Saturday, April 14, 2012

Photo Essay: Stough Canyon & Old Youth Campground

It's amazing how few people have ever heard of - much less been to - the Verdugo Mountains.

Hasn't anyone who lives here ever looked at a map?

When people ask me where I like to hike, after I scoff at the suggestion of Runyon, I rattle off some of my favorite trails in the San Gabriel mountains, Griffith Park, the Verdugos -

"Where's that?"

Doesn't anyone who lives here ever go to Burbank or Glendale?



One of the reasons I love the Verdugos so much is that they're full of relics and ruins.



So upon my first visit to Stough Canyon, with only a couple hours left in the day and threatening skies overhead, I hiked only a short distance into the canyon...





...past wildflowers...





...scenic overlooks...



...with a view of the nearby 5 Freeway [Ed: I guess this is actually the 210?]...



...and lots of spring greenery.



I took a diversion for my return path to my car along the Old Youth Campground Loop trail...



...a single-track hiking-only trail...





...through some pretty thick overgrowth...



...with hopes of finding something that someone might have left behind.



There is one foundation left from the Old Youth Campground, a Boy Scout camp built in the mid-20th century, and vandalized after its closure, burning down to few remains...



...like a chimney...




...plus another graffitied box looming from the hill above.




You can see why it would have been such a good location for a Boy Scout camp...



...because you're so close, yet so high, on a clear day you can see the whole city below.

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