Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Travel Tales: Dirt Mulholland

When most people think of Mulholland Drive, they picture spectacular views of Los Angeles and amazing mansions on a winding road. That is one part of this famous drive. After it crosses the 405 and continues west, Mulholland Drive has an unpaved section that travels through the Santa Monica Mountains until it reaches Topanga Canyon. This section is known as Dirt Mulholland. The San Fernando Valley is on one side and the Santa Monica Mountains are on the other side. During the many times I had the opportunity to hike on it, I thought I have never encountered a more aptly named place.

(Photo credit: memyselfandtheinterstate.com)
During my last trip to Los Angeles, the area was suffering through a devastating drought. When I would be hiking along this stretch, the wind would blow up clouds of dust and I would be covered head to toe. That did not stop me from hiking in a great area where I would spend hours every week.

Some trails have parking lots, especially at Reseda Boulevard and at Serrania Avenue Park, and trails lead from these places to Dirt Mulholland. Other trailheads have street parking in residential areas. Greenbriar, Natoma, Winnetka, Corbin Avenue at the Corbin Canyon Park and Van Alden Avenue are examples of streets with limited parking availability. Located a short way from Van Alden Avenue are the Van Alden caves which provide a different hiking experience. All of these trails are much smaller than Dirt Mulholland itself. I stayed in a guesthouse in the general area, so I would walk on the residential streets until I reached the trailhead. I felt safer that way since I was by myself.

(Photo credit: memyselfandtheinterstate.com)
During the times I was going to hike by myself, I made sure to prepare by going over the sections of the trail I wished to hike by consulting Google Maps. I wanted to make sure I knew the area where I was going to travel. If I saw another way I wanted to hike, I would do so on my next visit after I had looked over that way on the map. I read many of the reviews online which were under the heading of Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Sites to visit include www.nps.gov/SAMO and the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy www.smmc.ca.gov. Also videos taken by hikers and cyclists are available on youtube.com

I did not plan on hiking during my trip, so all my accessories were back in Ohio. I had to buy hiking shoes, backpack, water bottle, etc. Hiking along this trail was extremely hot and I was warned that the drought and high temps could cause snakes and some animals to be active. Hiking in places like Corbin Canyon can be in extremely hot conditions, so I brought plenty of water. On my next trip I will be prepared to continue the enjoyable experience of hiking Dirt Mulholland.

(Photos taken in 2014)

Related articles

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.