Updated: Nov 9, 2020
Now that trails are open, people are flocking to get out. I've found a trail you can experience nearly all to yourself.
Here are 5 Things You Need To Know About This Secret Hike Trail
Plus BONUS recommendations
Check out the video footage of this trip, here.
So Cal Quarantined Approved Adventures!
Take time to get outside, get fresh air and experience nature.
With trails and beaches now open in Southern California, you can probably imagine the crowds that are coming out.
So, if you're worried about finding a trail that's not packed, I have just the trail for you! Visit Van Tassel Trails!
Top 5 Things I Learned about Van Tassel Trails
1. Social Distance Approved!
If you're concerned popular trails will be packed with people finally able to hike, Van Tassel Trail is the perfect hike for you. This trail was practically empty!
Along the hike, we only passed one or two people. One of those being a horse owner from the neighboring equestrian center (Encanto Equestrian Center - still closed to the public).
So, minus these 2 people, and few horse we passed, we pretty much had this entire trail all to ourself.
Only a short distance outside LA, it's an easy drive no matter what area you are coming from (in the LA area).
Traffic is minimal along these freeways, right now, so drive time can be around 35 minutes.
Once you exit the freeway, there are only a couple small turns you'll have to look out for; some roads are a bit hidden (especially turning onto Encanto Parkway/Fish Canyon Road and Van Tassel Mtwy) but other than that, the drive is very easy!
Parking was simple, there is a small parking lot just passed the trail entrance on the left. You can park along the street.
3. It's a BEAUTIFUL Scene
The view from this trail is gorgeous, (check out the full video here).
With the weather being so nice lately, the mountains are very green. So the views of the mountains and valley are extra colorful.
Also as most of my SoCal trailblazers know, many hikes and trails in southern California take you up a mountainside and as you go up, these hikes tend to include lookout points. Van Tassel Trails is no different, not only does this trail include scenic views of the mountains around, you can also stop to overlook the city below. The view includes ponds in the distance, and with the air quality better now, you can even see out to the Santa Ana Mountains.
If that wasn't enough, this trail is lined with mini sunflower patches. So for my instagramers looking to catch a photo for the gram, these sunflowers make a viral worthy backdrop.
Here's some photos we got.
~ apologizes for my insta photography skills, I am sure any insta influencer can do a much better job turning these sunflowers into #instamodelgoals
4. You May See Wildlife
If you like animals, like me, this trail has got you covered!
With all the sunflowers and flowers lining the trail, there seemed to be a lot more birds than I typically see hiking. One of my favorites you might see is the Anna's Hummingbird.
You'll also see a lot of mini desert lizards. These lizards are all over the trail but since they're scared of us, they're fast so it's hard to catch a photo of these guys/gals.
Since this path is typically used as a horse trail when the neighboring equestrian center is open (closed now but open to hikers), you'll even see the horses along the right side of the path as you walk towards the trail.
And if you're lucky, like us, you might even get a chance to get up close and personal with one of these horses. We were lucky enough to meet Junior on our walk back. We learned Junior is starting chemo next week, so say a little prayer for this sweet boy!
But beware, not all the wildlife you see might be those you'd like to run into. There were a fair share of bees due to the flowers all around and we also saw a small desert snake!
5. It's a Pretty Intense Climb
For my people not some much concerned with the view and looking for a new workout, this hike is a good one!
The climb up is pretty steep, with a constant incline and not many (if at all) flat paths.
So if you're looking to get the heart rate up, or want to get in a booty workout, this hike is a good fit.
To prepare for your hike, check out my bonus recommendations below.
BONUS MAKE SURE YOU READ.
Don't forget these things
ONLY for Experienced Hikers - This hike is difficult, so don't go to this trail if you aren't experienced or get faint easily
Pack Water - This trail can get hot, since you are more inland than while in LA, temps are warmer, plus you'll be out in the sun.
Wear Sunscreen - This trail does not include much shade, therefore make sure your skin is protected.
Wear Shoes with Grip - What goes up must come down. Since the climb up is intense the walk down is as well. Because the path that is made of rocks and sand, the steep decline can make it easy to slip. We had a few near slide accidents, so be careful!
Downhill Technique - we found walking down slowly is a must. Also, walking with your weight in the balls of your feet as well as walking down sideways we found was helpful to minimize slipping.
Watch out for Bees - Because there are lots of flowers on this trail, we saw a good amount of bees. None of which bothered us but just be aware.
Watch out for snakes - Though we only saw one (thankfully) there are definitely snakes on this trail. They are likely more afraid of you, so they probably won't bother you, just don't climbing around any of their holes.
For more information on the details for this trail, visit the LA county trail site here.
So head out SoCal, be safe, have fun and enjoy all of California's beauty!!
Check out the full video, here
Please ask questions, share your comments, post videos, photos of this trail or any trails you recommend.