Mount Lowe Railway Trail aka Echo Mountain ~ Altadena, California.

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The Mount Lowe Railway was created as a scenic tourist line to bring visitors to see Mount Lowe and Echo Mountain.

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The railway opened in 1893 and stopped services in 1938. Interestingly, the railway was the only scenic mountain electric traction (overhead electric trolley) railroad in the country.

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Another of its features was the remarkable incline up Rubio Canyon to the Echo Mountain House, and a circular bridge that was as an engineering landmark in itself.
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Today the Mount Lowe Railroad Trail offers access to the ruins at Echo Mountain and the Alpine Tavern (Mt. Lowe Camp), once frequented by LA tourists and subsequently destroyed by flooding and fire.

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Along the trial you’ll find historical markers that relate the story of the rail line.

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The trail is quite sinuous as snakes through the Angeles National Forest, offing superb views of the mountain, canyons and surrounding pine forests.

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ADDRESS:  

Lake & East Loma Alta Drive. Altadena, California 91001

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Cobb Estate aka Haunted Forest ~ Altadena, California.

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In Altadena, four miles north of the 210 freeway at the end of Lake Avenue, lies a 107-acre playground for hikers and explorers called the Cobb Estate.
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Some may know it as the “haunted forest” thanks to rumors of after-dark apparitions,

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But to others, it’s a retreat from the city life where you can hike up to the ruins of an early 1900s vacation spot or explore part of Angeles Crest Forest.

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The land wasn’t exempt from the reaches of Hollywood — It was once owned by the Marx Brothers.

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ADDRESS:  Lake & East Loma Alta Drive. Altadena, California 91001

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Corralitas Red Car Railway Path Property ~ Los Angeles, California.

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Once upon a time the “CREEPY” Corralitas Red Car Property belonged to America’s largest electric railway, whose historic big Red Cars connected our sprawling city. Today the area—tucked between the Glendale Freeway and the hills of Silver Lake—is a stretch of land just eerie enough to make a spooktacular urban hike.

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Park at the intersection of Lake View Avenue and Allesandro Way, where you’ll see a paved path running alongside a chain-link fence. When you come to the canyon, cut left into it, heading down a dark and grassy path lined with giant overturned trees with exposed roots. You’ll pass by a handful of backyards before entering a small parking lot that becomes a treeless dirt road.

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Continue along the route that the big Red Cars once took, where the sound of today’s freeway traffic could almost be the rumble of that train of yore. This stroll is an easy one, so if you need an added challenge, head up the stairwell that will appear on your left and invites seven flights of extra exertion. Afterwards, return to the path, which gets grassy again before ending abruptly, overlooking the busy intersection of Fletcher and Riverside.

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Here you’ll find remnants of an aqueduct, a handful of concrete blocks in the ground that could be mistaken for gravestones.

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These cement structures are all that’s left of a 100-foot tall trestle bridge that spanned between the two hills.

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ADDRESS: 2299 Allesandro Way, Los Angeles, California.

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Coquina Mine via Las Llajas Canyon. SimiValley, California.

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Panoramic city and mountain views, limestone formations, fossilized reef, a quiet oak canyon and a rigorous 8 mile hike workout are the highlights of this enjoyable trip on the outskirts of Simi Valley.

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Las Llajas Canyon, located at the north end of Simi Valley in the Santa Susana mountains is rich in wildlife, including mountain lions, lizards, snakes, hawks, eagles, coyotes, and deer.  The Chumash had their villages in this area for hundreds of years until they were displaced by Spanish settlers then by miners

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PHOTOS: A variety of very cool abandoned 1930’s mining gear

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The Geology of Las Llajas Canyon is very diverse. One of the rare formations that is exposed in this area, is the San Diego Formation made up of a top layer of a fossilized reef called, “Coquina Limestone”.

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The destination is Coquina Mine, a limestone quarry that was abandoned in the 1930’s!

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ADDRESS:  Evening Sky Drive, Simi Valley.

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Serrano Canyon via Big Sycamore Canyon Loop. Point Mugu State Park, California.

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PHOTO: Hidden abandoned farm equipment await to be discovered!

This hike features Dense wooded canyon, breathtaking valley, lovely seasonal creek  and starts out moving north on the pleasant Sycamore Canyon trail for about a mile and a half, where you come to the junction with Serrano Canyon Trail.

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The Serrano trail takes you east into a densely wooded narrow canyon, with a lovely seasonal stream criss-crossing the trail numerous times, and abundant wildlife.

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As the trail begins to gain elevation and move north away from the stream, a stunning vista begins to emerge. Gently rolling grasslands set against the steep outlines of Boney Mountain. AWESOME!!!

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The trail traverses the grassland, passing an abandoned aluminum shack, a good turn around point!

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ADDRESS: Point Mugu State Park, 9000 Pacific Coast Hwy, Malibu, CA 90265

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Red Rock Canyon, Topanga Canyon, California

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Red Rock Canyon is filled with impressive colorful sandstone. The red rocks stand out from their lush green surroundings to create a dramatic landscape.

