Vasquez Rocks

San Gabriel Mountains

Highlights: A car-camping area two-hours drive from Bakersfield that offers rocks to scramble and climb on, a shelter cave to explore, Indian pictographs, and an opportunity to work on the geology merit badge.

Address/Reservations: 10700 West Escondido Canyon Road
Agua Dulce, Calif. 91350
(661) 268-0840 ($50/night fee for group sites)

Directions: Drive south from Bakersfield on I-5, over Tejon Pass, and exit north onto the Antelope Freeway (Highway 14) after passing through Santa Clarita. Proceed northeast on 14 for about 13 miles and exit at Aqua Dulce Canyon Road. Continue north on Aqua Dulce for about 2 miles to where the road makes a sharp bend to the right (east). At a stop sign a quarter mile ahead, continue straight through onto West Escondido Canyon Road. The entrance to Vasquez Rocks County Park appears on the right (south) after another quarter mile.

Hiking: A wonderful loop trail winds through the park, passing spectacular rock formations and a shelter cave. The park trail guide labels this as a 5-mile hike, but it seems much shorter.

Maps:.

Cautions:

  • A dry, desert-like area that is too hot to seriously consider for summer camping, but delightful off season.
  • Tables and pit toilets are present, but you must bring your own water to the campsite.

More Attractions:

  • The park staff enjoys working with Boy Scouts and has presentations that compliment work on the Geology merit badge.
  • Placerita Canyon State Park is located a short distance southwest of Vasquez Rocks on Highway 14 and is well worth a side trip. Placerita Canyon is the actual site of the first gold discovery in California in 1842, some 6 years before the 1848 discovery of gold at Sutters Mill in Coloma that touched of the great California Gold Rush.

 



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