Monday, March 2, 2009

Milk of Magnesia

Day Sixty One

This week I will be taking it a bit easy since my hand is still swollen from my tumble on Saturday and I don't want to climb anything that I'm going to have to use my hands to get up or down. I still will be getting some mileage in, just not off-trail.

Today I went to the start of one of my favorite hikes in the desert. I don't know if that's saying much because I have about 40 favorite hikes but this is one of the first hikes I did when I moved here from Orange County about 25 years ago. The entrance to it has changed quite a bit but some things are unchanging. Magnesia Falls Canyon is one of them. It's still intriguing to me twenty-five years later.

Unlike when I first moved here and you entered the canyon from Magnesia Falls Drive, you now enter from Mirage Drive and the Blixeth Mountain Park. The park is adjacent to the oddly named Porcupine Creek Golf Club (to my knowledge there are no porcupines in the desert) that is part of the Blixeth estate. For more on the estate read here.

The "Mountain Park" has a trail that is suitable for your elderly parent or grandparent and their walker or wheelchair although there is currently no accessible parking.

There is this bench that looks like it was made by Fred Flintstone.

The trail then turns into a real trail.

But that trail is pretty much a dead end.

So after exploring the "Mountain Park", I set off toward Magnesia Falls.

You cross this big flood control basin

And on the other side you encounter no less than 13 signs stating that this is an ecological preserve. 13! I guess someone at Fish and Game has a family member in the sign making business and is getting a kick back or something.

You then get to the first fall which has the slightest trickle of water coming down it. I know there are native Palms in this canyon but I think these might have been planted here.

After surmounting this first little fall, you come to a larger dry fall which has a guzzler at the top for the Bighorn Sheep.

Here is a closer look at the Bighorn guzzler.

While I have climbed the entire length of the canyon before and really enjoy the Magnesia Falls Canyon to Art Smith Trail excursion, this is where I have to end my trip today. I will need two hands to do the rest of the hike and hopefully will be able to come back in a couple of weeks. Beyond this point there are two nice waterfalls and a mine, also, many native Palm trees.

When I go back in a few weeks I'll give advance notice so if anyone wants to go, you're welcome to come along. Hopefully, this will give you a little taste of what's up there.

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