The Bonaventure adventure

Using the skyways

Last Thursday, under the guidance of the Los Angeles Urban Rangers, I embarked upon a strenuous expedition in downtown LA to summit a unique natural phenomenon known as the Bonaventure.

Bonaventure in the distance

A large group of us departed the MOCA trailhead at approximately 8:15 pm and headed west, into a quickly-darkening night. We were led by the brave and boyish Ron Milam, who explained how the Bonaventure could be used as a compass: Its bulging faces point due west, north, east, and south.

Sliver of moon

It was a warm night with a half moon. Before climbing the large rounded peaks of this ancient wonder, I paused to examine the other urban summits that rose around us. Some were square, some were triangular—all were awe-inducing. But the Bonaventure is a mystery. No one knows who created the Bonaventure, or why it has no corners, or why it appears in so many bad films.

Only Bus

Pausing on the wide natural bridge that connects the Bonaventure to another outcropping, I peered down into the canyons below, where large groaning creatures moved through these otherwise empty tunnels every so often.

Looking out from the elevator

We climbed the Bonaventure using one of 16 mysterious glass-enclosed vertical railways which shuttled us to the highest peaks in a matter of minutes.

Undecipherable wayfinding

At the top, we located ancient markings in an unknown language that dated to the 1970s. It appeared the Bonaventure wanted to send us some kind of message. We were puzzled. I mean seriously, what does this say?


Some of the hikers did additional exploring, but I admit, I was too frightened to venture into the deep laminate recesses of the Triangle Forest.

Bonaventure exterior

Back outside, we marveled at the gorgeous reflective surfaces of the mysterious Bonaventure, as we bid this natural beauty, and our group, farewell. Slowly, we made our way back along the wide, stone valleys of downtown.

Electric downtown

There are two more urban adventures offered by the Rangers this summer at MOCA: One visits Los Angeles River, the other is a campout on the MOCA Plaza. Both are highly recommended.

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