Outdoor & Sports

HELP – The Lost Lizards of Los Angeles Project

Do you have lizards lounging around your backyard?

Hollywood lizardsWell, the Natural History Museum needs your help in order to make their Lost Lizards of Los Angeles project (LLOLA) work. From their website:  

All you need to do is follow some very easy steps to find, take pictures of, and then submit your information about lizards. By participating in LLOLA you’ll be providing our scientists with valuable data to help us answer the question: Why don’t lizards live in Exposition Park?

Here are the instructions on how to participate.

Credit for the awesome lizard photo above (click on it for a larger view) goes to local photographer Henry Schifberg, aka Henry Lizardlover.
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COOL STUFF – Hangin’ Out With Blue Whales!

That animal is HUGE!!! Yesterday, thanks to Aquarium of the Pacific & Harbor Breeze Cruises we got a chance to see the largest animal in the world, right off the coast of Palos Verdes… so of COURSE we jumped at the chance! They are debuting a new whale-listening device on their daily boat excursions and invited HiddenLA to tag along. Having never been whale watching in my life, I invited one of our beloved Facebook fans (Cindy and her totally awesome little six year old daughter) to join me on the maiden voyage.

Dolphins playing Moments after we ran into a school of playful dolphin, we found ourselves sharing water with a blue whale as promised – one of only 2,000 in existence. It was amazing to realize that the creature I was looking at is larger than any dinosaur that ever existed. Scroll down and check out our photo gallery!

If you’re interested in seeing blue whales for yourself, they’re out there so now’s the time! Details below.

WHAT: Aquarium of the Pacific and Harbor Breeze Cruises three and a half hour whale watch excursion with Aquarium experts (more…)

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EVENT – Limited tickets left for our LA River Tour!


Above, a teaser from the upcoming movie ROCK THE BOAT.


755092502Learn about the past, present and future of the mighty (!?) L.A. River, PLUS enjoy some fantastic tacos and cream puffs along the way

*This tour is perfect for people of all ages who would like to learn more about the river that once brought fresh water to Los Angeles*

Difficult as it is for Angelenos or anyone else to believe, the Los Angeles River was once a very real flowing river, along the banks of which the city was founded. In 1781, 44 people (Los Pobladores) traveled from Sonora, Mexico to settle along its West bank. For more than 100 years, this 51 mile long river was the sole source of water for the city that grew around it.

Have you ever *really* seen the LA River? Do you ACTUALLY know anything about it? Sure, maybe you’ve passed a concrete slab with an LA River sign… but have you seen where it flows? Do you know the *true* stories of the river’s past and present beyond the fictional details you remember from seeing Chinatown? And what about its future? Sure, everyone in Los Angeles has seen the LA River, and many have heard that it’s being revitalized. But who knows where and what exactly is happening on its banks? There’s much more to the story than meets the eye as you pass from a speeding car while commuting. (more…)

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IMAGERY – The Los Angeles Wheelmen

Angelenos have had a passion for bicycling for longer than you might think. The image below was taken in Boyle Heights in 1893, about ten years after the bicycle chain was invented. Reformed in 1945, the Los Angeles Wheelmen bicycle riding club is still going strong, with multiple rides every week. There are far more than eleven members now. And don’t worry, I doubt they’re still wearing that fancy uniform. :)

The club’s ride schedule is here.

From their site:

“We are a group of bicyclists who enjoy the pleasure of riding with friends. We are not a racing club, and we welcome members of all abilities. We offer easier, moderate and difficult rides. We hold some multi-day trips, and in late June we offer the Grand Tour, a 24-hour ride of 120+, 200, 300 or 400 miles. At our social events, we make up for all the calories burned while riding. Our monthly newsletter, “The Gooseneck,” contains a descriptive ride schedule and much other news. Newcomers are welcome to try a few of our rides before deciding whether to join. Helmets are mandatory on all rides.”

©USC Digital Archive

Photographic portrait of the 11 Los Angeles Wheelmen posing as a group in cadet type uniforms at the East Side (Boyle Heights) track, October 3, 1893. “The Los Angeles wheelmen on the track include, left to right, standing — Jack Winters, John S. Thayer, Faye Stefenson, Phil Kitchen, W.J. Allen, E.S. Pauly, Tracy Hugh Rall, W.A. Tufts, and Walter Tyler; seated — Lord Gattensbury, A.D. Cummings, and Ernest Steuart, Paully.”

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EVENT – It’s Grunion Night!!!!


43169Just so the directions ARE VERY CLEAR… we will be on the Malibu beach north of the pier. We *SHOULD* be the only people HANGING OUT WITH A GIANT FINDING NEMO PIÑATA.

