Nearly lost in Blazer lore is our very first hike, two days before our official first hike in La Jolla Canyon. Our unofficial first hike was in Porter Ranch, and introduced us to E.T.: the Extra Terrestrial, knights in shinning honor, and Bruno Bartolomeo D'Spartucus, the valiant, if out-gunned, coyote fighting dog. It was so impressive, we forgot to do it again for 3 years!
Two things make this hike special. One is that E.T. was filmed along our route, with many familiar locations. Watch the cool video below to become familiar with the then and now of the sites.
The second thing is that the hike will morph midway, from a gentler to a regular. Gentler hikers can turn around at the famous ET Park, the playground in the movie, and easily backtrack to the cars for a 4 mile out and back hike with slight elevation gain. Those looking for more of a workout can continue on, down into Aliso Canyon, then up onto the ridge featured in the movie's bike scenes. The extended hike will be an 8 mile lollipop, with 1000' of elevation gain, most of it getting back out of Aliso.
All of the trails we'll be on slither through suburban tract developments, and are popular with walkers, hikers, bikers, and riders. The hike starts into Limekiln Canyon, along wooded trail wedged between the cliche babbling brook and Tampa Ave. Gnarled oaks and bursts of green highlight this shady path.
After slipping past some backyards, we'll pop out at Porter Ridge Park, colloquially known as ET Park. We'll take a break here to clown around, then the gentlers can head back, and the regulars can hit the pavement for a minute to perch above Limekiln Canyon. Following the wide dirt road down, we'll amble beside the stream and trees again until it's time to get the real work done and shuffle on out of there. We'll cross Reseda Blvd to the Palisades Trail, which hugs a cliffside and provides a grand view of the San Fernando Valley. The trail ends at Tampa Ave, and we'll hop back onto the beginning trail for the cruise to the cars.
Because this is a suburban hike, hidden and unhidden among the homes, it doesn't get as much play from hiking groups as it deserves, but you'll get both a good workout and unique views, with a heaping dollop of Hollywood history.
The first half of the hike will be at a gentler pace, the second half, the pace will be picked up. Kids and beginners can easily handle the shorter hike.
I hiked this Friday morning, and the trails are in good shape. There are a couple of spots you may want hiking sticks if you favor them, as well as 2 minor (and I mean minor) stream crossings.
The trailhead is on Rinaldi St between Corbin and Tampa Aves, north of the 118 fwy. From the 118, exit Tampa Ave. Turn north toward the hills and make a left on Rinaldi. Drive 0.2 mi and park at the curb. The trailhead is on the right, across the street from World Vision Church.
DISCLAIMER / RELEASE OF LIABILITY
IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ BELOW IN ITS ENTIRETY:
The hike host is a volunteer and not responsible for the group. Safety should be a priority for everyone in the group. Please treat this meet-up as hiking with a group of friends. If you become fatigued and unable to continue the hike, it is expected you will advise the hike host of this and return to our starting point on your own. If you are able to proceed, it is expected that you will maintain line of sight with other members of the group at all times and help to promote the group’s safety and fitness goals.
Outdoor sports and other events we plan can be inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in any posted event, you are taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. The Weekday Trailblazers Meetup Group and its organizers are not trained leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to lead or participate in trips. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions.
If you choose to sign up for this or any Weekday Trailblazers Meetup event, you are releasing the Weekday Trailblazers Meetup Group and its organizers from all liability in case of possible injuries. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.
All participants must be 18 or older, or accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.