Friday, January 30, 2015

Friday Hike Day: Sycamore Canyon

Back to Sycamore Canyon this week. It's local, only about 15-20 minutes away depending on traffic. It's a mild to moderate hike, in the past it was very brown and I didn't like it, but since the rains, it hosts rolling green hills. The views from the top of the hills are spectacular. On a clear day, you can see all the way to the big city, Los Angeles.

There is a creek but it doesn't run along the trail exactly. You cross a narrow part of it along the Sycamore Canyon Trail. The hike is uphill most of the way to the peak, but that makes it easier on the way back.

The parking lot is small but free. You can also park along the street. There is one porta potty, enclosed in a nice wooden structure and the rangers keep it clean.

Clearing the tumbleweeds our friends used to block the trail. 

The trail can feel quite challenging on the uphill. The first peak offers an amazing view of the canyons, the city way off in the distance and if you are familiar with the area, you'll also recognize Rose Hills Memorial Park. The area my mother is buried at, specifically. The first hill is a great place to spread a blanket or towel and have a picnic lunch.

You can also continue along the trail to another peak, which offers a 360 degree view of city and canyon. There is also a water tower at the top. Due to the uphill nature of the hike, I wouldn't consider this very stroller friendly. If you have a small child, I'd put them in a front or back carrier instead.

Taking the steep short-cut.
The trails curves back and forth on the uphill but also offers "shortcuts" cut straight up the middle of the curves. They are steep but doable. We always take the challenge of short cuts. I believe children thrive and build self confidence in the outdoors and I've seen it to be true in my own children. My youngest is often at the front of the pack with my friend's youngest, leading the way.

I encourage my children to challenge themselves on our hikes. I feel like this is my personal therapy. I love being outdoors and I am so glad I am intentionally making time for it.

On this hike we saw hawks again and a small rabbit.

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