edge of an overlook to capture a sweeping view of Los Angeles, still covered in fog. There wasn’t much to see. We don’t get this kind of weather in Phoenix, so for us, this is amazing!

As we headed downhill, the fog began to clear up the lower our elevation. You could see more of the city below. We couldn’t be sure where L.A. actually was, as there were two set of high rises. One set to our left and the other to our right. 

Heading towards the base of the mountain, we could see the trail on the other side, the one we just hiked up. We didn’t get any rain on this hike, just damp from hiking through the foggy clouds. It was a beautiful day for a hike.

We finished our hike coming the end of the other entrance for Runyon Canyon Park. Rather than head back uphill and then down again, we headed back downhill through the neighborhood streets to our car. A nice little loop about two and a half miles.

California and Runyon Canyon are beautiful! I couldn’t live here, but I will be back to visit and hiking some more amazing places is definitely on the agenda. I’m so grateful it was suggested that we do this hike. It didn’t disappoint.

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Day 331 ~ Old Zoo Trail Los Angeles, CA

February 19th, 2017 ~ Day 331

I couldn’t get over not seeing the Old LA Zoo, the trail we thought we were hiking on Friday. I wanted to see it desperately. So after a couple days of discussion, thinking I may know the area a little better, we decided to go find the Old Zoo Trail. 

We began at a park. Hiking up a road, not sure if we would find the zoo or not, we turned a corner and there it was, only a short distance from the parking lot. The old zoo is another great place, again in amazing Griffith Park, not too far from the LA Zoo. We were on the other side of the park from where we hiked on Friday and it would have been a long hike to get here, thankfully for times sake, we didn’t get here on Friday. We would have been so late getting to see Eric’s family. 

Coming upon the zoo, it looked amazing. I was excited to see the old buildings! Old abandoned structures that once housed animals. The zoo opened it’s doors in 1912 and closed in 1966 when the LA Zoo opened. These structures could be over 100 years old, how cool is that?

The brown color of the structure makes me think a lion would have lived here. The color is changing and mold is growing on the walls, yet you can still see sections that must have been original. 

It’s hard to believe animals once lived in these small enclosures. I’m sure when it was built in 1912, they thought it’d be a good size. By today’s standards, it’s just cruel to put an animal in something so small. 

I went into the enclosure behind the wall and there was a stairwell, full of debris. Maybe this is how they would feed the animals…Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my! I can only imagine. 

We walked along the front of the rock face structures and came to a turning point that would take us around the back section of those rock structures. Fenced off now to try and keep people out, it was still interesting. Although the fence wasn’t working, as people littered throughout behind the fence, we received our own show of human animals. 

We walked by the upper section and continued on a trail. Not sure where we were heading, except we knew we were going away from our car, we decided to turn around and head back. 

A tiny glimpse of a house we passed. Who knows what it held so many years ago. We saw so many different types of structures on this hike. All too small to hold an animal in today’s world. 

Heading back the way we came, I captured the view of the valley below. Another cloudy day in California. The clouds so low, they hung in the hills across the way. 

Heading back, we took a left rather than a right going a different way and we came upon some more cages. The smaller cages, if they could get any smaller, only fed into my curiosity. What kind of animal could live here? The fences have become mangled and were falling apart. I wonder if they will last another 100 years. 

Knowing these cages could be over 100 years old, I was amazed by the tools they had to build this so long ago. 

Each cage had a lock, but a couple of them were broken, so of course I had to climb in. Why not, everyone else did. The small cages had moss and vines covering the inside. A couple of them had the ground completely covered in water. One cage even had a stream flowing through it. I wonder if the animals had to live with the water in their cages. That would be a horrible scenario in my opinion.  

The metal of these cages have become a beautiful color, a rainbow of rust, as the metal deteriorates. If time and deterioration of these old structures wasn’t enough, graffiti littered the zoo as well. I hope it does last at least another 100 years, if only human hands do not destroy the beauty of this place. 

Nature is taking back its territory. What was once here before the zoo is moving back in. A beautiful image, with the structure and the plants. 

As our hike through the old zoo ended, we came upon a waterfall coming off the mountains. Eric couldn’t wrap his head around how there was so much water still coming down of the mountains. Especially since it hadn’t rained all day. We were just grateful to see it’s stunning beauty in effect. 

What an amazing piece of history we were given the chance to explore today. I was adamant in wanting to see this place and I’m so happy we did. I love old buildings and I love history. It was an amazing day for a hike at the old zoo!

