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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Trail to Jim Morrison's Cave

45 minutes from downtown LA...
then west on the Pacific Coast Highway (or PCH as the locals say) for 15 miles of motoring.  I was so close to the surf, the spray misted my windshield...
then 30 or so  hairpin turns, straight up into the hills, you 'll find it:
Jim Morrison's Cave! 

There're Bronson Caves which overlook the Hollywood sign,
and El Matador Sea Caves down by the Malibu beach,
"Birth Canal" entrance from inside
Entering the "Birth Canal", from outside
but THIS cave, with its iconic "birth canal" entrance, has the reputation of hosting Jim Morrison as he composed Doors' lyrics and lived out his Lizard King dreams.

It's not marked (of course) but drive til you can go no higher, park on the wide shoulder, and start to hike.

The path is magnificent high desert-
peer over clusters of yellow spring flowers bursting from succulent bushes, into the deserted valley below, and the remote landscape stretches out, as far as the eye can see.

No sea views here, you gaze east across the valley towards LA.
But also none of that sadly-familiar pink smog here.  The air is hot but light, and the sandstone outcroppings lure you further down the trail.

There are vestiges of earlier worshippers here -- not southwest Indian, but rock-n-roll followers, seeking to grasp even wisp of Jim Morrison aura.

Before you venture INTO the cave, take a minute to soak in the scene:

Inside the cave, watch your step! From the "birth canal", the hill opens up to a gaping, breeze-y desertscape!
You'll find some interesting cave art, including the famous skull, said to have been carved into the cave floor by Jim Morrison himself!
  If you dig this, then remember to check out TLT's ezine, Tales of the Trip, next month!  
There's inspiration to sleep here!  (and other caves around the world, too!)


Anonymous said...

Drive PCH to what road exactly to turn on to go up the hill?

Anonymous said...

Turn right on Corral Canyon (there's a 76 station, can't miss it).

Anonymous said...

I hope someday the park service will sand blast that graffiti all away...So disgusting.

Kimmie said...

it's not graffiti, it's art, duh!!!!

Anonymous said...

If the remove the "art" graffiti it will return again true as day. It's not art, it's punks.

hollisshermanpepe said...

planning to do a photo shoot here. trying to figure out how long of a hike it is from car to caves. I want to plan our gear and day accordingly. Thank you