Best Supporting Background
Hike Bouquet Canyon
The acclaimed movie Wild cast a big Hollywood spotlight on the Pacific Crest Trail, a 2,660-mile route up the western states between the Mexican and Canadian borders. Hike a fantastic local slice (0.12%, to be precise) of the epic journey on a challenging 6.4-mile (round-trip) trek from Bouquet Canyon to Sierra Pelona Ridge. While it's a small fraction of the PCT, don't be fooled: there's 1,200 feet of elevation gain. After 0.5 mile of weaving up chaparral-covered slopes you're rewarded with an incredible view of Bouquet Reservoir, a tranquil lake nestled in a wide section of the canyon. The PCT goes up onto a ridge and heads even higher. Pass Bear Spring, where there's an old horse trough, and enter an oak grove. After a 3-mile climb, you'll reach the ridge crest and get cinematic views south across Santa Clarita toward the San Gabriel Mountains and east across the Antelope Valley. From here, the PCT drops down the other side of the ridge and continues another 462 miles to Mexico. Unless you're prepared to head for the border, it's probably best to turn back after bagging the view. Go wild!
BONUS: Pair a slice of pizza with an ice-cold brew on the patio at Big Oaks Lodge, located 7.5 miles down Bouquet Canyon Road from the PCT.
Start from a dirt pullout on the south side of Bouquet Canyon Rd. just west of the intersection with the Pacific Crest Trail, 20 miles from Santa Clarita (map). Find the PCT sign with the distance to Mexico and hike south up the PCT for 3.2 miles to the top of the ridge. Dog-friendly! Big Oaks Lodge is at 33101 Bouquet Canyon Rd.
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