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Day 330 ~ Bronson Caves Los Angeles, CA

February 18th, 2017 ~ Day 330

After trying to make it to the Hollywood Sign Trail, which had no parking, we decided to head over to the Bronson Caves Trail. Luckily here we found a parking spot here. 

As soon as we came out of the car, we found water was rushing down the mountain from the recent rains alongside the road. The air was still damp and chilly, and the ground was muddy. 

We began heading up the hill to Bronson Caves, where the original Batman television show was filmed way back in 1966, I think. The Bronson Caves are located in the amazing Griffith Park. We are on the other side of the park from where we hiked yesterday. I really do like this place, it has so much to offer. 

The trail was a sandy road again today, but the mountainside rock was a different color than yesterday, a dark rich black. The green grass still lush and vibrant. 

As we climbed up the road, you could see the cave as we came around a corner. It seemed so small. It looked as if it was blocked by dirt and rock that had washed off the side of the mountain. 

Coming upon the cave, it was full of water. You weren’t able to go all the way through unless you wanted to get your feet muddy. Standing at the edge of the cave was good enough for me. 

We decided to go around to the other side of the cave to see what we could find. Tucked in a valley of mountains with the dark rock and green grass was another beautiful sight. Boulders littered the ground from falling off the mountainside. 

On this side of the cave the ground wasn’t covered in water. We were able to get part way inside the cave without stepping in water. I made it about halfway through before stopping. As I stood in the darkness I could see light coming from either side of the main entrance I had traveled, there were three openings on this end. 

Our hike to the cave was only a half mile, but to see a piece of Hollywood history, it was worth the small hike. Besides, my son loves batman, and I get to tell him his mommy was in the bat cave. 

As we headed back to the trailhead, off in the distance we caught a glimpse of the Hollywood sign. We took a side trail uphill to get a better view. Even though we weren’t able to hike the Hollywood Sign Trail, it was pretty sweet to still catch a peak at the sign itself. A beautiful day for a hike as I continue on this journey of hiking everyday for 365 days!

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Day 329 ~ Skyline Trail Los Angeles, CA

February 2017 ~ Day 329

Arriving in California in the early morning, Eric and I set out to do a hike before heading over to his son’s house. (We’re in town to meet his new granddaughter.)

We found this hike on AllTrails. They called it the Old Zoo Trail which is located in Griffith Park. Judging by the pictures on the website, it looked pretty awesome! I followed the GPS to the parking lot and we began our hike, immediately going uphill on a sandy road. 

The sign at the trailhead read “Skyline Trail”, with sections of the trail named after animals. Having never been here, we assumed we were on the right track. I was excited to see what the pictures on the Web had showed. 

The green grass was bright and lush. The darker green of the bushes added to the amazing color contrast. It made the brown color of the trail stand out. The walls of the mountains, washed away, reminding me of mud slides you always hear about in California. 

We found the remains of of the water damage that created crevasses in the mountainside. It looked like this entire mountain was made of sand. 

Continuing uphill it began to sprinkle with a light rain. The ground was already damp from the previous rains. With the cloudy skies, I believe it made the colors surrounding us even brighter. 

A sea of flowers greeted us on the hillside as we continued uphill. It’s springtime here in California as well. The flowers reminded me of Easter, which is just around the corner. 

Climbing over a ridge I was expecting to see this old zoo, but got nothing. Reading the signs we were wondering where this old zoo was. We wandered of in another direction, towards the overlook of Mount Sinai Cemetery, trying to get a little more mileage.

Deciding that maybe the zoo was a lot father than we expected and running low on time, we decided to head downhill making our hike a loop back to our car. I was a little disappointed that we didn’t get to see the old zoo, but I was more excited to me this new granddaughter. 

So many more flowers arrived as we began our hike downhill. 

A rustic water tower off in the distance. The trails downhill were just as beautiful. The green grass never failed to amaze me. Even though Phoenix is greener than I’ve ever seen it, California tops us by 100 percent. 

Once we were off the trail, we hiked through a park, then onto the road to get to our car. Along the way we found a squirrel. Not many of these in Arizona, at least, rarely have I seen one. 

Just before we arrived at the car we saw the trains from the Travel Town Museum. Which was pretty cool to see massive locomotives on the side of the road. I like this place, Griffith Park. 

It was a beautiful day for a hike! With just a little rain, nothing too bad, it added to the beauty.  A great way to start our California Adventure! 

Now it was time to meet the family, the whole reason why we’re here. 

Join me on my journey of hiking everyday for 365 days, to see all that I can see! Never miss out on a post and “like” me on Facebook and for more photos follow me on Instagram!