A painless 30-minute drive out of the San Fernando Valley transports you to Texas Canyon, a nearly pristine desert landscape free from the bustle of the city. This area boasts a towering dome of sandstone conglomerate (for all you geology geeks), with stacks of surrounding boulders and pinnacles on rolling hills, which fade into the horizon. You'll find a variety of different-grade climbs for all ability levels. The routes are somewhat footwork-intensive but fun and thought-provoking nonetheless. It makes a leisurely outing with plenty of scenic trails for running and dirt biking, but most importantly, it's dog-friendly, unlike other major climbing areas such as Malibu Creek State Park and Joshua Tree National Park. Stay for the ethereal sunset and you'll feel like you're on the set of an old Western, waiting to ride off into the night. Directions: 5 freeway North to the 14 freeway East to Palmdale. Exit Sand Canyon and turn left. Go 2 miles over the hill to Sierra Highway and turn right. After approximately 5 miles, turn left at Rowher Flat OHRV Area sign. Go 2 miles to a gated fire road at the ridge. Follow the fire road on foot 1/4 mile to the crags.  
—Jacky Surber

Advertising disclosure: We may receive compensation for some of the links in our stories. Thank you for supporting LA Weekly and our advertisers.