On one of my first hikes in San Lorenzo Canyon, I walked up a small side trail (a narrow river bed) less than 100 yards from camp, and found a 3 foot waterfall that was just barely dripping with water. Near this area, I got a little scared because I heard what I thought was the intermittent rattle of a rattlesnake. I stood perfectly still and looked around me to see if I was in any immediate danger, but didn't see anything. It really unnerved me so instead of climbing around the waterfall, I decided to walk back toward the entrance of the trail, and took a side trail up a ridge that runs parallel to the creek bed to get a better view of things.
Once you get up on top of the ridge, the trail is fairly easy, with just a slight uphill grade. Looking back down the ridge trail toward the main canyon, I was amazed at what I saw – the silhouette of Mustafa, the Lion King, guarding the secret entrance to Pride Rock. You can’t see the silhouette from the canyon floor, as the rock formation is totally unrecognizable from that angle. The only real view of Mustafa is from the top of the ridge trail.
King Mustafa guarding the secret passage to his kingdom! The likeness to the Lion King is uncanny!
Interesting snake-like formation of rocks along the ridge trail.
Near shipwreck rock, you definitely need some good climbing skills as the trail pretty much disappears. You have to really be careful because there is a steep cliff and drop off near the bow of the ship. There is a green metal fence stake near the top which you can use to hoist yourself up on the very narrow ledge. Once I got to the top, my legs were shaking because I realized that if I took one wrong step or lost my balance, I could easily fall off the narrow ridge.
The bow of Shipwreck Rock from the rim trail. Don't be fooled by this photo - the terrain is steeper than it looks.
From this photo you can see just how narrow the top ledge is looking toward the bow of Shipwreck rock.
Once at the top however, the view is spectacular as you can see the direction the riverbed takes beyond the waterfall, as it meanders pass what I call Pride Rock, and a brilliant orange outcropping of sandstone. The riverbed just beckons to be explored past Pride Rock, & I decided to leave that hike for our next visit. It really gives me something to look forward to the next time we are here.
Mustafa's kingdom - the river bed looks like it continues for quite some distance beyond the waterfall. I sat down on the ledge for a long time just to admire this magnificent view!
Pride Rock, which shows some of the massive geologic upheavals that have occurred in the formation of the canyon.
Brilliant orange outcropping of rock that stands out against the gray landscape.
Spotted this little guy on my way back down the ridge trail.