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“If You Like Nature, Visit Vasquez!”

Vasquez Rocks Natural Area
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
Reviewed May 7, 2014

I visitied Vasquez yesterday since I had a little time to myself. I am a photographer so I took advantage of the lighting that was provided by the overcast day. If you're a nature buff and want to get some walking or hiking in, this is the place for it.

Thank SKUTRD1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 19, 2014

Some say "the most commercially photographed rocks on earth". They are photogenic, and fun to climb. There are websites that show you specific locations from your favorite films. There are restrooms and picnic tables. There are trails, including a geology trail. There is no charge!

Thank Shadow010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 14, 2014

I had noticed those interesting rocks off to the northwest of route 14 while on a business trip to Palmdale a few years ago and wondered if there might be some hiking options there. Nothing came of it that trip due to lack of time, but a co-worker and I had some spare time this week on our drive back to LA. A brief review of the parks website and other information from the web indicated that this could be an interesting diversion. I mean, who wouldn’t want to visit the “planet” where Caption James Tiberius Kirk builds cannon from the natural resources to defeat the physically stronger Gorn. But I digress. Back to the park.

As mentioned, the primary formations of Vasquez Rocks are visible from route14, which makes for an inviting scene when driving past. The entrance to the park is just a short drive from the highway and fairly well marked. The park itself is run by the County of Los Angeles and has several amenities in addition to the natural wonders. Due to our limited time, we bypassed the nature center and drove the well maintained dirt road to the trailhead. It seems that there is water available at the nature center, but there is none at the parking lot for the trails. There are porta-johns and a few picnic tables, along with a signboard with a general trail map of the area. The hiking trails are generally exposed, so plan accordingly (hat, sunscreen and water are all essentials). We had a pleasant day for our hike; sunny skies and temperature around 70 F. But this could be a brutal hike in the summer due to the lack of cover.

We parked in the wide spot between two large formations along with about a half dozen other cars. There were a few folks milling about when we arrived, either packing up from their hikes or preparing to head out. There were a few folks working their way up the most prominent rock feature; perhaps for the view. But that did not seem like the best use of our time so we just started out along a trail that worked to the southeast side of the main formation. Pretty views, but the colors were somewhat muted (granted, we were hiking in the afternoon, so the light was not at peak, but still this was not nearly as brilliant as the colors in the sandstone of southern Utah).

There are trails all over the desert around and over the rocks. We started on what appeared to be a nature trail, as there were signs identifying the flora of the area, and we eventually connected to the “hiking/horse trail” as we headed to higher ground seeking a vista point. It seems that folks just walk where ever they please in the park as there were many branches from the trail going in all directions. But there is very little chance of getting lost as the peak above the parking area is always in view…and route 14 is also usually visible from the trail. So we just walked where ever the spirit moved us.

Not a lot of wildlife (probably the wrong time of day). I would have thought we might have seen some lizards or snakes out sunning themselves on the rock, but we did not notice any. There were a few birds in the area, mostly ravens or crows but I did spot a couple California Towhees near the parking area.

The trail we were on for the most part did provide some nice views of the area. It was also a favorite for the equestrians, as we saw several piles of manure along the way and also passed a couple of horsewomen riding up from the staging area as we were nearing the end of our loop. Plenty of room along the trails, so no issues sharing.

We were only on the trail for about an hour, maybe a little less, but that was enough to get a good overview of the geology of the area and enjoy the views from the trail. The loop we hiked ended back at the parking area adjacent to “Gorn Rock.” Vasquez Rocks is certainly not a “must do” but it was certainly worth making this little detour (and a lot better and sitting in LA traffic!). Next time I’m in the area, I hope to stop in again and explore the nature center and doing a little more hiking in the park.

Thank OhioHick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 26, 2014

Love this place. Even ignoring the frequent use in TV and movies (notably Star Trek) this is a brilliant place to visit and explore.

1  Thank NickJCook
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 8, 2014

this was probably the scariest climb i've ever been on. i went all the way to the tip of the rock and i had to take a few breaks because i had literally reached my "scared limit." i needed a rest to let my fear lower a bit so that i could continue. it never decreased but i kept going anyway. it was hella windy that day which is probably why i was sooo scared to climb/crawl to the top. eventually i made it to the top and it felt amazing but the wind had me hugging the rock. there was a point where i thought the wind might've made the rock shake but i'm sure it was all in my imagination haha. anyways, this place is definitely worth the visit. there are less scary rocks to climb and explore.

Thank F1shst1kz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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