View Larger Map


Tonight is our first grunion run!!!! Woo hooo!!!! Remember if you don’t have time to get a fishing license today you can’t bring the critters home… but a lot of people prefer catch and releasing anyhow.
It’s just a lovely night to hang out on a beach together! Sooo, we’re using mythical fish as an excuse… :)

Okay… so for everything you need to know about grunion runs… just check out the information from the Department of Fish & Game after the jump…

Please note, no dogs are allowed on the Malibu beach. We’re as sad about that as you are. (more…)

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DISCOUNT – Touring the San Andreas Fault


WHAT: A road trip from LA! Tour the San Andreas Fault with Desert Adventures
: Indio, California about two hours east of L.A.
Normally their three hour off-road jeep tour of the San Andreas Fault costs $120 per person, which we realize isn’t exactly cheap for many of you. So for HiddenLA fans only, Desert Adventures will discount the price to $85 per person through September 30, 2010. Just purchase your tickets online and enter the discount code “HIDDENLA.”
TIPS: Don’t forget, the desert is hotter. We were there on a moderate day, but summer’s here. Desert Adventures will provide water but please be sure you lather on the sunscreen, wear comfy stuff and bring a hat.


A few weekends ago we decided to take a road trip to the desert. When I saw a groupon deal for a tour of the San Andreas Fault, I was intrigued. We’re supposed to be in “discovering new things” mode here at HiddenLA and since I hate earthquakes with every fiber of my being, I figured it might be a good way for me to learn more about them. Besides, who doesn’t need a road trip once in a while!? (more…)

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IMAGERY – Wildflowers in Corral Canyon

Took a drive out to Malibu yesterday to go to the LA Urban Rangers‘ last Malibu public beach safari (the rangers are awesome and doing great work for Los Angeles, you should check them out!). Anyhow, after the safari I decided to do a little adventuring and ended up randomly following Corral Canyon Road from PCH until it turns into a dirt road. Here’s what I saw… a whole bunch of pretty! :)

While wildfires are destructive, they’re a part of nature… although there’s still evidence of burned plants along the hillsides, the new flowers and plants have all grown around them. To see video of what these hillsides looked like in 2007, scroll down after the jump.

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WINTER FUN! – Outdoor Skating Rinks in LA

W Hotel rinkCHILL, your new boozy skating rink @ W Hotel Westwood, 930 Hilgard Avenue (310-208-8765), 21 and up.
Hours: Starting Sunday, ongoing through the winter. Mon-Fri, 3-10pm; Sat-Sun 10am -10pm
Cost: Bring your own skates and your figure eights will be FREE. Skate rental isn’t, it’s $10. The alcoholic drinks won’t be free either.
Details: “The W Hotel Westwood has created the winter wonderland our town sorely lacks, transforming its grounds into a simulated snow extravaganza complete with hybrid-ice skating rink and holiday-styled cabanas.” Woo hoo! I can’t skate, but I can definitely drink spiked pumpkin lattes with the best of ‘em.


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HAPPY SUNDAY – Go outside and look at birds!

“Fall is my favorite season in Los Angeles,
watching the birds change color and fall from the trees.”

David Letterman

bird watching Click on image to view a larger version.

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NATURE – The Beauty of Franklin Canyon

*Click on the box below to launch photos from our walk around the lake*

So many people in the world believe that without ever having lived in Los Angeles they have a clear understanding of everything it is: traffic, violence, famous people, stress, opulence, plastic surgery, starlets who don’t wear underwear. But you and I both know that’s not reality. This city has a lot more to offer than most people realize… as a matter of fact, in the literal heart of Los Angeles beautiful sights exist that even L.A. residents are often oblivious to.

Franklin Canyon is 605 acres of wooded parkland located just North of Beverly Hills. It’s a great area to go for a leisurely stroll with the dog and kids, for a picnic, for a workout or a low-key nature stroll. If the area looks familiar even though you’ve never been there, there’s a very, very good reason for that. Franklin Lake, in the middle of the canyon, was originally named Myers Lake after the Production Manager on the Andy Griffith Show (Remember the opening of the show where Opie skipped rocks on a lake? Guess where that was filmed). The park also features free special events and guided walks on a regular basis and a nice 3 acre duck pond reservoir.


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FUN – Photo Walking Los Angeles

What: Worldwide Photo Walk
When: Saturday, July 18, 2009
Where: Various locations – Chinatown, Echo Park, Malibu, Venice, Venice Beach, Silverlake, Santa Monica, Pasadena, Redondo Beach, Downtown, Claremont, Laguna Beach and Palm Desert
Price: FREEEE!

