Category archive for dog-friendly

guatay mountain

Hike Guatay Mountain

Weighing in at 4,875′, Guatay Mountain comes a few hairs and a stepstool short of being counted into the 5,000′ club like its nearby siblings in Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. Unlike these other nearby peaks, Guatay Mountain boasts one of the last remaining old growth populations of Tecate cypress, a now rare tree that was once far more common prior…

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Kwaay Paay Peak

Hike Kwaay Paay, Mission Dam, and Kumeyaay Lake

This choose-your-own adventure hike through the north section of Mission Trails Regional Park visits a rare patch of native grasslands, a dam constructed by Spanish missionaries, a short but sharp peak ascent, and a lake occupying what was once a military base. Any one of these destinations can make a satisfying hike on its own, but taken together they form…

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parker-lake

Hike Parker Lake

Parker Lake is one of the smaller lakes near the June Lake Loop, but while foliage-seeking tourists will flock to the easily accessible aspen groves of June, Gulf, Silver, and Grant Lakes, for a tiny bit more effort hikers can enjoy the absolutely stunning views at the end of the Parker Lake Trail. There is a handful of trails I…

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Convict Lake

Hike Convict Lake

Tucked into a magnificent granite bowl in the shadow of towering Mt. Morrison, colorful Convict Lake is one of the finest fall color hikes in the area between Bishop and Mammoth Lakes. This easy and mostly flat 3.3 mile loop hike around the lake’s shore offers views of the spectacular Sherwin Range rising up to the Sierra Crest before plunging…

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big pine creek

Hiking the North Fork of Big Pine Creek

If you want to glimpse fall color, but you are also looking for an epic adventure up glacially carved canyons, past cascading waterfalls, through dense thickets of aspen and pine, and into an alpine lake basin full of shimmering, aquamarine lakes fed directly by one of the largest glaciers in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, then the North Fork of Big…

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McGee-Creek-Canyon

Hike McGee Creek Canyon

The Eastern Sierra is a supremely photogenic region of California no matter what time of year, but in early fall when the aspen change color it can be especially tough to beat. McGee Creek – between Mammoth Lakes and Bishop just to the southwest of Lake Crowley – is an absolute must-hike at peak color. It’s difficulty is very manageable…

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sherwin-lakes

Hiking Sherwin Lakes

The Sherwin Lakes are a pair of subalpine lakes on the southern rim of the Long Valley Caldera, in which sits the town of Mammoth Lakes. These two small lakes also host several groves of aspens, which put on a vivid show of fall color from the middle of September to the middle of October. This moderate hike travels through…

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griffith_observatory_firebreak

Hike the Firebreak Trail to Griffith Observatory

Griffith Observatory is one of the most popular attractions in Griffith Park and there is no shortage of ways to get to it. You can drive right up to it and brave the madhouse of free parking, take the Observatory Shuttle on the weekends, or travel on foot via a variety of trails or fire roads. There’s an approach for…

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observatory_east

Hike the East Griffith Observatory Trail

There are probably dozens of ways to get to the excellent Griffith Park Observatory – one of the most popular attractions in Griffith Park. This route details just one of the well-traveled fire road routes that will take you to its beautifully restored doors. If you’re approaching the Observatory from below, there are two main trails most people take. Very…

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griffith_observatory_west

Hike the West Griffith Observatory Trail

One of the most popular trails to one of the most popular attractions in Griffith Park, the West Observatory Trail shouldn’t be overlooked just because you’re not likely to find solitude on it – it’s a great way to get to some beautiful viewpoints and an excellent route for getting a little outdoor time – either as a quick jaunt…

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Piedras Pintadas

Piedras Pintadas and Bernardo Bay

The Piedras Pintadas and Bernardo Bay Trails combine together to form an oddly shaped but nevertheless enjoyable loop hike along the shores of Lake Hodges. Both trails have separate and distinctive characters, with Bernardo Bay featuring up-close views of the lake along with the large variety and volume of waterfowl, in addition to nice views of nearby Bernardo Mountain. Piedras…

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double peak

Double Peak

Double Peak is an easily accessed, moderate peak offering great views over North County, coastal San Diego, and toward East County. In addition to a healthy climb and good views, Double Peak boasts a nice park at the summit, complete with picnic benches, a few trees for shade, a free viewfinder, and flush toilets. Double Peak does not have the…

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treasure-lakes

Hike Treasure Lakes

The Bishop Creek area just west of Bishop, California is an incredibly picturesque alpine canyon filled with cabins, tiny villages, and aspen groves that absolutely explode with color at the beginning of the foliage season. Even without the golden tinge of aspen, it’s a beautiful area to visit – filled with beautiful trails and lots of room to stretch out…

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sabrina basin to emerald lakes

Hike Sabrina Basin to Emerald Lakes

Just outside the town of Bishop is a gorgeous canyon filled with alpine lakes, jagged peaks, glaciers, and some of the most reliably beautiful fall foliage in the entire state of California. You can strap on a backpack and spend days wandering in the John Muir Wilderness – or you can enjoy the scenery on a day hike and camp…

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eagle-rock

Hiking Eagle Rock

Out in the hinterlands near Warner Springs, the Pacific Crest Trail traverses some wild and lonely country before coming upon one of the most blatantly anthropomorphizable (is that a word?) natural features in the state, if not the country. The large granite rock pile known as Eagle Rock looks so ridiculously and obviously like an eagle that none of the…

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dead_horse_point

Hiking Dead Horse Point State Park

Just outside of the outdoor Mecca of Moab, squeezed next to the larger and generally busier Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park lies tiny Dead Horse Point State Park. It could be easy to overlook this 5300-acre park for the bigger name attractions nearby, but doing so would deprive you of some of the best views of…

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Mount Gower

Hiking Mount Gower

Way out past Ramona in the San Diego County Estates neighborhood lies the Mt. Gower Open Space Preserve. This 1574 acre park preserves a chunk of the San Diego backcountry in a nearly pristine state, while offering some moderate to challenging hiking and peakbagging. The highlight of the preserve is a cluster of three summits, one of which is dubbed…

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palomar_observatory_trail

Hike the Observatory Trail

Beyond its beautiful forests and meadows, Palomar Mountain is most famous for its Observatory. Established in 1928, the Palomar Observatory contains several telescopes, including the 200” Hale Telescope, which is open for visitation from 9am to 4:30pm. The campus, which is beautiful in itself, is operated by the California Institute of Technology. More importantly though (at least for our purposes),…

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vital_link_mount_verdugo

Hike the Vital Link Trail in Wildwood Canyon to Verdugo Mountain

Just across the L.A. River Basin from Griffith Park, lie the Verdugo Mountains, a small member of the fault-created east-west Transverse Ranges. Like Griffith Park, the peaks and valleys of the Verdugos provide a variety of outdoor activities to the residents of Glendale, Burbank, and the Valley neighborhoods on its northern boundaries – but unlike Griffith Park, this small range…

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iron_mountain_poway

Hike Iron Mountain

Iron Mountain is the southernmost peak in a small mountain complex that divides the city of Poway from the sprawling semi-rural community of Ramona. The peak itself is one of the most popular hikes in San Diego, and the ease of access and moderate gain present a hike that is both reasonably accessible and reasonably challenging at the same time.…

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