Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while will remember that Carole Leita had hip replacement surgery last November. Yesterday she demonstrated her total recovery by going with me on a 14-mile hike along the West Fork of the San Gabriel River, north of Azusa.
Although we did spend some time discussing Infopeople business (we can’t stay away from it!), the hiking time was primarily recreational. We can strongly recommend the route we followed to anyone who wants to get away from urban Los Angeles and enjoy a day with nature. The trail is accessed from the Azusa Avenue (route 39) exit on the 210 freeway. Simply take route 39 for 11.5 miles north of Azusa, and park in the marked parking lot. Walk back across the bridge and through the gate onto the paved fire road. The road follows the river up to Cogswall Dam and Reservoir, which is 8 miles one way. Even though John W. Robinson’s Trails of the Angeles rates the hike as “strenuous,” we found it to be more like what the ranger in Arcadia told us it would be – “really a walk.”
We were surprised to find that wild flowers were not only still blooming, but appeared to be at their peak – the canyon was filled with many different varieties, including Mariposa lilies, wild columbine, monkey flowers, lupine, poppies, and forget-me-nots. Because of the flowers, the canyon was also filled with many different varieties of beautiful butterflies. My faithful German Shepherd, Mac, went with us and was able to make almost all of the hike off leash because there were almost no other people on the trail. He particularly enjoyed the wheelchair-accessible fishing platforms, which provided him with easy access to really good doggie swimming holes. We’re going to try to gather more of “the Peeps” for an autumn trek in the same place.