When it comes to Halloween, LA sure does know how to do it right. From the Great Horror Campout, an all night fright fest (WHO on earth would want to sign up for that beats me), to ALONE, an immersive exploration of fear which you are only allowed to participate ALONE (eek!), to Dark Harbor, the haunted Queen Mary ship which we had the terror of experiencing last year, and of course the famous, longtime running Los Angeles Haunted Hayride, which we will touch upon here shortly. Not being too big a fan of having the bejesus scared outta of me, this Halloween hike was juuuuust right.
Bee Rock, which gets its name from its cavernous, hive-shaped appearance, is made out of sandstone and juts out of the landscape like an unmistakable sore thumb:
The hike starts out completely G-rated and we actually had no idea that it was going to be a Halloween-y adventure until the return route which meanders through the Old LA Zoo… more on that to come. We parked in the lot right next to the old merry-go-round which was built in 1926, a historic piece of LA that you should definitely visit if you haven’t yet, and started exploring from there:
The only scary part about this was the look on all 68 of the merry-go-round horses’ faces, I think they’ve been going around in circles a few decades too long!
Well this guy and the creatures below him were a little creepy too:
From here we continued on to the trailhead to Bee Rock, located just past the merry-go-round parking lot. It started out nice and smooth on a path just like this:We had been following the smooth, gradually ascending path for a little ways, enjoying the cool breeze and incredible views when all of a sudden we found ourselves in the thick of the forest, battling thorny branches with little headroom and an incredibly steep winding, single-track path that was going nowhere but up:
Generally this wouldn’t be that big of a deal, except this time we had taken my mom along! What a trooper, here she is emerging from a giant thorny patch:
As any great adventurist knows, one of the most important parts of planning a successful adventure is making sure you have done your research, but sometimes what you find isn’t exactly the easiest to follow – what was projected to be a moderately difficult 2-mile hike somehow turned into an extreme 6-mile hunt for Bee Rock.
After making it out of the thorns and brush we weren’t quite sure where to go. Our map didn’t make it clear and the instructions we printed out, where at this point, of no use whatsoever. (After doing some research after the fact, we would have used the directions provided here or here.) We could either go up the road, down the road, or climb this ladder type thing that seemed to go in generally the right direction. We opted for the ladder, which Drew is demonstrating above, though eventually the steps disappeared and we were left with this to climb:
Mom, I promise we had no idea! But you gotta admit, this leg of the journey was pretty unforgettable:
Once we made it to the top of the “ladder” we could finally see Bee Rock… on the mountain below us. But at least we now knew where we needed to go! Bee Rock is that pointed peak just to the left of us in the photo below:
Sometimes all you can do is laugh 🙂
Bee Rock here we come!!
You know you’ve made it to Bee Rock when you can see the rusty chain link fence:
We had finally made it! We couldn’t exactly tell you how, but somehow we found our way to our destination and the view was spectacular:
There’s a little opening where you can climb out of the chain link fence to take in an unobstructed view of the valley below:
We reluctantly made our way back down from “the hive.” As we didn’t want to take the same route we took up, we asked some friendly fellow hikers which way to go and followed their lead.
Luckily we were going in the right direction, and as we continued on, we started to hear some weird music… we had stumbled upon the LA Haunted Hayride!:
There were creepy things everywhere! Thank goodness it was daylight, otherwise I don’t think I would have liked this very much:
The amazing part was that you were allowed to walk through the entire thing (before 6pm)! It was set up throughout the Old LA Zoo area which made it extra creepy:
You could even see the corridors where the zoo keepers would go to feed the animals… so spooky!:
Totally think this one was a lion’s den:
The best part of all was the motion detecting smoke machine that we stumbled upon and had entirely too much fun with:
Who ever said that Halloween had to be scary?