Los Angeles Hikes

Explore Vasquez Rocks Natural Area

Synopsis: Vasquez Rocks is probably one of the most impressive geological formations in the LA county. The main attraction are these huge slate-like monolithic structures that shoot out of the ground southward at a 45 degree angle, which can seen from anywhere in the park. Due to the uniqueness of this site, many historic films have been shot here such as Planet Of the Apes (2001), Star Trek (1960’s) and many more films and series. There are many trails and paths that just intertwine with one another and lead to different parts of the hike, hence the “explore” in the title. You’re gonna remember your first time here, explore the many possibilities of this free State Park.

Interesting History and Naming: Vasquez Rocks was named after Tiburcio Vasquez a 19th century Bandit that changed his name after murdering a constable in a saloon brawl. In 1871 Vasquez used these rock structures as a hideout from the law that was now chasing his notorious crime record. In 1875 he was captured one last time for his crimes, from which he was hung shortly after.

Parking and Address: Parking is actually under the main monolithic structures, use these exact coordinates or type in “Vasquez Rocks Natural Area” into your GPS navigation.

Coordinates: 34.485349,-118.313659


Parking anywhere on the dirt right in view of the huge rock formations.

The Hike:

You probably don’t want to hike this location on a very hot day. It was about 102 F when we went out and it definitely wasn’t pleasant. This place feels like an arid desert and easily gives the vibe of being transported far away from Los Angeles. The ambiance of desert landscape was definitely there.


As we explored around the different game trails and paths, the heat quickly exhausted any energy that was left. It was a hell of a day to go out and shoot. But that did not take away from the views at all. And being a native Angeleno, you’ve got to learn to soak up that heat and move on.


The Alien World. People climbing to the top.

At the start of the lot you can really choose to go in any direction. At every turn and hike there are always some amazing things to find. Although shade is limited, you can spot some perfect bench or cave that gives perfect protection from the sun.


Shaded cliffs.

Even after about 40 minutes of exploring the exhaustion because of the heat really set it. It was about 2 o’clock and it felt endless.


People Standing Way Above.


Main Rocks

After hanging out in the heat for what seemed a very long time, we sat down and shot some drone footage. You can watch a clip of that on the Instagram. After this footage, we packed up and called it a day. The hot leather in the car did not help. Good day though. Enjoy and bring more than enough water than you think you’ll need.


  1. Reply

    1875 rather than 1975.

      • dventura on 06/30/2016 at 13:30
      • Author


      Ahh yes, thank you.

  2. Reply

    Netter Bericht. Es ist schon verrueckt was heutzutage mit Drohnen alles moeglich wird

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