Vasquez Rocks – folded and twisted
A notorious bandit, Star Trek, and the San Andreas Fault! Three good reasons to include Vasquez Rocks in your road trip. I made an improvised stop when I was driving the Antelope Valley Freeway (SR 14) southbound to Los Angeles. It’s easy to find, and you get to see earthquake geology and recognizable film locations.
Uplifted through time
Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park is located in the California high desert near Agua Dulce Springs, roughly 30 miles north of Los Angeles on the other side of the San Gabriel Mountains. Through time, the sandstone rocks have been uplifted at a picturesque angle, and the entire area has been folded and twisted by the infamous San Andreas Fault. Adding to that, wind and water erosion have molded the red rocks into strange shapes. The Pacific Crest Trail runs right through this fascinating area. I saw some PCT hikers making their way north. Thumbs up for them.
Star Trek on earth
Vasquez Rocks has been used in the filming of numerous Star Trek productions, but also movies, series, and commercials have taken use of the rocks (click for a list of productions). When I visited the park Toyota was in the process of shooting a commercial. It was interesting to see a camera crew and lots of filming equipment in such a natural setting. Obviously, making a short commercial takes a lot of work. I didn’t get to explore the whole area because of very short time on hand, but it was still worth a visit.
Tiburcio Vásquez, a notorious Californio bandido in the 1870’s, used the spectacular rock formations as one of his many hideouts in Southern California. His name has since been associated with the area.