Will Thrall Peak

A challenging and inspiring high country trek

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Canyon Sin Nombre

Wonderfully carved canyons in the Anza-Borrego desert

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Fall Foliage Trails

There's still time to get some fall color on your next hike

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Best Hikes in L.A.

You thought L.A. was all urban sprawl and strip malls, right? WRONG. If you don't know where to start hiking, here are my favorite trails in SoCal.

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Recent Blog Posts

Palomar Post-Rain

Best Post-Rain Hikes in San Diego

If you’ve ever stepped outside the day after a storm to see cottony cumulus clouds floating gracefully across a sparkling blue sky while water drips from every branch, then you know what a joy it is to take a post-rain hike. Whether it’s a swollen cascade, the intoxicating scent of wet sage or creosote, or the suddenly hi-def views ranging for…

read » November 11, 2015
Lake Calavera

Hiking Lake Calavera

Carlsbad’s Lake Calavera Preserve features wetlands, a lake, coastal sage-scrub, and volcanic Mt. Calavera. This oasis tucked into the suburban sprawl of North County offers satisfying diversity for a hike this brief, as well as a few adventurous moments and surprises on the trail. This 3.2 mile lollipop loop visits the most interesting and attractive features of the preserve. The…

read » November 10, 2015
will thrall peak

Hiking Will Thrall Peak via Buckhorn

Will Thrall Peak is one of the most rugged, challenging, and remote peaks in the San Gabriel Mountains. An absolutely epic day hike no matter which way you choose to tackle it, your effort and perseverance will be returned in kind with equal doses of jaw-dropping beauty, peaceful solitude, and a profound connection with the seemingly-untouched wilderness of the high…

read » November 5, 2015
cooper canyon falls

Hiking Cooper Canyon Falls

Cooper Canyon Falls is a beautiful and relatively easily-accessed waterfall in the San Gabriel high country. Just off the Burkhart Trail outside of the deservedly popular Buckhorn Campground, this is wonderful short day hike if you’re camping in the region, a great introduction to the high country, or a quick stop-over on the longer route to Will Thrall Peak (or,…

read » November 5, 2015
Biom Train FL GTX-2

Gear Review: Ecco Mens Biom Train FL GTX

Style: Low-cut trail runner/hiking shoe Waterproof: Yes (Gore-Tex) Pros: Incredible stock footbed and arch support, breathable synthetic upper, looks great Best for: Wet areas/seasons, trail running, day hikes Retail Price: $170 I like to think that I was into trail runners before it was cool, but the fact that it’s trendy now may say something about their rapid increase in utility over…

read » November 3, 2015
Photo by Scott Turner for Modern Hiker

Hiking Canyon Sin Nombre

One of the advantages of being the largest State Park in the California while accounting for half (yes, half) of the California State Park system is that Anza-Borrego contains such a rich variety of geological wonders that you sometimes get the feeling that there is no end to it. In addition to the spring-fed oases at Mountain Palm Springs and…

read » November 2, 2015
Sunjack Luminaid product shot

REVIEW: LuminAID PackLite 16 & Sunjack LightStick

Camp lighting has changed quite a bit over time, from the primal glow of those first caveman fireside chats, to the quaint candlelit lanterns favored by early explorers, to our contemporary assortment of USB and battery-powered contraptions. However, for some of the newest portable light sources on the market, all you have to do is sit back and let that…

read » November 2, 2015

Is the L.A. River Inner Tube Race a Bad Idea?

The following piece is an op-ed contribution. Squarely in the tradition of creative Angelenos using attention-grabbing approaches toward reclaiming the Los Angeles River, Kurt Braunohler and Lauren Cook recently launched L.A.zy River, an inner tube race to take place on the first weekend after a major rainfall. Tubing on the L.A. River? If all you know of the L.A. River…

read » October 28, 2015
Duck Lake

Hike Duck Lake

If you think sparkling aquamarine lakes and shimmering frosted peaks are the stuff of faraway epic adventures, you’ll be surprised at just how quickly you’re immersed in stunning scenery on this spectacular hike just a short drive from the bustling ski town of Mammoth Lakes, California. Your journey begins at the Duck Pass trailhead (elevation 9,128’), where you’ll find ample parking,…

read » October 28, 2015

Backpack Indian Heaven Wilderness via Thomas Lake

While the pacific northwest is generally known and beloved for its epic vistas and high peaks, it is also home to countless wilderness areas offering unique environments, from newly formed volcanic zones to small and quiet meadows full of wildflowers. Indian Heaven Wilderness, located two hours from Portland within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest of southern Washington is one such…

read » October 26, 2015

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