Placerita Canyon hike: Gold!

Right around Independence Day it was only fitting that a small group of adventurers (tozainamboku and yours truly) celebrated by heading where the California Gold Rush started: Placerita Canyon.

June gloom was still upon us (there was even a minor drizzle when I left the Conejo Valley) but the marine layer seemed to just peek at Santa Clarita so we were in full sunshine already at the start. We forged ahead a steep incline, and I was blissfully unaware that the unrelenting hills would accumulate over 1100 meters of elevation gain at the end of the day.

Yes, we made it up to here from the very bottom and you can see the marine layer trying to sneak in on the left:

On arriving at Wilson Saddle we almost walked into the clouds, trying to ride across the saddle:

Along the way we saw plenty of manzanitas:

On closing the loop we rested at the campground and then headed up the Waterfall Trail. It was time to strike GOLD!!

When we finally arrived at the first waterfall the climb seemed a little treacherous so I tempted tozainamboku to leave the waterfalls for another visit, to no avail:

Passing the second waterfall proved to be slightly more difficult:

According to what I see in Panoramio there are at least 6 levels of waterfalls! Well… next time.

On the way back we saw a GPS-sized bug:

Once we arrived back at the parking lot, it was time to reflect on a dream come true:

And it was also time to pay homage to the Oak of the Golden Dream, the site of California’s original gold discovery in 1842:

On our way out there was a freak accident involving a Highway Patrol car we had seen parked in the shade a few minutes earlier. A telephone pole was down, wires hanging across the road, and I saw that the HP car had flipped over. The road was blocked so I had to drive out the other way, which was scenic but took much longer.

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