When you enter the immense Los Angeles you immediately breathe the smell of cinema film, and you are already hoping to meet some Hollywood stars, in the streets of Burbank or on the Walk of Fame. "The movie sets where the American films that made history were shot have never been so close", you may find yourself thinking as the train of the Studios Hollywood takes you on a tour of the most famous star and strip cinema scenes.
But perhaps not many of you know that, not far from Los Angeles, there is another wonderful set that has been the setting for a large number of films, with the difference that it is a completely "natural" set: it is called Vasquez Rocks, and in this article we want to tell you what it is.
- How to reach us
- Vasquez Rocks Park: a desert of rocks ready to… move!
- Vasquez Rocks' Famous Rock: a bit of history
- Pacific Crest Trail
- Useful recommendations
- Staying near Vasquez Rocks
How to reach us
La Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park is located north of Los Angeles, within the Sierra Pelona Mountains, near the city of Sweet water, no more than 40 minutes from Hollywood. Bikers enjoy riding the nearby Antelope Valley Freeway.
Coming from Los Angeles, you will have to drive to the town of Agua Dulce. Just reach I-5 N and follow it to the Palmdale / Lancaster fork (State Wheels 14N / Antelope Valley exit). From there, for another 14 miles, you will follow the CA-14 N. Once in Agua Dulce, you will find the entrance to the valley in Escondido Canyon Road.
There is no admission ticket to Vasquez Rocks Park, but car traffic is closed after 19pm and it is not possible to camp inside the park.
Vasquez Rocks Park: a desert of rocks ready to… move!
Located in the desert between Antelope Valley and Santa Clarita Valley, the Vasquez Rocks Park is an area scattered with mysterious rock formations: a fascinating landscape, in some ways dreamlike, with its deep cracks, the picturesque mazes of pointed stone surrounded by the desert, the blocks of marble that almost seem to come to life, all ready to movement, in their famous 45 ° arrangement.
Vasquez Rocks' Famous Rock: a bit of history
When fans of Star Trek they will see Vasquez's “Famous Rock”, they cannot fail to recognize the scenario of the fight between Captain Kirk and the alien Gorn. This particular rock complex has become the most famous of the park for this reason, so much so that it has been renamed Kirk’s Rock. But not only was Star Trek filmed in these mysterious places.
The list of films and TV series is very long: starting from Werewolf of London (1935), we arrive at famous films such as The Flinstones, Planet of Apes, Austin Powers, Planet of Dinosaurs, Cars, up to the cult TV series Big Bang Theory (in the episode entitled The Bakersfield Expedition). Even fans of Futurama e Shrek they will be able to say that they have already seen these particular rocks.
But what is the origin of the name of this valley so loved by Hollywood directors? Long before the cinema, Vasquez Rocks had already been the scene of escapes and hiding: in 1874, the famous California bandit Tiburcio Vasquez he used the particular conformation of these rocks to hide from the law. There is a path that will allow you to follow its tracks, and we will talk about it shortly.
Pacific Crest Trail
The most beaten path, which will take you to the heart of Vasquez Rocks, is called Pacific Crest Trail.
- Length: 5.65 miles
- Difference: 650 feet
- Duration: 2-3 hours
- Difficulty: Average
This trail starts near the Visitor Center, where maps and a very useful relief map of the whole area are available, with the stages of the trail. It is a relatively agile path, which will guide you along a path between ridges, hills and rugged desert areas, tunnels and small canyons, showing you wonderful and alienating views, made of suggestive rocky monuments decorated with ancient pictograms, immersed in the most tense silence.
The trails of Vasquez Rocks are not difficult, but don't forget to get suitable clothing and footwear for walking on the rock. A fountain with water is available near the Visitor Center: refuel, as you are about to enter a desert area.
Staying near Vasquez Rocks
Vasquez Rocks Park can be visited easily in one day and the visit can be interpreted as a slightly out of the box stage during your stay in Los Angeles. Here is an article that will help you choose the best area to stay in Los Angeles.
Advice on where to sleep in Los Angeles