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V is for Vasquez Rocks: A Free to See #AtoZChallenge Post


The Famous Rocks at Vasquez Rocks Natural Area jut up toward the blue sky

I'm living in southern California this year, and decided to use my exploration of the area as my focus for the #AtoZChallenge. I'm concentrating on free to see places, though I will include locations that require a parking fee. This is the twenty-second post in the series. 

Even if you have never visited Vasquez Rocks, you've probably seen them on the big (or small) screen. Wikipedia has an article that lists nearly 300 movies and TV shows that have filmed at that location. Whether your interest lies in the entertainment industry, history--the place gets its name from the Robin Hood-esqe Mexican bandito from the 1800's, Tiburcio Vasquez--or nature, Vasquez Rocks has something for you.

Vasquez Rocks Natural Area is free to enter, and parking is also free. I recommend stopping at the visitor's center, not only to pick up maps and information about the different trails, but also to view some of the critters you might encounter (or might hope NOT to encounter). 

The Vasquez Rocks Interpretive Center

A Southern Pacific Rattlesnake safe behind a wall of glass in the interpretive center

Hikes range from the short (1/3 mile) Geology Trail, to a steeper, longer (3.4 mile) Loop Trail. For those who are really committed, the Pacific Crest Trail passes through Vasquez Rocks. You can check out my other post about the PCT through Vasquez Rocks here. 

Panoramic view from the Bobcat Trail at Vasquez Rocks 

Although the hikes I've taken at Vasquez Rocks are great, a hike isn't even required to get up close and personal with the rocks. There is ample parking right next to the main rock formation, and usually people are scrambling up to the top. Children and adults alike can really burn off some energy here!

Tiny little dots are actually people (on the top in the middle and also on the peaks on the right)

Vasquez Rocks Natural Area is open year-round. Remember sun protection and water, and have fun!


  1. It looks like a really neat place, especially if you are a fan of Westerns.


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