Sunday, May 25, 2008
Not On the Digitized Road - "1729" Pacific Palisades
When I was in Elementary School, my mom, dad, sister, and I - along with a friend - hiked from Sunset Blvd and Temescal Canyon all the way to Skull Rock (picture above). As as kid, the round trip hike took us about five hours (as an adult, the same hike takes 90 minutes).
I remember my dad saying "next time, we'll hike up to the top of that next peak" (above). I've checked on maps - there's no name for this mountain. I just call it "1729" - which is it's elevation. Unfortunately, we never made that hike.
There is no official trail to the top of 1729. But thanks to Google Earth, I was able to discover that, yes, there is an unnamed trail, and even found the trailhead (at the top of Chautauqua Blvd, in Pacific Palisades).
Earlier this month, after 35 years, I finally hiked to the top of 1729. The photo above was taken about 6am near the base of the trail, with 1729 in the distance.
It's a challenging hike: steep inclines in places, loose rock, and literally some rock climbing towards the top. However, the views at the peak are simply spectacular. The photo above does not do it justice. It was close to a 360 degree view.
Continuing on there is a slightly visible trail along the ridge, which is the east ridge of Temescal Canyon. April and May are great times of the year to go with some beautiful wildflowers in bloom.
Continuing on for about a mile, this unmarked trail actually hooks up with the "Rogers Road" trail, which I took back down into Will Rogers State Park. Again, until you get to the Rogers Road trail, it's an unmarked trail, and is difficult to follow in places. I do not recommend this as a "first hike" and unless you're familiar with Santa Monica Mountains, would not recommend trying it alone.
Looking again at my topographic map, I found that, indeed, there is a trail that I had never noticed before. If you click on the map, you can clearly see the trail.
Challenging but do able. From the Chautauqua trailhead to the top of 1729 took about an hour. It was worth it. And all within the city limits of Los Angeles.
"The earth is the LORD'S, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it." Psalm 24:1