Modern Hiker - Best Hikes in Los Angeles, San Diego, SoCal, and More

Joshua Tree National Park

Winter is desert season - don't miss out!

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San Gabriel Mountains

L.A.'s backyard is full of incredible hiking trails

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One of the most spectacular desert hiking regions in the country

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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


Thule Versant 50L Backpack Review

Did you know that Thule makes backpacks? Thule…  You know, the manufacturer of all those roof racks, bike racks, and cargo carriers you see strapped onto cars. Well I sure didn’t, and when I found out they make backpacks, which are just another form of cargo carrier after all, I had to try one out. On the Quick Frame: Internal…

read » October 27, 2016
San Ysidro Mountain

Hiking San Ysidro Mountain

This incredibly challenging summit ascent takes you from the desert floor to the snow line and wastes little time in doing so. While the hike forces you to commit caloric genocide, the transcendent views you’ll obtain from the top compensate for every grueling step, every patch of difficult vegetation, and some pretty challenging scrambling up and over large rock outcrops.…

read » October 26, 2016

Hiking Oakzanita Peak

The curious moniker granted to this peak comes from a portmanteau combining the words “Oaks” and “Manzanita.” These two plant species grow in abundance on various parts of the peak, particularly on the north facing slopes. Although the 2003 Cedar Fire incinerated most of the vegetation, both the oaks (black, live, and scrub) and the manzanita have made a respectable…

read » October 25, 2016

Product Review: GoMacro Thrive and Macro Bars

Trail time means letting my senses experience it all. The sight, the sounds, and the smells are all a part of what makes the outdoors so memorable. Even the food I bring can help to shape my experience. While I look to food as part of the nutritional component to any trip, it is the flavors that are amplified when…

read » October 24, 2016

Editorial: The New San Gabriel Mountains Management Plan is a Step in the Right Direction

What follows is a version of our official public comment on the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument’s draft Management Plan. You may read the original document and register your own public comment through November 1st on the Forest Service project page, and we strongly encourage you to do so. Chances are, if you’ve spent enough time hiking in the San Gabriel…

read » October 20, 2016
Goat Canyon Trestle5

Hiking to Goat Canyon Trestle via Mortero Palms

Hikers, history buffs, and desert enthusiasts across San Diego County and SoCal revere a historic engineering curiosity that stands in splendid remoteness in a rugged corner of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. The crown jewel of the Impossible Railroad, the Goat Canyon Trestle, spans a deep, rugged tributary canyon draining into the Carrizo Gorge north of the town of Jacumba. For…

read » October 20, 2016
UCO headlamp, with multiple lights and analog-style dimmer and handcrafted leather details

Product Review: UCO X-120R Rechargeable X-Act Fit Headlamp

On The Quick: UCO X-120R Rechargeable X-Act Fit Headlamp BATTERY TYPE (included): Rechargeable 400mAh Li-ion w/ micro USB input or 3x 1.5v AAA (not included) BULB TYPE: CREE XP-E LED HIGHLY WATER RESISTANT: IPX4 BATTERY LIFE: Up to 130 hr LAMP DIMENSIONS: 2.4″ x 1.25″ x 1.5″ (6 cm x 3.2 cm x 3.9 cm) WEIGHT (w/ batteries): 2.95 oz. (85…

read » October 18, 2016

Hiking Lower Willows

Suppose I suggested that you might benefit from wearing waterproof boots to avoid your feet becoming caked with mud at several creek crossings. Let’s also suppose that I suggest a high clearance vehicle because you may be required to drive across at least two, possibly three creek crossings with varying water levels. Your assumptions that I’m talking about a hiking…

read » October 13, 2016
Cotopaxi Sueno Bag

Cotopaxi Sueño Sleeping Bag Review

On The Quick: Cotopaxi Sueño Sleeping Bag Style: 15-degree down sleeping bag with water resistant 800 fill down Pros: Colorful and unique Simple and effective design with options to convert Insulated media pouch and pillow stuff pocket Cons: 2 lb 13 oz bag adds weight when backpacking On the expensive side for 15 degree rated bags Best for: Car Camping and…

read » October 11, 2016
wupatki national monument-10

Visiting Wupatki National Monument

A trip through a beautiful, fascinating, and often-bypassed National Monument northeast of Flagstaff that preserves the ruins of an extensive Sinagua settlement at a major trading crossroads Most people driving north on US-89 from Flagstaff are headed to that most marquee of marquee National Parks – the Grand Canyon. But with a short detour off the main road, inquisitive explorers can…

read » October 10, 2016

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