Jessica has graciously taken time out of her globetrotting schedule to trot around historic Vasquez Rocks with us.
Vasquez Rocks is located between the Antelope and Santa Clarita Valleys- it’s that odd bunch of jutting rocks you’ve noticed off the 14. Those jutting rocks were formed by the San Andreas Fault heaving, and perhaps nowhere else is the power of grinding tectonic plates more visibly evident. If rock formations are your thing, you don’t want to miss this one.
Its historical prominence began with the prehistorical Shoshonean and Tatviam peoples, which garnered the site a spot in the National Register of Historic Places (that sounds phony, but I assure you it’s not titular). History continued being made there when 19th Century desperado Tiburcio Vasquez holed up among the rocks for two years while evading the authorities, which garnered him immortality in the form of having a rocky place named after him. Hollywood added its own history to the park by filming episodes of the Outer Limits, Bonanza, Roswell, The Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the Flintstones movie, and Star Trek there. The most notable rock formation has been dubbed “Kirk’s Rock,” because it’s represented so many different planets in Star Trek episodes. including one where Kirk rolled a boulder onto a Gorn, killing him (I was just in Nevada’s Valley of Fire, where Kirk’s demise from falling from a rock was filmed, so he gets his eventually, alien-lovers).
The nature of the park and its trails makes the route a bit more free-flowing than our normal hikes (you’ll understand when you get there). Jessica will lead a rough route, with room for meandering when the mood strikes. Distance will be between 5 and 6 miles, with the option for more, if more meandering is desired, and time to scamper among and atop the rocks will be allowed. Total elevation will depend on where we roam.
This is a wide open area, so dress accordingly (for wind and/or sun exposure) and slather on the sun screen.
Thanks to Don T for allowing me to poach parts of his write-up.
Take the Interstate 5 north through LA to the north end of the San Fernando Valley. Most LA freeways converge onto the I-5 at this point (210, 405, 170, 118) . Just a few miles north of the convergence, head East on Highway 14 (the Antelope Fwy) and drive about fifteen miles, then exit at Agua Dulce Road. Go north a couple of miles. Follow the road as it turns right, continue past a stop sign for 1/4 mile. Park entrance is on the right. Continue through park on the dirt road. There are a few areas to park, but continue ALL the way in and park at the last parking area past the large slanted rocks the area is famous for. Parking is FREE.