You know it’s time to get the hell out of dodge when both your Blackberry and Droid won’t stop vibrating, and the 405 resembles something out of the armageddon. It’s Friday (cue Rebecca Black song that won’t escape your brain) and you’ve have consumed far more cocktails this week thanks to schmoozing for that promotion. Saturdays forecast says 75 and sunny and you need to see nature, not boob jobs.
Bottomline: You want an adventure. You want to rock a sweatband and climb on rocks and glide down a waterslide. Hard find? Think again, Tarzan.
I give thee Monkey Canyon. You won’t find this on any map, and it’s known by word of mouth. I personally have been there 3 times now, and each time it’s a helluva adventure. Think: rock climbing + swimming + a natural rock water slide (yeah I’m serious) + cliff jumping, all within an hour of tinsel town.
Side note: This is not for the weak of heart, but if I could conquer this, there is no doubt you can too. Here is the low down.
1. Directions are a MUST. Be up for a full day, cowboy. Pack snacks/water/sunscreen and wear a swimsuit. (See directions at bottom of this post)
2. Wear Tevas/Aqua socks. Invest the 4 bucks at Rite Aid, and just do it. I donned Converse last time and hated myself for it. Rocks in your socks ain’t fun.
3. Limit what you bring as sometimes you will have to swim across the crevasses and can’t carry it with you. If you can hold it above your head and swim then you’re golden.
Follow the directions below, and you will park along the road. You will first hike down using ropes provided into swimming holes. There is some graffiti, but get past it and it will be worth it.
Directs coming from Hollywood:
-Take the 101 S to CA-2/Glendale Blvd.
-Follow CA-2 and exit 20 for CA-2/Angeles Crest Hwy
-After 6 miles you should reach the main turn out for Monkey Canyon. Keep an eye on your odometer.
- Park here if you have a parking pass, otherwise keep going for 1.8 miles.
-Stop at the cafe and ask for a day parking pass for 5 bucks.
-Head south on the Angeles Forest Highway for 1.8 miles and park at the turn out.
On the north side of the street you’ll see a couple openings in bushes. Take one. Do it. Use the ropes to help you down the hillside, along the big log and down the slippery wet rocks. Once you hit the creek bed turn left and head into the creek.
Exit the creek bed as soon as you can and go over the boulders like a MAN! Eventually you’ll use the boulders to cross over the creek to the ride side of it. (this sounds complicated, trust me its not)
It will open up to a canyon, where you may here the sounds of a rainstick (yes someone actually brought one once as I observed) and people jumping off the side of the canyon into the water.
HITLIST TIP: Once you make it to the cliff diving area in the canyon, climb up the ladder. Walk up along the rocks (as if headed back toward where you came) and follow it around until you see the waterfall. It will be on the right. This is a natural rock waterslide and is SAFE (I promise) and the-best-time-of-your-life. Sit on your booty and push yourself down, you will glide down the waterfall and into the water.
Swim past that section and that is when it really gets pretty. Most people don’t know you can go past there, but you can and I suggest checking it out if the water looks safe.
If you go, hit me up with photos, and let us know how you did and thoughts for future adventure hunters.
Blaze on my monkeys…..