In the town of Agua Dulce in the Sierra Pelona Mountains is a 932 acre area called the Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park. These are huge rock formations from an uplift about 25 million years ago. The Tataviam people were living here in grass huts within villages for centuries before the Spanish arrived.
But it was bandit Tiburcio Vasquez, who used these rocks to hide out from authorities in 1873 and 1874, whose name is associated with this amazing formation.Neek and I often enjoy visiting Vasquez Rocks. Usually, there are several other people visiting, but weekends are a bit more crowded. This was a beautiful Saturday afternoon so it was more on the crowded side. But that didn’t stop my enjoyment one bit! In fact, it kind of added to the atmosphere.
Vasquez Rocks has been a popular location for shooting westerns since the 1930s, so it seemed appropriate for a man on horseback wearing a cowboy hat to come ambling between the rocks. It’s also popular for shooting science fiction, most famously for the original Star Trek TV series episode where Captain Kirk fights a reptilian alien called the Gorn. So it was funny, but not too out of the ordinary to see a bicyclist at Vasquez Rocks wearing a spacesuit!
Sometimes I come just to take in the unique natural wonder of the landscape, but this time I wanted to climb. I thought I could go pretty high as I was wearing some pretty durable mountain climbing shoes. At first, it was fairly easy and I was hopeful Neek would be able to capture my climb to the top on video. But as steep as it seems going up, coming down seems even more treacherous! I had to be careful, but I was able to make it down without a problem. Most important to me, I had a lot of fun.
But Neek and I also took time to take a more relaxing walk around the park. At some points it really does feel like you’re walking on the moon, but then when you come to certain points in the landscape you feel like you’re back in the Wild West. That’s part of the charm that makes Vasquez Rocks such a great place to visit!
Vasquez Rocks is located in Agua Dulce, a town in Los Angeles County, California. The unusual landscape was first used in 1935 to represent Tibet in a film by Universal Pictures called “Werewolf in London”. Since then, it has portrayed a variety of environments (including alien planets) in numerous films and television productions. Does anyone remember what the episode that Captain Kirk battled the reptile creature was called?
I didn’t wear shoes with much traction, so I decided not to climb any rocks and hiked on clearly marked trails. Lex, on the other hand, decided to go climb one of the amazing rock formations.
About 25 million years ago, a massive shift in the tectonic plates occurred causing the area to be uplifted. With subsequent earthquakes along the San Andreas Fault and erosion of the looser sediment around the rocks, the landscape became more tilted creating “ridges”. I like to call it “The Leaning Rocks of Agua Dulce!” Yeah, Okay…Bad one.
It was a beautiful day when Lex and I visited. There were quite a few families there and they were having a wonderful time. We even saw and heard a drone flying in the area. I bet they got some great aerial shots! A man and his horse were enjoying the trail as much as a spaceman riding a bicycle.
We also visited the Interpretive Center but that will be in our next blog post.
Also, the animals that we saw on the road to the rocks were so cute. We couldn’t resist filming them – especially the donkeys.