Located off the 14 Freeway, northeast of Santa Clarita, Vasquez Rocks has been a popular backdrop for many film and television shows since the 1930s, including Star Trek, Bonanza, Blazing Saddles, Outer Limits, Dante’s Peak, A-Team and many, many more.
The iconic rock formations were created by rapid erosion and uplift activity along the San Andreas Fault millions of years ago. They continue to be a popular destination for tourists and hikers, including those traversing the Pacific Crest Trail which runs adjacent to the rocks.
The Vasquez Rocks Natural Area and Nature Center, located at 10700 W. Escondido Canyon Road in Agua Dulce, is about 45 minutes drive from Santa Clarita. Without traffic, the drive takes about one hour and twenty minutes from Burbank.
The Nature Center has restrooms, water and staffers on hand with maps and information, along with educational displays on the history and geography of the area. The Shoshone and Tataviam indigenous peoples lived at the site. Petroglyphs dating from their time are still visible on some of the rocks in the area.
According to their website, the park is open from sunrise to sunset and the Nature Center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. between September 16 and March 9 and until 7:00 p.m. May 1 to September 15.
Parking is available at the Nature Center. People may also drive right up to the rocks and park next to them. Often visitors enjoy climbing on the rocks. Lots of easy, flat hikes through the scrub desert surrounding the rocks are possible.
There is no shade and no drinking water available except inside the Nature Center during business hours. Temperatures can get very hot throughout most of the year, so sunscreen and water are essential.
Whether you want to reminisce about Captain Kirk’s battle with the Gorn in the “Arena” or just enjoy some cool looking rocks and desert environment, Vasquez Rocks are definitely a fun and scenic way to Get Out of Town!
Editor’s Note: While there’s always a lot going on in Burbank, myBurbank’s “Get Out Of Town!” highlights some of our favorite activities and events outside the town borders.