Will Rogers State Historic Park
Knocked off a good chunk of the Backbone Trail today. Got off to an earlier than usual start, around 5:30 am or so. The weather was warm but not too warm, and the trail was busy but I also enjoyed long stretches of solitude, quiet and getting back to nature. I traveled from Will Rogers State Historic Park to Hub Junction near Trippet Ranch. Tough but fun hike.
The gates don’t open until 8 a.m. so parking inside was not an option. All the no parking signs are confusing but I found a great spot just outside the gates. I was a little surprised to find people already on the trail. I wandered for a couple minutes in the darkness until a helpful jogger pointed me to the trailhead. The main loop trail in Will Rogers Park is wide like a fire road. At the top of the park, less than a mile in, is a overlook called Inspiration Point. It was too dark cloudy to get any good shots in the morning. I came back later. Photo 4 – I expected, as with the other dirt hiking “roads” in the area, that the section of Backbone Trail which breaks off of the main loop would continue on as a wide road. I was pleasantly surprised to find a solid, single track that headed off into the hills. The trail is not signed but it is right near this Kiosk and these other signs.
Looking across the way to the right I noticed a trail heading straight down the side of the mountain. I soon realized this “trail” is the super long set of concrete stairs I took down to Murphy’s Ranch on my insane Rustic Canyon hike a year and a half ago. The buildings at Murphy’s Ranch were scheduled for demolition last summer. I wonder if that happened. I’ll go back soon and find out.
This boulder looks like a person sitting on the edge, quietly observing the world below.
Immediately after the bridge is a short, steep, crumbly, fenced-in section.
Photo 4 – Nice cave across the canyon
I hike up to a massive plant, probably about 15 feet tall – I think it’s an agave plant.
Almost at the junction with Temescal Ridge Road – there is a nice view of the back of Cathedral Rock. The trail then runs into Temescal Ridge Road and right past the other side of Cathedral Rock.
Very close by is Eagle Rock.
Close-up of Eagle Rock – notice the group of hikers sitting on the top wearing white t-shirts.
Photo 1 – On my way back down again, I passed Temescal Peak. The short, scraggly looking trail to get to the peak begins off of the Backbone Trail section I hiked up on. Photos 2, 3 and 4 – A lot of the flowers I came across were this dried out shade of gold.
As I came back down toward Will Rogers Park the overcast conditions improved. Here you can see the trail running along the hillside, West LA’s skyscrapers and, if you look very closely, Downtown LA’s skyscrapers as well. Photo 2 shows .
From Inspiration Point, Will Rogers Park upper grassy area and Polo Grounds, and skyscrapers in West LA.
Santa Monica Bay from Inspiration Point
Photo 1 – The upper grassy area – Will Rogers house is to the right in this photo. Photo 2 – In front of Will Rogers house.
Before arriving at the house you will pass a small carpenter shop in which Will Rogers kept his tools. The building wasn’t open but you can look through the window at the vintage tools. I’m pretty sure you can tour inside the house. I just walked around the perimeter. Finally I passed the Polo Grounds, where the rich play matches on weekends.