Sunday, March 3, 2013

Hiking La Jolla Canyon

So, back in February - a long time ago, or so it seems - Michael and I took advantage of a gorgeous Saturday and hiked La Jolla Canyon.  We had the added bonus of a long weekend, so it really felt like a getaway to head to the west side and enjoy the scenery!  La Jolla Canyon seemed a bit redundant, since I had just been on the same trails in November for the 30k trail race, but I wanted to actually enjoy and experience the trails, rather than focus on my footing and whether I could finish or not.  We, obviously, revised our hike and just did the La Jolla Canyon loop which was perfect for the day, especially since we'd had a late night and did not start out very early on Saturday morning.  

When we arrived, we parked on PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) to avoid the parking fee.  There were tons of other cars parked along the highway, so we knew that we would hardly be alone on the trails.  Still, we quickly separated from a large group and found ourselves mainly alone, which was great.  Despite rains earlier in the week, the trail felt dry, and because of the sunny skies and warmer temperatures, it seemed like an early spring day.  We hiked up and up for a bit and then the trail evened out - I really had forgotten what a great trail it is, and maybe it wasn't so great running, but hiking - it is in great condition and is a nice loop that takes you back into the canyon.

Eventually we connected with the La Jolla Valley trail which gave our legs a break as we strolled along the valley and took in the view of a bunch of satellites on a hill in the distance.  I am always amazed when I go on a hike in the LA area - it seems that you'll be in the middle of nowhere, and suddenly something pops up that serves as a reminder that you're not far from an urban landscape.  The Angeles mountains, in particular, are full of such signs, although many of them are now in decay, demonstrating our failed attempt to 'tame' that rugged landscape. 

 A few early wildflowers.

On the return down - it suddenly seemed like the hike had been too short.  We did cut off part of it, partly because we realized that we'd hiked it before - back in 2010 when we hike Pt. Mugu.  Funny that it was a warmer day in February than we had back in July of that year.  

 On the hike, we enjoyed lots of crazy plants that looked like something out of a Dr. Seuss book!

Before we ended our La Jolla Canyon experience, we walked across the highway and enjoyed the coast, watching a group of dolphins play for a bit.  I don't think I'll ever get tired of this coastline!

And that was our La Jolla Canyon hike!  I must say that I probably enjoyed the hike quite a bit more than the trail run - as I said before, it was nice to take it all in rather than focus on the push, push, push of a race, even if it is a slow race.  We don't get to the west side as often as we should, and this served as a good reminder to get out there!


mindful mule said...

Coreopsis gigantea!

Kristina said...

YES! That is it!