Neighborhood News

Getting Your Freak On With Canyon Park’s Haunted Hike 2013

The Halloween spirit goes full bore at Monrovia Canyon Park on October 24 to 26, with the return of its (in)famous Haunted Hike.

By FRANZ A.D. MORALES
Published: Monday, October 7, 2013 | 1:28 PM

“Don’t fear the dark, fear what lies within.”

The tag line alone can send shivers down anyone’s spine, and that’s exactly what Monrovia Canyon Park aims to do this October 24 to 26 with its much-anticipated Haunted Hike 2013.

What started out in 2002 as an “enchanted forest hike,” Canyon Park officials realized that what the people really want is something more exciting and heart pounding.

Senior Park Ranger Hector Inzunza says, “they wanted (the hike) to be more involved and scarier, where we have characters from horror movies coming out.”

The Haunted Hike grew and flourished for six years, but when the recession hit in 2008, park resources had to be refocused elsewhere, thus cancelling the event altogether.

But this Halloween 2013, Haunted Hike is back with a vengeance.

“Recently, we had a study session and this is one of the events that was talked about and the public and staff wanted it back,” says Inzunza. So after submitting his proposal to bring the event back, and having volunteers work out the logistics, Haunted Hike is back to its howling ways.

As for what to expect at Haunted Hike 2013, “This year, people are going to be parking down at Old Town Monrovia. They’re going to be driven up to the canyon in the Ghost Bus,” says Inzunza. “We have these buses/shuttles. People will be picked up in Old Town Monrovia and be dropped off in the dark at our trailhead. Hike times are every 15 minutes with up to 25 people.”

Once dropped off, a hike leader will lead the group through the woods on the trail and will be about a quarter mile long. There will be characters hiding in the bushes and certain scenes will be presented along the trail to add to the mood, all carefully designed to scare visitors, “in a safe way, of course,” adds Inzunza.

At the drop-off point, if a guest suddenly gets cold feet and decides not to join the hike, Inzunza says, “that’s fine. But unfortunately there’s no refund. If you’re too scared to come up here, then we did our job. Thank you very much.”

The trail will then lead to a 5,000 square foot outdoor maze, “if not bigger,” says Inzunza. Visitors will then have to figure out a way out of the maze, where characters lurk behind corners.

“They’ll be going to the maze in twos. It makes it more exciting when you’re either by yourself or it’s just the two of you going into a maze,” Inzunza explains. “There’s safety in numbers, we understand that and we’re going to isolate you and scare you; that’s what you paid for and that’s what we’re going to do, that’s our job.”

The outdoor maze will then lead to an indoor maze where “the theme is going to be a certain phobia that folks have,” says Inzunza, “I don’t want to give it away, but if you don’t like a certain circus character, then you’re in for the treat.”

Once outside the indoor maze, visitors will then be led outside down the road, where zombies will be out to get you in all directions, amidst the fog.

Canyon Park officials tout this Hike as the scariest Haunted Hike in California. And with all the scenes, situations, and characters that have been carefully planned out by the haunt staff, it looks like it just might be a night to remember.

The Haunted Hike will be held at these times: 6:15pm, 6:30pm, 6:45pm, 7:00pm, 7:15pm, 7:30pm, 7:45pm, 8:00pm, 8:15pm, 8:30pm, 8:45pm, 9:00pm and last hike at 9:15pm. Guests should allow one hour for the entire hike.

Tickets are available now, and sold at $20 each. Or you can receive a group discount of $16 per ticket with a group of 5 or more.

Tickets can be purchased at Community Services 119 W. Palm Avenue, Monrovia from Monday to Thursday, 8:00 am – 9:00 pm, and Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Due to the nature of the event, no one under 13 years of age will be admitted.

To learn more about Haunted Hike 2013, visit http://www.cityofmonrovia.org.

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