I don’t know about any of you, but I absolutely love Valentine’s Day. It is probably my second favorite holiday, just beneath Christmas. Knowing that I can spend the day with the person that I love, doing things that we both enjoy is special.
I discovered Canyon Bouquet one year as I was researching places to go for Valentine’s Day. I loved that I could take my RV and not have to worry about finding a hotel room at an over inflated price and still enjoy everything that the area offers. Located northwest of Los Angeles, this area offers up thousands of possibilities from Malibu and Disneyland to the Santa Monica Pier and more!
First, a little background on Bouquet Canyon so that you understand why I love it so much. Bouquet Canyon is one of the multiple canyons that are in the Santa Clarita Valley in the county of Los Angeles. Bouquet Creek is the main stream of the canyon and it begins in the Sierra Pelona Mountains before entering the Bouquet Reservoir that was formed by the Bouquet Dam. The Bouquet Falls is a lovely spot to catch a break.
All of that sounds gorgeous and fabulous, but the main reason I love this place is the two nicknames that it has been given over the years. Bouquet Canyon is also known as Hangman’s Canyon and Dead Man’s Canyon, so depending on how your day is going with your significant other, you’re covered.
Here are my favorite activities for the Bouquet Canyon area:
I love walking around the Vasquez Rocks. Many of you will probably recognize them if you have seen Star Trek IV, Friends, or New Girl, but I just think that they are one of the most beautiful places on Earth. I enjoy climbing on the rocks and taking pictures from up above before trying for that perfect picture from the ground. This would be the ultimate place for an up to date Valentine’s Day portrait.
Animals hold a special place in my heart and the Gibbon Conservation Center is always a stop when visiting the Bouquet Canyon area. As you take a tour, you may find yourself being serenaded by one of the singing gibbons. Just be warned, they can get a little loud on occasion.
After the Gibbon Center, stop at the Gentle Barn to give the animals some much needed love – a must if you have children with you. Most of the animals have been abused in the past and they thrive with human contact. I can actually say with a straight face that I have hugged more than my fair share of pigs and cows and while they do not smell the best, it is well worth it every time.
The St. Francis Dam was built during the early 1920s and when it burst in 1926, many of the towns in the area were destroyed. There is not much left of the dam, but tour guides show visitors the sections that are left and explain how it was built and the reason why it did not survive that long. During the hike to the dam, you have the opportunity to see many different types of local flowers as well as some wildlife.
I enjoy learning about history, so the Passages Museum is something that I was thrilled to hear about on one of my trips to the area. The 300,000 square feet of space is dedicated to the Bible. My favorite part is seeing the exhibit of the surface of the moon and the Caves of Qumran.
Your significant other might be happier with this next attraction than you are, but this day is all about the give and take, so we have to deal with it and do things that we might not ordinarily do. At Tesoro Adobe Park, you will be able to see the restored ranch that Harry Carrey, a famous Western film actor, built before walking the nature trails and seeing more of the historic buildings. Anyone who walks here will be walking in the footsteps of both John Wayne and Gary Cooper. As I said, it is more for the guys, but worth it for the scenery and the brownie points.
Exploring the public art in Santa Clarita is quite fun and every time I go, I see something new. Throughout the city, you can find sculptures, statues, murals, fountains, and paintings.
It would not be Valentine’s Day without a nice glass of wine, so I highly recommend a stop at the Pulchella Winery. You can stop in to taste any of the signature Paso Robles wines and then stay for another glass or purchase a bottle to take back to the RV for later that night.
Santa Clarita Central Park is close to Bouquet Creek and this is the perfect spot for a picnic lunch or late day snack.
If you love hiking you might want to consider tackling part of the seventy miles of trails in Santa Clarita. Two good ones are the Iron Horse Trailhead and South Fork Trailhead.
At the end of a long day, a nice place to rejuvenate is Westfield Valencia Town Center. There are many restaurants to choose from there, so you will find the perfect place for a delicious meal and if you are lucky, your sweetheart might buy you a little something from one of the more exclusive shops that are in the Center.
I would recommend Bouquet Canyon at any time of the year, but Valentine’s Day just seems like the right time to visit. The weather is nice, the sights are amazing, and the time that you can spend with your sweetheart, both in and out of your RV, can be memorable.