vasquez-rocks Located 40 miles north of Los Angeles in the little town of Agua Dulce is the Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park. Named after the notorious bandito from the 1870's, Tiburcio Vasquez. They are one of the most recognized rock formations in the world because they have been in countless movies and TV. Even Captain Kirk paid a visit in a Star Trek episode. Today it is a great place for a picnic, observing nature or hiking. If you go there however make sure you take plenty of liquids as there is only a drinking fountain available in the visitors center during open hours. To get there, if you are coming from Los Angeles you take highway 5 north. At the northern end of the San Fernando Valley take highway 14 towards Palmdale/Lancaster. Head out about 16 miles and you will come to Agua Dulce Canyon road, head north. The road will go a couple of miles and then it will make a sharp right turn. Vasquez Rocks will be ahead on your right. The official website says the hours are sunrise to sunset and then will tell you 8:00 to 7:00 right under it. The fact of the matter is that you cannot take your car in until they open the gates at 8:00 am but they can't really close it completely because the pacific crest trail runs right through it and that must remain open 24/7. There is a pedestrian opening at the front gate. You can visit their official site by clicking here: Vasquez Rocks
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Tiburcio Vasquez is considered by many to be a folk hero. He was a Mexican bandito who claimed he was fighting the taking of part of Mexico by the United States. He was considered by many more to be a petty thief, rustler and murderer. Well educated and intelligent he somehow came under the influence of Anistasio Garcia and entered the world of crime. The rocks that bare his name became famous as his hideout. He was captured in 1874 in what would become West Hollywood. Tried and convicted on 1 count of murder he was found guilty and hanged in 1875 in San Jose.

I grew up hearing the legends of how no one has ever found his gold and that it was hidden somewhere around Vasquez rocks or perhaps in the Vasquez caves which were filled in during the construction of Highway 14. The fact of the matter is that there is no gold to find. Tiburico Vasquez was only a petty thief and his biggest robbery was $2,500.00 where 3 people were killed making him one of the most wanted men in California at the time.

When He was finally captured he claimed that his actions were in retaliation for the United States taking California from Mexico. He was found guilty of 1 count of mureder and hanged in San Jose, California March 19, 1875

 

 

Here is a little Video I made of what is probably the most famous sight line of Vasquez Rocks. I made it in April of 2013 at sunrise and it really shows the beautiful colors of this wonderful rock formation as the sun hits it. I hope you enjoy.

 

 

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