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March 24, 2017

The Carlsbad Labyrinth – Urban Hinking Carlsbad, CA

The Blythe Intaglios are well documented and federally protected.  But rock art is not just for the ancient ones, Borrego Springs has the Great Snake of Clark Lake, certainly well known to the snow birds.

And Carlsbad has the Labyrinth.

The Lake Calavera Open Space Preserve lies on the northeastern border of Carlsbad and Oceanside.  There are several entry points but for this hike the entry at Tamarak is perfect.  Well perfect except for the limited parking!  I had to park Rufus a few blocks away in a residential area, making this a true ‘urban’ hike.
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At the Tamarak trailhead there is a restroom with water, even a doggie bowl.  Well mannered dogs on leash are welcome.
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Right at the trailhead above the dam is the mile long Solar System Walk provided as a Eagle Scout project of Troop 750 financed via a GoFundMe page.  Well done Troop 750!
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Pluto was still a planet when the Solar System Walk was added.

The paved trail continues on over the spillway – a great spot for skateboarding! – and across the dam.  The dam itself is earthen fill across a narrow canyon at the base of Mt Calavera.
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Once across the spillway the the trail is to the left to a fork.  The main trail is an easy level walk to the left, the trail to the right is a short steep uphill, and popular with the mountain bikers.
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The base of Mt Calavera is up the steep side.
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There are lots of rocks to play with here.  A wedding proposal is a bit unusual.  More common are the cairns and such.

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But the Labyrinth is the destination.  And the best view will be from the top of the rim.  If you’re young and determined there is a trail straight up ‘the wall’.
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But I’m old and slow, and choose to climb the narrow ridge trail to the top.  I did not expect this solid wall of rock!  It’s only 10’ up, but it is nearly straight up!
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During this short scramble my sun glasses fell off.
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I did not go down to find the missing lens.

And there, below is the maze known as the Carlsbad Labyrinth.
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The view from the top is to the ocean and of the rutted trail I’ll take down.
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The trail passes in front of an old adit that was once an exploratory mine and later for storage of explosives as the dam was built.
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It appears it may now be somebody's abode, although not currently occupied there is some abandoned bedding.
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It’s Spring and there is a nice assortment of wildflowers on the slopes. 
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Looking forward to our week with the grand-girls in Yosemite!

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