Today’s hike was to Long Way To The “Shovel” . The last time I hiked this trail was March 13, 2004. It seemed a lot harder then than it felt today. That’s probably one reason why I have been putting this find off. Long Way To The “Shovel” was a 5.5 mile round trip hike from the trailhead on Evening Sky. There was also a 1250-foot elevation gain. So it’s not really that long to the cache, but it is pretty steep in places
I got started this morning about 10:00 AM. The trailhead looked like the 405 at rush hour. Even with all the cars at the trailhead, I only saw a few people along the Las Llajas road–mostly bikers.
When I did this hike in 2004, it was shortly after a fire. The only vegetation on the hill was charred black. Nothing was green, only charcoal. Even the oak trees at the cut off were burned to the trunks. I was amazed how quickly the trees and shrubs regenerate after a fire.
Today, 7 years after the fire, you wouldn’t even know that I fire had been through this area. I’m assuming that without the fire, the hills would have denser vegetation, but what is there is very healthy.
I didn’t go all the way to the shovel today. I needed Long Way To The “Shovel”, so that’s what I got. However, the shovel is only a few minutes farther up the trail. Now that I know that the trail isn’t as tough as I remember, I wouldn’t have a problem returning up this trail for a nice adventure.
The views from up the hill are very nice. I apologize for the quality of the photos. My hiking camera is down and a replacement is one its way.
If you want to do some geocache hiking, Las Llajas Canyon is a great place to do it. There is a strings of caches from the trailhead all the way to Rocky Peak Road and beyond. I’ve placed many of them myself. I recommend that the caches off the main trail (Trogdor’s Shovel AKA: P&H Model 206 and Long Way To The “Shovel” ) be done on a separate hike.
Here is the track—5.5 miles round trip; 1250 feet elevation gain.