Monday, December 7, 2009

Temescal canyon and ridge trail

On Saturday after the museum I went for a hike at Temescal Canyon park, which is near the Getty Villa.  It was overcast for most of the hike, so my photos aren't the greatest.  I was also using my new little Samsung camera which doesn't handle different light conditions quite as well as the SLR, but is fabulously light and compact to carry.

Because of the shade and shelter of the canyon, the vegetation is a bit different, and much more lush, in the microclimate of the lower canyon than what I have seen so far around Los Angeles:

There are some beautiful canyon views on the way up, looking north:

The sun even came out for a couple of minutes:



The mountains seem to be made up of these small smooth rocks embedded in a very soft sedimentary rock, and pretty much every exposed surface consists of this:

One of the main features of this trail is a waterfall.  In these dry days though, it's reduced to a drip-drip-drip, seemed to be just groundwater seeping out at the bottom:


Another view of the canyon on the way up, this time looking south:

At the top of the ridge, the main thing to see is a rock called skull rock, and some others that are around it.  You can see skull rock at the upper left here:


This trail has spectacular views.  The weather wasn't great for photos, but visibility was pretty good, better than you can tell from the pictures.  This is Santa Monica:


Here's a close-up (or at least a "closer-up") of Santa Monica beach:


City skyline, downtown is actually a ghostly shadow at the back at the photo, that you can just barely see if you click to enlarge it:


Here's the silver lining in today's clouds, you don't see this kind of sky that often around these parts!  This is looking out onto the ocean over Pacific Palisades:


 This is on the way back, I liked the fall colours in the trees:

I loved this hike, I think it was probably my favourite that I've done so far.

1 comment:

  1. Nice! I still prefer the lush forests we have here tough.

    By the way, the rock you took a pic of is called a conglomerate (or a breccia depending on the degree of roundness of the little rocks locked in the other material). The conglomerate is composed of two main features: (1) a xenolith (the little rocks encased in the other one) and (2), the matrix which acts as the cement and keep everything together. Xenoliths (term used loosely) usually come from a different (geologically) area and were carried by some geological transport process. The matrix in your pic looks carbonated (altough I'd need to see a close-up) and is almost always (99%) sedimentary in nature. The matrix is always younger than the xenolith as it formed after.

    In California, the transport model for the xenolith can be many things including landslides (mudslides), normal transport by water, etc... If the matrix is indeed carbonated, it means that it formed underwater (in salt water) and was later pushed up by tectonic activity. Cool! :-)