Solstice Canyon ~ Malibu, California.

600_388075632

PHOTOS: Past
July 1952
Present
July 2015

Located in Malibu, this site has one of the only year-round waterfalls in the mountains. Full of history dating back to the early 20th century, visitors can take an easy hike for a couple of miles, or a strenuous hike over six miles.

11828772_1022191544490159_3406149162579269441_n

Solstice Canyon offers an easy no-fuss walk alongside a flowing creek in a wide canyon. The big attraction on this 2.6-mile round trip hike is a small waterfall next to interesting ruins!

20600_1022190927823554_1611145557260770703_n

The Roberts Mansion in the mountains was a decades-long project that began in the 1930s, when Fred slowly began to purchase land in the area. He eventually accumulated 556 acres for the site of his and Florence’s retirement home. In 1952, the couple commissioned architect Paul Williams to design the house, which they named “Tropical Terrace.”

600_388075152

But the Roberts weren’t the first to settle in the area now popular with hikers. The location’s proximity to easily-accessible water and shelter has made it the perfect place to settle for many throughout Solstice Canyon’s history.

11825044_10206324359164521_6728871681141778561_n

PHOTO: Keller House built in 1865

The Keller family built a stone-walled hunting lodge there in 1865, and the structure – visible today from the hiking trail – still stands, though the 2007 Corral fire destroyed most of it.

2016-01-09 15.30.03

In fact, the Keller home is what drew the Roberts to Malibu when they picnicked near the site in Solstice Canyon. And about a thousand years before the Kellers, the Chumash Indians lived on the lands, using their canoes for fishing and traveling to other villages along the coastline.
11855854_10206324358804512_6915009084933267885_n

PHOTO: Remnants of the beautiful oasis

The Roberts’ Tropical Terrace was “built of stone, brick, and wood (and) was a perfect architectural fit for the home-site of waterfalls, springs and lush vegetation,” according to the Paul Revere Williams Project!

20160109_094828

PHOTOS: Solstice Canyon surrounded by man made and natural beauty!

11825101_1022191844490129_5273874805624774218_n20160109_111307

ADDRESS: Corral Canyon Rd & Solstice Canyon Rd, Malibu, California.

Solstice Canyon Trail Map

Advertisements

Old Los Angeles Zoo ~ Los Angeles, California.

11724359593_c9a11ceb09_b
Photos:

Past
August 1940
Present
August 2015

11724474884_edc323285f_b

Griffith Park is home to the remnants of what was, for five decades, the Los Angeles Zoo. Moved in 1913 from what’s now called Lincoln Park, the zoo was shrouded in struggles from the start, and endured a rocky tenure in the ravine.
img_1775

In 1916, the Health Department nearly shut down the zoo when they learned its sewage was draining into the L.A. River, explains the Griffith Park History Project. In World War I, a meat shortage left the city unable to properly care for the animals, and several died. By 1923, people were speculating the zoo would shut down soon.

11208637_10206090083067765_9121034843371611495_n

Ultimately a golf course at the northeast end of Griffith Park was chosen (golfers got a new course) and ground was broken there in 1964.The old zoo was basically abandoned.

11692642_10206090083107766_8771422400327044245_n 11838830_10206340354044383_2920033489765228322_o 11873628_1026101157432531_3973640009205733000_n

Photos:  Exploring the cages spoiled by urban graffiti but haunted by the animals that suffered here!

ADDRESS: 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, Los Angeles, California

OldZooMap

Vanalden Cave ~ Tarzana, California

11822691_10206340356444443_3860351172864739313_n

Photo: Cave is a sandstone den about 25 feet tall, 25 feet wide, and 50 feet deep.

Vanalden Cave near Tarzana is one of the most unusual sandstone formations in the Santa Monica Mountains and is quite easy to hike to.

11822285_1026102100765770_3738613845018624774_n

Vanalden The roof of the cave is only a few feet thick with a few holes that, like skylights, illuminate the cave walls, which are covered with curious carvings and graffiti.
11241933_1026102210765759_4671705024305282546_n

You can hike 0.6 miles round trip to Vanalden Cave for a short excursion with 100 feet of elevation change, or extend the hike to 1.55 miles round trip with 350 feet of elevation change to reach a nearby vista point on Vanalden Trail that provides a panoramic amphitheater-like view of the Santa Monica Mountains.

11244570_1026101637432483_6804497184978801982_n

Photo: Covered with graffiti & carvings is urban exploration meeting nature!

ADDRESS: 3630 Vanalden Avenue, Tarzana, California

kh

Chumash Indian Cave of the Munits & Castle Peak ~ West Hills, California.

 

20160312_140326-1_resizedPhoto: Making the ascent to the Spectacular hidden Chumash Cave!

