On A Clear Day, You Can See Catalina

December 1, 2010 § 3 Comments

The View from the Lookout on Canyon Lake Drive, 11/12/10/Hope Anderson Productions

The first time someone took me to the western edge of Beachwood Canyon, I was amazed. While the rest of the Canyon felt narrow and sheltered, Mulholland Highway ended in an expanse of light and space. The view was enormous, encompassing not only Lake Hollywood and the Hollywood Hills but the entire westward sweep of Los Angeles, all the way to the Pacific. Even more astonishing was what lay in the distance: the whale-like form of Catalina Island, clearly visible on fogless days. 

This vista explains the Canyon’s appeal to the Tongva Native Americans. Like other California tribes–the Chumash and Ohlone come to mind–the Tonga preferred high, sheltered areas with sweeping views. To be within sight of the ocean but safe from its dangers was ideal.  

When I moved to Beachwood, my realtor told me about a Malibu couple who leased a house here as an experiment. Though they enjoyed the neighborhood, they missed the ocean and soon moved back, quipping, “Where’s the beach in Beachwood?”  Though the Canyon was named for its developer, Albert Beach, there is a beach. It’s a dozen miles west but part of the scenery, and much photographed by tourists who come to see the Hollywood Sign.

§ 3 Responses to On A Clear Day, You Can See Catalina

  • W. Clements says:

    On one of those crystal clear days last week, when viewed from the peaks, Catalina seemed so close it looked more like part of Palos Verdes. And way out in the center of the bay was a small hump of an island I’d never seen before. Santa Barbara Island? San Nicolas? Definitely a new gauge for determining the clarity of our views.

    Also seen last week, a different kind of canyon view. As I was coming around Lake Hollywood in the early evening a bobcat shot across the street in front of me and tried to climb the fence to reach the lake on the other side. It shot half way up the fence and gave up, dropping to the ground and streaking back across the street into the brush. It’s the third bobcat I’ve seen in as many years. Anyone else seeing Beachwood bobcats?

  • Alvin C. says:

    Umm… I believe that isn’t Catalina Island. I suspect that is the Palos Verdes peninsula.

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