After being away from the desert for several months I almost couldn't bear it anymore. I planned a trip to Mojave but the idiots in Washington DC were threatening another government shutdown which would essentially shut down the Mojave Preserve.
After kvetching about this online my friend and Desert Expert Extraordinaire, Lori Carey said, "just get up to Red Rock Canyon". So, I did. The above photo shows the spot that I was able to secure for several days of desert bliss. Red Rock Canyon is only two hours north of Los Angeles but it certainly seems as if you're in another state, or another planet. It is about 80 miles from Bakersfield and 25 miles from the town of Mojave. The State Park link is here.
There is not a lot of civilization nearby this piece of unusual rock formation. As a result, it's uncrowded and provides solitude despite its proximity to Los Angeles. Many old Westerns have used this as a filming locale and it does have it's own unique charm. One day I jumped in the truck and decided to check out the local towns. The highway and the railroad tracks were lonesome on a late autumn afternoon. Just the way I like them. Have you ever felt "in your element" too? I
The weather was terrific. Highs during the day reached the upper 60s. It did get chilly at night but I was nestled in my little home away from home.
There are multiple hiking trails in the area. A highlight of the trip is the short Hagen Canyon Loop Trail. It's only a little over a mile but every bend leads off to another scenic spot which will tempt you into exploring. I spent an entire afternoon out there walking, wandering, resting, and making photographs. The geology is quite spectacular and there are some species of wildflowers that are only found here. It feels unique because it is...certainly no other place like it in California. At times, I found myself marveling at how much it looked like southern Utah.
My annual Death Valley Trip has been altered due to the Mesquite Spring Campground being closed from storm damage and I'm meeting my dear Bay Area family right back here in February. It certainly has on "Old West" feel. On the next trip I'll spend more time in the nearby El Paso Mountains and the Trona Pinnacles are just an hour away.
Thanks for joining me on this little Western getaway. We'll be back soon.
1/4/2018 09:29:16 am
Great post, and as always, thanks for sharing your fabulous photographs! Happy 2018! :)
1/4/2018 12:09:16 pm
Thanks for a great report and photos! And, to think I lived for awhile in Tehachapi and missed this. But you've convinced me to add this to my (already too full) list of places to get to. Winter time in the desert is the best, isn't it? Happy 2018!
1/4/2018 04:15:38 pm
Great trip report and photos! I especially like the black and white images.
1/11/2018 02:30:03 pm
Thanks Don. My friends PJ Finn and Joe Smith are my inspirations. Great photographers who excel at B&W. Happy New Year!
1/6/2018 01:51:25 pm
Looks awesome, hard to believe it's that close. I can't wait for a family camping trip out there!
1/11/2018 02:30:24 pm
Let's go Kev!
1/11/2018 02:31:23 pm
Ah Lauren...you're the best! Still hoping to catch you and Mr. A. on the road one of these days!
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This will mostly be a journal of my travels. I may include other items that interest me. Feel free to join in.