Vasquez Rocks is located in the high desert near Agua Dulce Springs and feature spectacular rock formations and a seasonal stream. The park is a popular hiking, picnicking, and horseback riding and has been used in many hit movies, television shows, and commercials. This makes it a perfect day trip for any van lifer looking to get out of Los Angeles.
Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park is a 932-acre park located in the Sierra Pelona Mountains in northern Los Angeles County, California. It is known for its rock formations, the result of sedimentary layering and later seismic uplift. It is located near Agua Dulce, between Santa Clarita and Palmdale’s cities. The area is visible from the Antelope Valley Freeway (State Route 14).
In 1874 Tiburcio Vasquez, one of California’s most notorious bandits, used these rocks to elude law enforcement until his capture. His name has since been associated with this geologic feature.
There are two parking areas in the park. The main area is located at the end of the dirt road and situated next to Vasquez rock. This allows for easy access to the trails and hiking in the area. The parking lot has porta-potties.
Several hikes are possible in Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park. For something short, enjoy a half-mile exploration of Famous Rocks, the most recognizable rock formation in the park.
The Pacific Crest Trail crosses the park and can be connected with a Foot Trail to form a 3.4-mile loop with 325 feet of elevation change. The loop passes through impressive sandstone formations and presents the park’s great views.
The loop can be extended by continuing down more of the Pacific Crest Trail through an interesting canyon to reach a tunnel beneath Route 14, where the PCT exits the park.
Combine the loop and the extension for a 5.3-mile hike with 375 feet of elevation change. When you’re done, climb around the Famous Rocks at the heart of the park to bring the day’s trek to 5.9 miles round trip (or 4 miles without the extension to the tunnel).
Vasquez Rocks have been used in many films including Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, Amazon Women on the Moon, Dante’s Peak, Hot Shots! Part Deux, Rustlers’ Rhapsody, The Flintstones, Blazing Saddles, Free Enterprise, Paul, and Hail, Caesar!