Sunday, March 26, 2017

Eye-popping Blooms on the La Jolla Loop

No need to drive to Palmdale to see poppies flame the hills in the spring. Instead, head 22 miles west of Malibu Canyon on PCH to the La Jolla Canyon Trailhead.  Behind the parking lot is a hill covered with lupine and bright orange poppies.
Most families with small children stop at the base of the waterfall about ¾ miles into the trail.  The boulder-step hike beyond the fall winds up the narrow gorge overlooking the streambed with willows and black walnut alive with birdsong.
Higher up, the canyon wall is blanketed with the shaggy trunks of the Giant Coreoposis bursting with bright yellow clumps of daisies from Feb-May.
 Soon the trail levels off through a tree tunnel of lavender-blue California Lilac.

It takes you to a pond lined in with pussy willows. Nestled among the spreading coastal oak near the pond are picnic tables that invite the hiker to take a rest and enjoy lunch alfresco. Nearby is an overnight campsite. The more ambitious hiker can veer to the right and loop back on the Overlook Trail, or go left on the less traveled La Jolla Loop. Either trail is graced with spectacular vistas of Bony Mountain Ridge and the coast.
The Chumash used these trails to make inland migrations to the 600 acre expanse of grassland on the summit. Find Serenity in this back-country meadow where they collected native needle grass to build domed-shaped huts.  Mugu State Park is much the same as it was before the arrival of the Spanish in 1542. The 7000-year-old trail system connects to Rancho Sierra Vista and the Indian Cultural Center in Newbury Park.

The closet stop for a hungry hiker is Neptune’ Net, a biker hangout located between the trail head and Leo Carrillo on PCH, with live lobster and crab in the tank and burgers and fries in a basket.

Adventure-travel writer, Linda Ballou, has a host of travel articles on her site, along with information about her travel memoir, Lost Angel Walkabout-One Traveler’s Tales, her historical novel Wai-nani, A Voice from Old Hawai’i and her latest action-adventure novel The Cowgirl Jumped over the Moon  Subscribe to my blog and receive updates on her books, and travel destinations.

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