Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Sycamore Canyon, Whittier, California

Sycamore Canyon
Whittier, CA

The entrance to this trail is at 5040 Workman Mill Road, Whittier CA. Off of Workman Mill Road one half mile north of Beverly Boulevard. Rose Hills is just a few blocks further north on Workman Mill Rd. Also Turnbull Canyon trail, Whittier CA is a few minutes east on Beverly Boulevard. 

Beautiful view of the homes atop the canyon. This trail is very kid friendly only a few small hills here and there. Mostly a straight easy walk. Once you get about 1.3 miles in you come to a marker, the trail breaks off to the Sycamore Switchback Trail and the Dark Canyon trail. The switchback trail leads to the Rattlesnake Ridge Trail and another set of trails which I have previously posted pics and information on. 

If you proceed onto the Dark Canyon trail the path narrows and you will encounter a small creek which you will cross. When we visited, the stream was filled with green slimy algae, this was probably because it was hot and the area has not had much rain fall. However, we did spot several deer and rabbits in this area, and heard many frogs down there as well. The trail starts to incline very slightly so that the stream is on your left and is below you, this area is quite shady and a nice place to take a break. At the end of Dark Canyon is a fence and a sign declaring you have reached the end and need to turn around. 

Dry brush YIKES
I wasn't in charge of the camera on this particular trip (kids fault! LOL). We got kind of carried away listening to nature and didn't snap too many pics after about the 1st half mile. So most of these pics are from the beginning of the trail. I will be visiting again and definitely post more pictures soon, so check back! Still a beautiful hike, plenty of shady spots to stop and rest. 

Love the way this tree is growing on the side of the hill.

We did not take the Sycamore switchback trail as it appeared to be a very steep climb on a hillside. Later I discovered this is the connection up to Rattlesnake Ridge which we have hiked and discuss further in another post. And the little ones were with me as always so it was best we didn't venture up that path, but search youtube I found a couple of videos showing that trail. 

One thing to note here, at the entrance it was very sad to see drilling rigs and equipment being used off to the right of the main trail. Our hills are being infested with drilling rigs. 

Once again you can find a really good trail map of this trail and many others in the area at:

Hellman Wilderness Park, Whittier California

Hellman Wilderness Park

The Mariposa Trail is on of the several connected trails at this location. Pictured below it be accessed through the entrance at the north end of Greenleaf Avenue in Uptown Whittier past Beverly Blvd on the right hand side of the street you will notice a small parking area. On Beverly Blvd just a few blocks to the east is where you will find the entrance to the Turnbull Canyon trail, in Whittier CA.  

Mariposa Trail (looking South West) the small trail off the the left ahead is the Peppergrass Trail, its narrow!
This is the view looking back down where we came from. We took the Peppergrass Trail which was to the right of the Mariposa Trail, they met up at one point, but be careful when choosing paths. There are several hills and we thought we would choose the small trails to the side in order to avoid the steep hills. This wasn't the greatest choice with little ones as the smaller paths are narrow and there is a ravine off to the side with a steep drop. There are also bicyclists coming down most of these trails and when you are on a narrow path it can be dangerous fighting for space with the bikes that are traveling at high speeds. 

We reached the top of this trail and headed west onto Rattlesnake Ridge Trail. From this trail you can see the neighboring cemetery Rose Hills to the north, and the majestic peaks of the Buddhist Columbarium in Rose Hills. Which I didn't capture a pic of! Sorry my cameras battery died, but here is another pic of the hillsides near the Rattlesnake Ridge Trail.  

Rattlesnake Ridge Trail is an easy hike, straight across to the next trail we traveled which was Hellman Park Trail. This trails name is very accurate! It was like traveling down into Hell! Not a recommended path to take with children. It was getting dark and it had been a while since we seen other hikers. If we would have turned back and taken the Mariposa Trail back down it would have taken too long and I didn't want to get stuck out there in the dark with the kids. 

But I will never ever go back on the Hellman trail even on my own. Call me a wimp if you will, to each their own. I prefer nice hikes and enjoy the view, but I don't want to risk my life out there. The sign at the trail head from Rattlesnake Ridge to the Hellman Park Trail was missing, the pole was still there but the sign was gone. I should have printed out the map and taken it along, note to self! 

The trail on Hellman at one point is so steep it zig-zag's from left to right which helps, but its narrow and full of loose gravel and dirt, so its very slippery. So hike it at your own risk. 

Overall I would rate this as a 5 out of 5 view for the series of trails available in the area. We didn't see much wild life except for a few larger birds, maybe a Hawk or two. It was well worth the effort, just remember what I said about Hellman Park Trail! Next I will be posting about the connecting trail to the north of these series of trails, the Sycamore Canyon Trail. 

Top of Mariposa Trail, looking West.
As always get out there and have fun and remember to be safe...

Trail map: