Hike #20: Millard Canyon

If you’re new to the blog, I must explain that not only do I walk all over LA but I also have a great hike book (101 Hikes in Southern California by Jerry Schad). Today I decided to venture out into the great outdoors and do hike number 20 in the book, Millard Canyon. I must say, the loop was incredibly difficult and Im so thankful I had my new hike boots. Well let me take you through it…

I started at 10:15am today and it was a perfect hiking day. It was partly cloudy, which gave a cool breeze and kept the temperature down. Unfortunately, it made for some washed out photos. But I’ll just show you the best of the best. I parked along Chaney Trail and be sure to bring your Adventure Pass.


I followed Sunset Ridge Trail which is popular with mountain bikers so keep an eye out for their bells when you’re traversing up the ridge.

This is Millard Canyon’s 50′ waterfall.

There were 6(?) Northeastern guys that just moved to LA to begin 6 month internships who were very nice. I ran into them several times throughout the hike. While on the Dawn Mine Trail I felt so relieved to hear their voices down below, as many parts of this trail were nonexistent and just straight drops to the canyon below. I should note that this hike was only 3 stars in my book, so I figured it was a safe one to do alone although I do not recommend it with this hike. There were several “hail mary” moments, and I was grateful to have these guys around for the parts of my hike that overlapped their trek.

This is Dawn Mine (at 3100′), which I didn’t enter (as my book didn’t encourage it).

This made me smile as I left Dawn Mine, so I thought I would share it.

The last leg of the hike (from Dawn Mine through Millard Canyon) was much less steep and high than Dawn Mine Trail, but equally as treacherous. There was no real path and it was a relief to see the occasional footprint in the sand to know you were following human life somewhere at least. There were a few steep drops off some giant rocks and many times I sat and slid because it was so steep. My shoes really held up and gripped well to the edges of some pretty smooth boulders. My photos don’t show the depth that I was facing.

This was comforting and let me know I was still on the right track.

Am I getting closer to the end of these rocks? If I missed a very hidden path along the left, I was warned that it would put me on top of the 50′ waterfall and I didn’t want that to happen.

Just a little further…

I’ve never been so happy to see a cabin! It was my marker to know when I was close to the last loop back to my car on Chaney Trail. The hike was an excellent adventure and I recommend it, but don’t make my mistakes. Bring a friend, bring snacks (which I left on my table at home), and when the book says to take the fire road, take the path that leads up by the Cape of Good Hope (as I added an extra mile+ straight uphill by misreading the map). Also, as my Northeastern friends experienced today, always bring a map because many LA trails are unmarked and confusing. Even the map in the book was better than having nothing at all.

I hope you checked out my WEEKEND GUIDE on this lovely three-day weekend, as there is much to do. I can even add to Saturdays events the Eagle Rock Art Walk (aka NELAart). HERE is a map to the walk. Now will I see you at the Golden Road Brew Pub Opening tomorrow? I can’t wait!

I will leave you with this image of the sun slowly setting as taken at the end of my Millard Canyon hike.

Hubbard Park + Castle Craig

Despite the extremely cold day, me and my good friends Jess and Mike ventured out on a hike. It was fun but coooold (I’m still regaining feelings in my fingers). I didn’t really know about Castle Craig’s existence until I went to Hubbard Park on Christmas day to see their Christmas light display (which I blogged about HERE). Get ready for a ton of pics!

After doing a little online sleuthing, I found this MAP to the trail that I took. So we met in Hubbard park and followed the white path (as we only had 2 hours to spend here) on a pretty low-key hike. Only a 700 foot stretch up to the castle was steep, the rest was a pretty graceful incline. No hiking boots necessary and great for the family.

We began by watching the ducks in Mirror Lake. I love the mini-Castle Craig model in the middle of the lake (it’s a duck palace!)

A lot of the hike is woodsy like this image. It’s a fun change for me, especially since you can tell by the photos that it’s frigid out there. The white trail is also heavily marked, so no need to worry about going off on the wrong path.

CASTLE CRAIG! It’s a CASTLE?!

I loved this shot of Jess close to the edge over looking Meriden.

Views from the top. I hope to come back and do this trail again in the summer. This would be a great hike to pack a lunch and eat overlooking CT.

This is the steep hike back down to meet up with the white path. A little rocky, but nothing too tricky.

Continuing on the hike, there are some great views up to the castle.

“Halfway House”

Eventually the hike loops up with Merimere Reservoir (with Mine Island in the middle).

There’s nothing like celebrating a hike well done with a veggie pizza from Modern Apizza in New Haven with my cousin 🙂

Exploring Cape Cod: Great Island Trail

The next day was about ten degree’s warmer, which in winter degrees, made being outside bearable. We decided to make a day of it and head out to Wellfleet, MA. HERE is the link to where you can park to do this hike. THIS link leads to an archaic yet helpful brochure with a map of the hike. We figured we did probably an 8 mile loop in total.

The hike is a mix of marsh, wooded trails, and beach. It also has several places to pick up the walk, so if you want more time walking the beach you can just jump back onto the trail when you’re ready (without having to back track).

Once we had our fill of beach walking (sand walking can be tiresome) we headed up into the hills.

After a wooded hike, the trail spit us out on the other side of the peninsula. We walked this side of the beach for a while. What beautiful cliffs sit ahead of us.

Unfortunately, we reached a point in the hike where we needed to cross a river that was just a tad too wide to jump across and way to deep to cut across. But we were there for a walk, so we just cut back along the dry edge of the marsh, adding distance to our hike.

One thing that was unavoidable, and a bit frightening, were all the dead birds we ran across while in the marsh. We were examining animal tracks, but it was still to hard to tell how they passed on. It was disturbing, the giant quantity of dead birds. Prepare yourself for this if you are going to do this loop. Also be careful if you’re bringing pets along. Whatever killed these birds must be pretty powerful.

Our timing was perfect, as we finished the hike just as the sun was setting. I imagine there are some scary animals in that woods, so be sure to allow yourself time to complete this during daylight hours. Also be sure to check tidal information, as I’m sure at high tide much of the marsh fills in.

The sunset was the perfect payoff to a great hike.