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The canyon lies adjacent to Calabasas Peak, which can be visited in conjunction with the park to form an excellent excursion.

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The park’s “main” entrance is located at the end of Red Rock Road. Main is in quotes because the park entrance is so hidden that one must drive down a narrow dirt road to reach it. First time visitors will be questioning their directions, but this only adds to the enchanting character of the park.

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ADDRESS:  23601 West Red Rock Road, Topanga Canyon, CA 90290

GPS:  34.106015, -118.637138

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Corriganville Movie Ranch, Simi Valley, California

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PHOTOS: Past July 1951: Present July 2015

Ray “Crash” Corrigan, a cowboy and actor purchased what would become the Corriganville movie ranch in 1937 for $11,354. The beautiful, rocky Simi Valley landscape was the setting for the filming of hundreds of movies and T.V. Westerns in the 1940’s and 1950’s

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The ranch provided scenery as well as man-made structures and sets, and served as the background scenery for movies and television programs such as Fort Apache, Buffalo Bill in Tomahawk Territory, The Robe, The Lone Ranger, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin, Sky King, Circus Boy, and Star Trek.

PHOTOS: Pool used in movies like the African Queen and Robin Hood.

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In 1949, Corrigan opened the property to the public as a western-themed amusement park. The park featured stuntmen shows, movie lots, a working western town, Indian crafts, stagecoach rides, pony rides, and boating on a lake. It attracted as many as 20,000 people on weekends.

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In 1988, 190 acres of land comprising the principal working areas of the original Corriganville Ranch were purchased by the City of Simi Valley for use as a Regional Park. The eastern part of the park is part of the Santa Susana Pass wildlife corridor connecting the Simi Hills with the Santa Susana Mountains.

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PHOTOS:  20 ft. deep cave used in many western movies in the 40’s and 50’s.

ADDRESS: 7001 Smith Rd, Simi Valley, CA 93063

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San Vicente Mountain Park, Nike Missile Control Site LA-96, Santa Monica Mountains, California

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The Mandeville Trail can be used to explore the upper stretches of Mandeville Canyon and San Vicente Mountain Park, creating a 5-mile loop with 770 feet of elevation gain.

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San Vicente Mountain Park provides a glimpse into United States military history. Numerous self-guided interpretive displays explain how from 1956-1968, San Vicente Mountain was one of sixteen Los Angeles area Nike-Ajax supersonic anti-aircraft missile launch sites. During the Cold War, Nike sites were located in defensive rings surrounding key urban and industrial areas throughout the United States.

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This site contained ground-based radar and computer systems designed to detect and track hostile aircraft, and to guide the anti-aircraft missiles that would be launched from nearby Sepulveda Basin to their targets.

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The original radar tower now provides visitors with spectacular views of the Santa Monica Mountains, the Encino Reservoir and San Fernando Valley, and the Los Angeles Basin. It is one of the region’s premiere locations to watch a Western sunset. After a decade, Nike missiles were made obsolete by long-range technology, but the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy has done an excellent job preserving this old site, adding informative panels to keep this history alive.
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ADDRESS: 13137 Garden Land Road, Los Angeles, CA 90049
Trailhead coordinates: 34.121207, -118.50665

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Coral Canyon aka Jim Morrison Cave, Malibu, California

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Pretty Rad! We got there real early nobody there! Graffiti everywhere in the Cave but interesting experience seeing urban culture  intrude into a natural wonder!

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PHOTO: This is the rock formation where the “Jim Morrison Cave” is located

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There are some other very cool rock structures to climb and other secret caves to explore in this area!

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ADDRESS:  Coral Canyon Road exit, Highway 1 by 76 gas station!
GPS: N 34.08217 W 118.75847

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Gaviota Wind Caves, SantaBarbara California

11240486_10206072661472236_7891523774359102553_nThe Gaviota Wind Caves are a spectacular natural sandstone formation located a mile from the Pacific Ocean in the Santa Ynez Mountains west of Santa Barbara.

20160305_091947-1_resizedThe hike to the wind-swept caves is 2.5 miles round trip with 600 feet of elevation gain.

11695004_10206089738099141_3165582565879427360_nOne good thing about the Gaviota Wild Caves is that they are easy to get to from the 101.In fact, the wind caves can be seen from the freeway.

2016-03-06 11.51.11_resizedThe bad thing is that the freeway can be seen from the wind caves, and the sound of passing traffic follows hikers for the entire trail.

20160305_094414-1_resizedThe other unfortunate thing is that the first half of the trail is paved, which is not the preferred surface for hiking.

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This part of the hike is much more pleasant and the Gaviota Wind Caves are a great place to explore!

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 The view of the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands are awesome!

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ADDRESS:  Hollister Ranch Road, Gaviota State Park, Goleta, CA 93117
GPS: 34.471706, -120.229656

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