Other Places

Pickens Canyon

Pickens Canyon 01

In a recent trip, I visited the southern California town of my youth, La Crescenta. Although it was a short trip, I had to take a quick morning hike up into Pickens Canyon, where I spent many teenage days and nights exploring some of LA’s hidden open spaces.

Pickens Canyon 02

This creek at one time was the principle water supply for the rural community below, which eventually became La Crescenta and Montrose. If you look carefully in the pictures you might see the old water pipes that were installed near the turn of the century. We used to use them as supports, climbing along them to get higher up into the canyon.

Pickens Canyon 03

A wonderful coast live oak here in all its fire adapted glory. There was a fire in this canyon in 2009 which has substantially altered the vegetation from when I was last there – over 15 years ago. And while I did note some tree mortality, most of the mature trees, particularly the ones hanging on the canyon walls have survived. I also saw the canyon live oak and the California scrub oak, as well as maple, alder, and willow species.

Another observation was of the apparent debris torrent that has scoured the stream channel in places and deposited sediments in low gradient areas. These mountain streams are very incised and have many narrow, steep side channels making their watershed areas larger than you would think – the result is a huge peak flow result, especially after fires have burned most of the understory vegetation in the upper portions of the watershed. Here is a video I found of the recent floods, taken about 1 mile down from where my pictures were taken:

Wow, and that was nothing compared to what happened in the infamous flood of 1934: http://www.cvhistory.org/thennow/pics/pickensfloodcontrolthen.jpg.

Pickens Canyon 04

A view out of the canyon. Bye-bye LA. Hopefully next time I will get to spend some time in up in the Angles Crest.

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Multnomah Falls

Not so great pictures from Multnomah Falls from earlier this year. Luckily its such a bad ass waterfall that you dont have to be a pro to get a good enough picture. The main falls is around 400 feet high, and you take an easy trail to the base of the falls up a forested talus slope. You can go to the top too, I think its about 4 miles? Its a good steep assent, easy trail, but a slog for sure.