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A waterfall hike back to the Jurassic Period!

I have shared this hike in a few posts recently, one was for Thursday’s Reflections and one was for Saturday’s Critters. 

I took so many pictures on this five mile hike into a canyon near me called, Los Penasquitos. Meaning, “Little Cliffs”. There is Native American evidence here that leads back to as far as 7,000 years. But more importantly is the geological formations and soil types that make up the steep hillsides the riparioan stream corridors, and the flat mesa tops. Water flows year round here. 

As we reached the waterfall area you can already hear the dogs splashing in the water. 

#1 Meika

If you look closely at this photograph, on the top left hand side you can see stairs that lead down to the waterfall. Notice, Meika is already wet. She loves the water. 

#2 Luna (the black dog) is stalking Meika while she swims.

These rocks that border this waterfall are part of the Santiago Peak Volcanoes of Southern California, and are from the Jurassic Period. 

#3 Gotchyea!

I got your ear! 

These boulders are Metasedimentary and Metavolcanic rocks called the "Julian Group". 

They are made up of Andesite Lava and Pyroclastic deposits of a Talc-Schist known as Soapstone! 


They also sit next to Quartz Latites, Basalt, and Rhyolites. 

This volcanic range erupted in a submarine environment. 

#7 Drop off

The drop off is about ten to fifteen feet down. The moss makes it super slick. Do you know what else makes it super slick? Soapstone! 

#8 Soapstone

Also called Steatite is a Talc-Schist and a type of metamorphic Rock which occurs where Tectonic Plates are. 

They are made by heat and pressure with the influx of fluids. They do look kind of melted. 

Crossing this waterfall is super hard, you have to gravel hop, not rock hop.The soapstone, when wet is too slick to stand on, much less walk on it. 

 It is about knee deep where you have to cross, and requires you to take off your shoes. The water is the temp of melted ice. Burr. 


What do you think?

16 Points

Written by Kim_Johnson


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  1. This was a great post Kim. Learned a lot. I hope you research this before you go on the hike,. I am sure you do to keep everyone safe. I am always impressed at the places you find to take your dogs.

    • I do do a bit of research of the places I hike before I go. I also look up weather and flash flood conditions. A friend from a hiking page on FB just posted a vid of her being air lifted. Heat Stroke. She is okay now though.

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