A 2.6 mile hike, with optional side trips.  Awesome cave hidden in the valley. Coming down is a bit tricky though. known as  the Cave of Munits, aka Shaman’s Cave and the Bat Cave, is a fun and easy to access vertical cave located in Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve in El Escorpion Park.

2016-03-12 22.28.26_resizedIt is considered a “chimney cave” since it has an opening on its ceiling that allows you to a see the sky.

2016-03-12 22.26.39_resized
For 10,000 years Chumash and Tongva Indians inhabited the surrounding lands and they told stories that involved the Cave. According to one of the stories, the Cave was once home to a very powerful Shaman named Munit.

20160312_143134_resizedShamans would enter into a trance or an altered state of consciousness in order to communicate with spirits to foresee future events or to diagnose and treat an illness. As the legend goes, Shaman Munit was killed by the talons of an eagle after he murdered the son of a politically important chief.

Kas’elew (Castle Peak)2016-03-12 22.24.52_resizedThis site has been an area of great ceremonial importance for Chumash people. It was traditionally used by priests and astronomers during winter and summer solstice ceremonies. This site is also significant because it is one of nine alignment points located within Chumash territory.

2016-03-12 22.25.49_resizedThese points are central to maintaining balance in the natural world. Though Castle Peak is located on the LA County side and was therefore not a part of Ahmanson property, it is important to note that the Cave and the Peak can be seen from one another.

2016-03-12 22.25.14_resizedThis connection and proximity makes the cave and the peak a continuous area of significance that should not be broken up.

 

ADDRESS:  24501 W Vanowen Street, Los Angeles California

highres_116309572

The Grotto Trail ~ Circle X Ranch, Santa Monica Mountains, California

10984288_1036653886377258_755085694570626967_n

Photo: We got an early start and enjoyed the Grotto alone 🙂

The Grotto Trail is a 3 mile out and back trail located near Malibu, California is a fun hike into a dark and spooky grotto, with house size boulders, caves, waterfalls, steep walls, and a real sense of mystery.

11947642_10206451490582727_4059877514298032948_n

It was beautiful, peaceful & so secluded.

11903855_10206451490102715_2882401593810580712_n

A wonderful trail with shade, sun, views, rock climbing & nice inclines.

11207353_1036655233043790_59633357624401380_n

Photo: Jennifer and I enjoying the view of the Sandstone Peak

11889447_10206451490782732_7589460995321434636_n

Photo: Natural spring keeps the Grotto wet even during the drought.

ADDRESS: 12896 Yerba Buena Rd. Malibu, CA

hikespeak.com
hikespeak.com

Peter Strauss Ranch aka Camp Lake Enchanto ~ Agoura Hills, California

11924303_10206451492462774_96071111362277481_n

Photo: Past
August 1940

Photo: Present
August 2015

The area was inhabited by the Chumash people for up to 8,000 years. After Spanish colonization of Alta California, it was taken to became part of the Rancho Las Virgenes land grant. After California became one of the United States in 1850, the area was surveyed in 1881 to confirm the grant’s land patent. ACalifornia live oak (Quercus agrifolia) that was used as a marker in the survey still stands, just west of the swimming pool, with an upside-down letter “T” still visible in the bark.

11959965_10206451492262769_8568192035655936039_n

In the early 20th century, the automobile manufacturer Harry Miller, famous for his patented master carburetor featured at the Indianapolis 500, purchased the ranch as a weekend retreat from his factory and residence in Los Angeles. In 1926, Miller built the current stone ranch house, the look-out tower, and the aviary.

11949286_10206451490302720_5501084236809278475_n

He held grand parties there during Prohibition, having someone watch for the cops from the tower. The man would then run to the house to warn them to put the booze away. Harry also had other large animals there as part of his private zoo. During the Great Depression, Miller suffered financial ruin after attempting to build aircraft engines, forcing him to sell the property.
11057113_10206451491662754_5639024276371100929_n

In the mid-1930s, the property was purchased by Warren Shobert and Arthur Edeson, who renamed the property “Shoson” and transformed it into a recreational fairyland resort for children and adults. The Lake Encanto Dam, creating Lake Encanto, was constructed on Triunfo Creek. The resort was later renamed “Lake Enchanto.” Competition from other, larger amusement parks and resorts led to the decline of Lake Enchanto, which fell into disrepair and closed around 1960.
11938041_10206451492102765_1961433802258636295_n

In 1976, Peter Strauss purchased the property after being moved by the area’s natural beauty while filming the mini-series Rich Man, Poor Man at nearbyMalibu Lake.

11880382_10206451491102740_6174142406282016414_n

Strauss restored the property to a more natural look and lived there until 1983, when he sold it to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. The National Park Service purchased the ranch in 1987.

11905379_10206451491502750_885426193034393834_n

Photo: An original amphitheater used for animal performance during its hey day!

ADDRESS: 30000 Mulholland Hwy, Agoura Hills, CA

picture-6