DECEMBER 1, 2009 – Elsmere Canyon (Santa Clarita)

For an instant it looked like the wrong place when I parked at the trailhead sign below. But my GPSr assured me that the northernmost Elsmere Canyon cache Achille’s Last Stand (GC1NZG6) was only about 0.2 miles away. The direct approach ended up with me looking down uselessly from a ridgeline. Turning back and then looping around north to west got me into Elsmere Canyon.

The cold, wind blasted trail got spooky right away. My Oregon 400t didn’t cooperate either. I’m learning that it just doesn’t work well in canyons. I DNF’d the Last Stand cache too because I looked in the wrong ‘obvious’ place.

With 40’ accuracy and a big field of rocks the next cache coincidentally named Elsmere Canyon (GC16T4D) was almost another DNF. I was saved by hider dshadovi’s very specific hint.
The trail got very narrow and looked like it might run out

just before it opened up again and turned west and steeply uphill through a series of short switchbacks. I reached my goal, Elsmere Veyizmir (GC16QZE). The last 10’ were the hardest. An accumulation of thick broken branches were in the way.
Here’s a view of the canyon wall from GZ.
I retraced my steps back into the canyon and then up the other side where I found another traditional cache and then an easy earthcache One Stop Geology Pop Quiz! (GC18NGQ). An oil seep was visible in the canyon below. It was the last point of interest before completing the counterclockwise loop back to parking.
My trip was limited to looking for caches and taking a few pictures. A Google search will produce information about the very significant geology and history of the area.

MISC: Over the last few years I’ve watched with amusement as GPS went from being a toy for tech savy nerds (that’s us!) to a must-have mainstream tool. The all pervasiveness of GPS was brought home to me today when I saw a shelf full of new, wrapped 2008 Thomas Guides at the 99 Cent Only store in Canoga Park.

It’s been awhile but I feel a rant coming on…


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