Do you love taking photos but your camera’s just sitting on the shelf gathering dust? Feel like exploring town, bonding with your fellow shutterbugs, but don’t know where to go? Scott Kelby (of Photoshop fame) is hosting his 2nd Annual Worldwide Photo Walk on July 18th. Scott describes it as “…a social photography event where photographers get together, usually in a downtown area or trendy section of town, to walk around, shoot photos, and generally have fun with other photographers.” and you can see him explain the event himself on the tiny video on this page. For people who feel like entering their best photo of the day into a competition, he offers small prizes for the winners.

There is a 50 person limit on each walk and they’re filling up fast so hurry to register. If you’re late to the game but still want to go, my guess is that the very last location to fill up will be Palm Desert, solely because it’s mid-July in Palm Desert and most people don’t like watching their cameras melt in their hands.

Feel like conducting your OWN private photo walk? NOBODY’S STOPPING YOU! You could do that RIGHT NOW (unless you’re reading this at work, in which case I’d wait). Grab your camera. Dust it off. Go outside! Walk. Take photos. I’m willing to bet your photo walk will probably be more interesting than whatever you were doing.

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SURPRISE! – Your Local Catfish Pond

Ever dream of going straight from work to your favorite local fishing hole to unwind… your loyal dog by your side? Unfortunately, although Andy and Opie Taylor’s fishing hole is right around the corner, fishing isn’t legal there. But if you feel like dropping your hook in the water tonight you can try skipping right down La Cienega to Kenneth Hahn Park. There’s a small, fully-stocked man-made pond right there — fully planted with catfish just three weeks ago. The catch limit is five fish per person per day and leashed dogs are welcomed. Quien es mas macho than taking home some fresh dinner you caught yourself? CATFISH. YUM.

Here are some tips on how to catch them. See pretty photos of your local catfish pond after the jump!
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If you prefer natural stream fishing, there are plenty of places for that as well… they’re just a bit more of a drive.

Never been fishing before, but still dream of channeling Brad Pitt in A River Runs Through It (sans near-drowning)? Doc’s Ski Haus in Santa Monica offers up far more than snowboards, they also hold introductory classes designed for the beginner to intermediate fly fisherperson. No fly-fishing experience is necessary. The cost is $60 dollars and it includes two one-hour classes:

First class (Wednesdays 6:30pm): You’ll learn knots that will last you a lifetime and the basics on flies;
Second class (Saturdays 9am): A casting lesson at Douglas park in Santa Monica.

As a promotion, Doc’s issues a $30 dollar credit from your tuition to spend on new equipment for your fishing trips.

OTHER CURRENT FISH-STOCKED WATERS IN LOS ANGELES Trout: Bouquet Canyon Creek, Castaic Lagoon and Pyramid Lake;  Catfish: Alondra Park Lake, Belvedere Lake, Hansen Lake, Hollenbeck Lake, Lincoln Park Lake and Magic Johnson Lake. FISHING LICENSE INFO.

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NATURE – Zoe Visits Coldwater Canyon Park

*Click on the thumbnail below to launch a photo gallery of Zoe’s hike through Tree People’s Coldwater Canyon*

My dog Zoe and I have been exploring the canyons lately. I hate to admit that despite living in L.A. for decades, up until now I’ve never really spent quality time venturing through the hills. Now that I’ve started, I can’t seem to stop. When there’s nature to discover just five minutes away, it’s a shame to stay indoors… especially since exploring the hills is free (unless you get one of those infamous stop sign tickets). One thing for certain… people who lament the lack of wildlife and trees in Los Angeles haven’t spent much time making effort to look for them. There are plenty, and close by.

So the other day I drove up to the TreePeople campus and Zoe and I went for a leisurely sunset walk. Certain parts of the trails were more populated than others, but for the most part it was very peaceful… I sat at a picnic table for a few minutes to listen to the birds, and within moments I spotted a family of deer just feet below me. FYI, one thing about Coldwater Canyon is that it can be whatever you want to be, a workout or a leisurely stroll. Also, you don’t have to worry about getting lost unless you start blazing your own trail… the paths are easy to follow.

Other web sites have already spent quality time discussing what the Park has to offer, rating the trails, and exploring the wonderful good deeds of Andy Lipkis and the great folks at TreePeople (who maintain the park and are definitely unsung heroes of Los Angeles). No need reinventing the wheel, so I’m just going to share a photo gallery from our relaxing walk and hopefully inspire you to check out the canyons for yourself. And be sure to bring your pup… a tired dog is a good dog! :)

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