Our favorite thing to do now that we can’t really do anything is hike. I mean, I loved hiking before… but now that it’s literally the only safe thing we can do, it’s all we do. Luckily, the weather in LA is perpetual summer so we can hike all year round!
Back in September 2020 our buddy told us about a hike that he went on called the Vasquez Rocks where there was basically no one around. It sounded like exactly what we needed. Up until then I had only been outside probably a handful of times since March 2020 which was horrible. I felt like I was losing my mind.
Six months without an adventure outside anywhere all while stuck inside a small 1 bedroom apartment with no backyard.
It’s insaaane. I don’t know how I did it, I just really didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t feel safe going outside at all. My anxiety level was at 100. When I did manage to force myself to go for a brief walk around our neighbourhood I always tried to keep as much distance between myself and everyone else as possible, which is basically impossible when you live in LA. There’s always someone around. Especially now! I used to be one of the very few weirdos going for walks in LA, now everyone does it! It’s SO weird.
I dreamt of driving to the middle of nowhere with no one around and just being alone in the open outdoors, but everywhere I wanted to go felt too risky because they were just too far from home. This hiking suggestion from a friend was exactly what we needed for us to get outside for once and feel even just a little bit better.
A few days after the suggestion we decided to check the Vasquez Rocks out for ourselves since we were both going absolutely stir-crazy. Me especially.
Well, guess what? It was awesome. BUT, it was also hot as balls. Seriously. It may as well have been July it was THAT hot. It was wild. I really loved seeing everything and being outside, but I really didn’t love the heat. So we said, “See you later rock buddies. We’ll see you again when we don’t feel like we’re chillin’ on the surface of the sun!”
Before we left though, Matt decided to climb to the very top. Can you spot him? The funniest part is that we later realized he went up the hard way. LOL. Anyway, we vowed we’d be back. We just had to wait a bit for it to cool down.
Well, it’s February now, so we finally went back!
Does it look familiar? Well, it should since it’s been featured in a TON of stuff. Movies, TV, photoshoots – but most notibly for me was Star Trek. The show AND the movies. In the most recent Star Trek movies it was Spock’s planet, Planet Vulcan!
I also noticed it was featured in that scene in “New Girl” when Nick loses his mind and drives into the desert when he’s supposed to be moving. Season 1, Episode 24. Check it out. I’ve re-watched that show a billion times already and just noticed that… lol. Wups.
The park is located at 10700 Escondido Canyon Rd, Agua Dulce, CA 91350, which is between Palmdale (where they shot the Andy Samberg movie “Palm Springs“) and Santa Clarita (Santa Clarita Diet, anyone?). It’s about 30-40 minutes from where we live without traffic so we felt like it was within safe driving distance for us.
Let me tell you something – This place is rad AF. From what I understand, it was formed by the collision of the North American and Pacific tectonic plates about 25 MILLION years ago. It lies on the Elkhorn Fault, which is an offshoot of the San Andreas Fault (yeah, that one). Earthquakes on the Fault caused the uplift and exposure of the rocks. The rocks themselves are sandstone which is a sedimentary rock AKA sand/rocks/minerals that are smushed down and compacted layer by layer over a looong time. SCIENCE. Did that make any sense? Probably not. But I hope so.
I mean, if you look at these rocks they literally look like what you’d imagine would happen if two tectonic plates smashed into each other during an earthquake and got all crazy. It all makes sense.
Looking at the Vasquez Rocks, it’s no wonder they’ve been used as alien landscapes ’cause it literally looks like they’re from another world. I’m always blown away by how much variety of landscapes there are in the world, the US especially. I really noticed how much variety there is on our road trip down from Toronto. More specifically, the Southwest. In my opinion, the Southwest has the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen!
Another cool thing about this place is that it’s basically in the middle of nowhere, which I also love. Especially coming from a city like LA. Even if there’s anyone else in the park at the same time as you, you’re probably not going to come across them. Even if you do, they’re going to be so far away. I mean, the park spans across 932 acres so it’s real easy to keep your distance, which is 100% ideal during this moment in time. Also, there’s not just one path so you can always veer off and not have to pass by anyone else, ever. Legit, there’s SO MUCH ROOM FOR ACTIVITIES. You can just wander around and climb on rocks. It’s awesome. Have a buddy system in place though cause, there’s basically nobody around. LOL. 127 hours anyone? No, thank youuu.
So, if you’re looking for a place that’s not busy to hike around LA I highly recommend this one. It’s not a super long hike around the main trail, but I mean, you could make it as long and short of a hike as you’d want. It’s also not as demanding or treacherous as other hikes I’ve been on, but it’s still fun and super cool to see. Just remember to wear your mask and keep your distance if you come across anybody else during this BS.
Stay safe out there,