May 30, 2012 – Franklin Canyon Park

A forest hike was requested. Unprepared for a major expedition to some remote high elevation site we chose Franklin Canyon Park, off of Coldwater Canyon Drive. At 8:30am, the free! parking lot was almost empty.

Almost immediately along the paved road we saw the lake (Upper Franklin Canyon Reservoir) made famous in the opening sequence of The Andy Griffith Show.

A small side lake (Turtle Pond) was full of koi and…turtles.

While blue jays and squirrels fought for food a few feet away, this guy lazily observed.

Siss grabbed a big snakeskin.

We rejoined the main road and found Tashlit (GC15YH2). EcuaDeb explained the significance of the name. The cache’s location is very appropriate. Here’s another view of the main lake from near GZ.

There were some creepy looking trees alongside the road. Some of them had beehives in them.

There’s a deserted house at a key intersection of roads and trails. We hiked left.

This view from uphill toward Beverly Hills shows what looks like some kind of evaporation pond. It was dry.

The southern end of our hike was up a long winding uphill trail that led to Franklin Canyon Overlook (GC16Q8N) by EMC of Northridge. All that remained were 2 lock & lock tabs and some swag. Fortunately Deb had a replacement container and camo tape.
None of our maps or satellite photos showed the big locked gate that blocked our path to the last cache on our list. So we took the “stupid trail” down a steep hillside.

A flat section let Deb & siss pull far ahead as I hobbled downhill with a sore knee.

We arrived back on the main trail where we’d previously passed and walked back to the abandoned house. Then we went uphill again on a different side trail. Eventually we arrived at At Creek’s Bend (GC18RB4). I really wanted to find this cache because I’d met the hiders, Platypus & Shrike, on the trail on the day they hid it in January 2008. 15 minutes of looking produced no cache. There’s been a lot of tree trimming so it’s possible that the cache was cut down and removed. Our hike had been more or less a counterclockwise loop so it was a short walk back to the now full (possibly due to a Los Angeles Times article about the park that coincidentally appeared in the morning edition) parking lot.

Despite 20 years of hiking in the local mountains, I don’t know much about plants. Maybe it’s time to take a closer look. Here are some interesting ones we saw. Purple in open sunny areas.

There were lots of ferns in the heavy shade of the canyon bottom.

These 3 foot high thistles are easily avoided if there aren’t too many of them. The spines are bigger but less painful than those of the smaller and more numerous thistle species.

Onward to a summer of caching!!


8 Responses to May 30, 2012 – Franklin Canyon Park

  1. One of my favorite hikes, ever! Thanks for finding this spot, Ken!

  2. Deb says:

    I’ve always wanted to visit there. Thanks for suggesting it. Can’t wait to go back with the fam.

  3. coakford says:

    I’ve always enjoyed Franklin Canyon. When we lived in WLA, we would stop by often. In the current Backpacker magazine, there is a first-person account of a woman’s encounter with a rattlesnake that got her bit twice and ended with a long stay in the ICU. She almost died on the way to the hospital.

  4. RoadKill (deb) says:

    Yikes to the above story, just what this wuss doesn’t need to hear.

    The purple flowers are lupine – there are a lot of areas around with yellow ones too – looks like you guys had a great hike / day!


  5. benh57 says:

    Yes, i like this park, just beware of the ‘stop sign’ cameras! I presume they are still there.

    I see you didn’t go for AWEMM’s crazy bushwacking multi that hasnt been found since June 2010 😉

  6. dshadovi says:

    It’s supposed to be “tashlich”, with a guttural, clear-your-throat “ch”.

  7. Loved the pictures. Going on my recommendation list

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