Paramount Ranch

Hike through almost 90 years of entertainment history and 3 different plant communities

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Cave of Munits

Hike to (and scramble inside) a cave used by Chumash shamans

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Mr. André Threatens Modern Hiker

Read the full letters from the lawyers here

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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


Hike Paramount Ranch

As a hiking area with entertainment industry cred, few places can match Paramount Ranch. Since 1927, this former ranch has stood in for dozens of locations in hundreds of movies, TV shows, and internet programs. Al Jolson and Gary Cooper were here, as were W. C. Fields, Mae West, and the Marx Brothers. This is where Bob Hope was “Caught…

read » May 27, 2015

Hike to the Cave of Munits

Native Americans had a long and rich history in Southern California well before Spanish settlers could ever be described as “fresh off the boat,” but unfortunately due to disease, dispersement, and development (along with some Mission-style romanticizing of the past), many Californians aren’t aware of the extent of their presence or depth of their culture. Some estimates put upwards of…

read » May 19, 2015
Photo by Scott Turner for Modern Hiker

Hiking the Boucher Hill Loop

The summit of Boucher Hill (pronounced booker) offers a panoramic view of most of San Diego County and a fair amount of Riverside and Orange County. These stunning views have a practical function in addition to an aesthetic one, as the State Park and National Forest Service conjointly operate the Boucher Hill Lookout Tower, which returned to service in 2012…

read » May 15, 2015

Etching Vandals Spotted in Grand Canyon

Since we broke the Casey Nocket / Creepytings story last year, we’ve had a lot of time to think about social media and outdoor vandalism. Does social media encourage vandalism in more remote parts of parks? Can social media be used to track down vandals who would otherwise go unnoticed? You can make a case for either but we tend…

read » May 14, 2015

Go Hike L.A.: Mount Hollywood and Griffith Park

Join me on Saturday, May 30th for Modern Hiker’s May #GoHikeLA event – a moderate six-ish mile hike to Mount Hollywood. The event is co-organized by Atlas Obscura, who also helped us with our March #GoHikeLA event at Echo Mountain. Atlas Obscura is celebrating something they’re calling Obscura Day on the 30th – with more than 150 different events in…

read » May 6, 2015
nepal-earthquake-damage 2

Surviving the Nepal Earthquake

Our group of seven trekkers had just returned on a short flight from Pokhara after completing an incredible and beautiful trek to Annapurna Base Camp. We had de-planed and were walking toward the outdoor baggage claim at Kathmandu’s Tribhuvan International Airport when we all started meandering, as if walking home from a night of too many celebratory drinks. It felt…

read » May 1, 2015
Old and New San Juan

Hiking the New and Old San Juan Trails Loop

Both the old and new San Juan Trails radiate westward from Blue Jay Campground in the Trabuco District of Cleveland National Forest through beautiful oak woodlands toward gorgeous coastal views. These parallel tracks are a popular route for mountain bikers wishing to take a downhill course from higher elevations in the Santa Ana Mountains down to the bottom of San Juan…

read » May 1, 2015
Sylvan Meadows

Hiking the Sylvan Meadows Loop

When you start looking into the evolutionary origins of the human species, you will inevitably encounter the theory that early hominids first “emerged” somewhere in the savannas of eastern Africa. A speculative aspect of this theory is that we have inherited through our earliest ancestors an innate preference for a specific kind of landscape. This landscape would feature open grasslands…

read » April 28, 2015
boney mountain

Hike Satwiwa to Tri-Peaks

Most readers of this site will no doubt be familiar with Boney Mountain. The high point of Boney mountain is Sandstone Peak, which is a focal point for some of the best hiking on the west end of the Santa Monica Mountains. The Mishe Mokwa Loop to Sandstone is one of the classics of SoCal hiking, and Modern Hiker has long touted it…

read » April 26, 2015
Willow Hole

Hiking Willow Hole

Some time around 100 million years ago beneath what is now Joshua Tree National Park, an upwelling of molten rock oozed towardthe Earth’s surface. As the rock cooled, it formed a vast block of intrusive (beneath the surface) igneous (from the Latin ignis, meaning “fire”) rock. Such  blocks of igneous rocks – in this case, monzogranite – are referred to as…

read » April 23, 2015

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