Tesmescal Canyon Trail - Malibu, May 2010

My brother was in town for a concert and he brought a friend who enjoys hiking so we headed out to Tesmescal Canyon waterfall in Malibu. I welcomed the opportunity to explore some local hiking trails since I only have so many hike-friendly friends in the LA area and my desire for the outdoors is pretty much insatiable :).

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We parked, paid the fee ($7) and started walking towards the mountains. We soon found this sign

and decided to do the 2.6 mile Temescal Ridge/Canyon Loop. it was a bit crowded at the bottom although it was a weekday but once we got higher up there were fewer people. It was hazy so no clear views of Malibu and the ocean but still beautiful and green with splashes of color on the hills.

Some of the hike was pretty much in the full sun so it was a bit warm and bright (although foggy and cool down below), but there were some covered areas.

We saw quite a bit of wildlife too:

California ground squirrel (Spermophilus beecheyi)

Western scrub jay (Aphelocoma californica). I had seen these at Sequoia and recognized them without having to look it up. Pretty cool.

Western fence lizards (Sceloporus occidentalis)

And some wildflowers:

Chaparral yucca blooms (Hesperoyucca whipplei)

Orange bush monkeyflower (Diplacus aurantiacus)

At one point there were a few rattlesnakes right along the side of the trail. We didn't hear them rattling, but saw one sunning its rattle on a rock facing away from the trail:

Rattlesnake (Genus Crotalus)

and the other facing us "smelling" my brother as he walked by:

We made sure to be cautious and continued walking.

At the top of the loop there was a small waterfall. A bit late in the season I guess to get the full effect but it was still nice.

All in all, the hike was close to home, not terribly strenuous and got us out into the open air to experience nature. I'd do it again for sure.