Vasquez Rocks ~ Ride Your Horse On Another Planet
Tucked away in the little city of Agua Dulce, just off the 14 freeway in Southern California, are Vasquez Rocks. Vasquez Rocks got its name from the bandit Tiburcio Vasquez. Some have characterized Vasquez as a Robin Hood, while others have made him out as a womanizer. Most agree he lived outside the law. When he allegedly killed some men near Hollister, California, his gang rode to Southern Cal to escape capture. For a time he hid in the area that now bears his name. He eluded capture by using the rock formations and caves to hide.
In the 1930’s, a movie director suggested Vasquez Rocks as a shooting location for Tibet. This was the beginning of a new relationship with Hollywood. Og course it was a favorite setting for Westerns. The Texas Ranger (1931) and the Gambler (1939) used the rocky back drop to simulate the Old West.
When television arrived, Vasquez Rocks’ popularity grew. The Lone Ranger, Cheyenne, Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Big Valley, The Wild Wild West, and Hondo used the rocks at least once.
In 1967, Vasquez Rocks got its big break in Hollywood. The crew of the Enterprise landed right in its backyard. It was used to fight the Gorns. They also used the rocks in the movie production of Star Trek IV as the planet Vulcan.
Our Ride to Vasquez Rocks
It has shortened the park hours because of COVID. But, because the Pacific Crest Trail runs through the park, you can get in through those entrances. There’s parking on Escondido Canyon Road. They charge no admission to get into the park.
10700 West Escondido Canyon Road
Agua Dulce, CA 9139
Park Telephone: (661) 268-0840
If you go in the summer, it can get warm so leave early. It wouldn’t hurt to take water and a light snack. There are some trail maps to follow. For most of our ride you could often see the 14 Fwy. on one side or the houses on the other. It really helped with orientation. The terrain can be rock in places. If your horse has tender feet, I would suggest boots.