Monday, February 13, 2012

Angeles Crest Scenic Byway & Vasquez Rocks Park

We decided to take a road trip on Saturday since the weather forecast called for cooler temperatures and a chance of rain.  I found a great site discover Los Angeles that gave some suggestions for scenic drives around L.A.  Steve & I chose to go inland to the Angeles Crest Scenic Byway.  We drove through downtown L.A. to get to our starting destination which took about an hour and a half from Marina del Rey due to the traffic.

The Story: This is the drive for those who want to get away from it all. Winding 55 miles along the San Gabriel Mountains, past misty valleys, forests and even desert, this drive gives you an entirely different picture of the LA area. The views are the draw of this secluded, often steep tour, where winding mountain passes give way to stunning vistas and visitors are treated to a spectrum of natural wonders. On this route, you’ll be treated to spectacular views of the San Gabriels and Angeles National Forest. And the entrance to this byway is near the city, so you won't have to drive far to experience the wilderness.
Reasons to Pull Over: Spend some time fishing in nearby Jackson Lake; take to the trails for some horseback riding or hiking; pack a lunch and picnic overlooking the mountains; check out the view from the Mt. Wilson Observatory.

The views were beautiful and we felt as if we far away from the city.

We decided to take a road that led us north toward Palmdale; temperatures were dropping and we drove through some snow flurries.  We weren't sure what there was to do in Palmdale nor did we know how far it was since we didn't have internet service.  Turned out there wasn't much to see, but we enjoyed a late lunch at this California chain restaurant, In- N- Out , that we had heard so much about.  (Steve & I still say Cook Out beats it hands down.)

We decided to head back to Marina del Rey, but spotted these incredible rock formations right off the highway and decided to check out Valquez Rocks Park.

"This 932-acre park located in the high desert near Agua Dulce Springs and features spectacular rock formations, Tataviam Indian sites, and a seasonal stream. The rocks’ history began in prehistoric times when the sandstone rocks were uplifted at a picturesque angle, showing their jagged red features. In 1874 Tiburcio Vasquez, one of California’s most notorious bandits, used these rocks to elude capture by law enforcement. His name has since been associated with this geologic feature. The park is a popular hiking, picnicking, and equestrian area.Vasquez has been a popular filming location used as the setting for scenes in many movies, television shows and commercials. Among the many films and television show to feature Vasquez Rocks are the “The Lone Ranger”, “Zorro”, “Little Miss Sunshine”, “Bonanza”, “Blazing Saddles”, “Star Trek”, “24”, “The Six Million Dollar Man”, “MacGyver”, “Austin Powers”, Star Trek 11, Numbers and “The Flintstones”."

We saw so many beautiful sights in half a day with the final being this incredible sunset.


  1. I'm so glad ya'll are exploring these really cool places. What an adventure for you, Steve and Walter. Hope he is feeling better today.

  2. Great In and Out isn't as good as the one you all like best? Where is that one?? Thanks for sharing these. Did you tell Matt about it? He would LOVE seeing these!