Category archive for Dog-friendly

nicholas flat

Nicholas Flat

Hiking to Nicholas Flat from Leo Carrillo State Park is perhaps one of the most rewarding hiking experiences you can have in Southern California. The trail itself is beautiful but challenging, rising through four different plant communities as it climbs almost 1700 feet from the Pacific Coast to the Flat, which has the feel of a tucked-away, hidden paradise far…

read » July 7, 2015
wildwood park paraidse falls

Wildwood Regional Park

Wildwood Regional Park in Thousand Oaks packs a shockingly diverse landscape into its 1,765 acres. There are sweeping grasslands, prominent ridges and peaks like Lizard Rock, the beautiful year-round Paradise Falls and its oak and sycamore-lined riparian canyon, and even some unusual eroded rock formations like Indian Cave. The park is home to seven different plant communities and more than…

read » July 2, 2015
mount bell teahouse

Hike Taco Peak

This remote and rarely visited peak in the middle of Griffith Park got a huge boost in visibility in mid 2015, when a group of artists sent a collection of journalists a mysterious note telling them to meet at sunrise on June 30th, 2015. NOTE: A reader has informed us that, according to the Griffith Park Superintendent, the teahouse is…

read » July 1, 2015
simi-peak

Simi Peak and China Flat

Much like the Puente Hills, the Simi Hills are often overlooked by hikers drawn to the wider swaths of wilderness present in the nearby mountain ranges. For the Simi Hills, the neighboring Santa Monica and Santa Susana Mountains cast a sizable shadow on this smaller range hemmed in by suburbia, but the region has some excellent trails to hike. Case in…

read » June 26, 2015
rocky oaks

Hike Rocky Oaks Park

Rocky Oaks Park is a small but beautiful slice of protected land in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Managed by the National Park Service, this former ranch land holds a shaded picnic area covered by beautiful live oaks, a man-made seasonal pond that (when it has water in it) serves as a rest stop for migratory birds, and…

read » June 22, 2015
paramount-ranch

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
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
Corte Madera Mountain

Hike Corte Madera Mountain

Corte Madera Mountain is a fine introduction to the Pine Creek Wilderness, which occupies a substantial portion of Cleveland National Forest’s Descanso District south of Interstate 8. While the most prominent feature of the wilderness is Pine Valley Creek and its attendant canyon, Corte Madera and its sister peak Los Pinos Mountain form high points from which to survey the…

read » April 13, 2015
hacienda-hills

Hiking the Hacienda Hills

There are many popular and quite lovely trails in the Puente Hills Preserve – and it’s a place I highly recommend visiting, especially if you’ve overlooked this region for the San Gabriel or Santa Monica Mountains on your quest for Los Angeles area hiking. Of the trails I’ve done so far, however, this route in the Hacienda Hills stands out.…

read » April 10, 2015
powder-canyon

Hiking Powder Canyon

Lying partially in the Puente Hills Habitat Authority lands and partially in Los Angeles County’s Peter F. Schabarum Regional Park, this loop through Powder Canyon takes you through some beautiful woodland areas and into a canyon cutting through the Puente Hills before turning around and climbing back over the hills. More popular with equestrians (there are centers and corrals at…

read » April 9, 2015
worsham-canyon

Hiking Worsham Canyon

Less than a mile from the trailhead to the very popular (and often overcrowded) Turnbull Canyon lies the inconspicuous trailhead for the Elderberry Trail. It can be very easy to miss – the sign isn’t terribly visible from the road, it’s placed at a sharp hairpin turn, and odds are you won’t find many other cars parked there. But this…

read » March 26, 2015
las virgenes canyon

Hiking Las Virgenes Canyon

This beautiful trek on the western edge of the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve differs greatly from the more popular routes starting from Victory Trailhead on the eastern end of the Open Space. Although they were both part of the same fairly recent land purchase and former Ahmanson Ranch, the eastern half of the Open Space is more…

read » March 16, 2015
Engelmann Oak Loop

Hiking the Engelmann Oak Loop

Escondido’s Daley Ranch packs a lot of natural beauty into its sprawling 3,200 acres. This city park features a number of moderate loops and out-and-back routes visiting a garden of granitic boulders, a series of old stock ponds left over from the days in which the property was both a cattle ranch and dairy farm, a trip up to Stanley Peak,…

read » March 12, 2015
trabuco canyon

Hiking the Trabuco Canyon / Horsethief Loop

Trabuco Canyon is one of Orange County’s great semi-hidden secrets. While a fair amount of hikers know about it thanks to its proximity with Santiago Peak and Holy Jim Falls, we suspect that most residents of the region are not aware that a beautiful canyon full of maples, bays, sycamores, and oaks lies hidden deep in the folds of the…

read » March 11, 2015
victory trailhead las virgenes canyon

Hiking the Victory Trailhead Loop

In the late 1990s, executives at the now-defunct bank Washington Mutual had their eyes on a nearly 3,000 acre tract of ranch land in the western San Fernando Valley near Calabasas, Simi Valley, Woodland Hills, and Agoura. The land was formerly owned by the Ahmanson Family, one of the most influential families in the history of the Los Angeles area. The…

read » March 4, 2015
boden canyon

Boden Canyon

It was turning out to be a lousy day. Things weren’t going well at my job. I was tired and cranky. I was experiencing the post vacation blues. My head hurt. Everything bugged me. As I commenced my hour-long commute thinking dark thoughts, I pulled over on the side of Highway 78 at the east end of Clevenger Canyon, through…

read » February 26, 2015
Turnbull Canyon Puente Hills

Hiking Turnbull Canyon

Between the cities of Whittier and Hacienda Heights, roughly bordered by the Pomona Freeway, Orange Freeway, and the 605, lies a low, small member of California’s transverse mountain ranges known as the Puente Hills. The Hills are dotted by a sprawling system of parks and open spaces that provide easily accessible beauty and outdoor recreation for its citizens, and it…

read » February 24, 2015
amir's garden 2

Hiking Amir’s Garden

You’ve likely seen Amir’s Garden in Griffith Park before but not known what it was – a strangely forested ridge amidst the otherwise dry Southern California landscape. Today, the five acre plot of land stands as a peaceful, shaded oasis amidst Griffith Park – a favorite of hikers and equestrians alike – but the garden itself arose from a dangerous…

read » February 17, 2015
san mateo canyon

Hike San Mateo Canyon

Beautiful San Mateo Canyon lies in the heart of one of the few coastal California wilderness areas. This deep and rugged gorge occupies the southern third of the Trabuco District of Cleveland National Forest, and it protects one of the largest undisturbed watersheds in Southern California. The canyon’s remote location and relatively small number of visitors means hours (or days)…

read » February 9, 2015
15744562458_09a2f39925_c

Hike Canyon View Loop in Whitewater Preserve

The bright, wide slash of Whitewater Canyon is a place of many treasures – well, the more natural kind, at least. From towering fanglomerate cliffs to the (sometimes) rushing Whitewater River, from the sandy desert floor to lush riparian greenery, this is a place unlike any other in Southern California. In 1939, the canyon became home to the Whitewater Trout…

read » January 22, 2015