Category archive for dog-friendly

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
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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
mentryville mountains

Hike Mentryville Park

There are many reasons why California is what it is today – but you can argue that more than anything, two natural resources were instrumental in building the region and even making the land United States territory: gold and oil. Those who bemoan Southern California’s lack of preserved history need look no further than present-day Santa Clarita. To its east…

read » January 14, 2015
ChaparrosaPeakView

Hike Chaparrosa Peak

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead In our glittering world of megamalls and high-rises, the constant push for development has a profound impact on our relationship with the natural world. Unprotected wild lands continually recede in the shadow of towering…

read » January 13, 2015
El Cajon Mountain

Hike El Cajon Mountain

Get ready to take a week off from using the stair-master. This epic hike is one of the most challenging and strenuous in San Diego County, and its countless ups-and-downs will work your quads, calves, and glutes into meek submission. Unlike the gym, however, this trip over one of the most rugged and challenging landscapes in the county will grant…

read » January 6, 2015
Berlin Forest

Hike to Berlin Forest

Los Angeles, California and Berlin, Germany have been sister cities since 1967. To commemorate the 25th anniversary of that arrangement, the cities exchanged some local flora in 1990. Here in L.A., we got Griffith Park’s Berlin Forest – a small grove of pine trees above Griffith Observatory that may not feel much like a forest, but is still a lovely…

read » November 25, 2014
western canyon

Hike Western Canyon

If you like to hike up to the Griffith Observatory but are getting tired of the usual approaches and firebreaks, or if you’re just looking for a way to create a longer loop trail to destinations deeper in the park’s interior, then much-overlooked Western Canyon may be a nice addition to your Griffith Park experience. The trail at Western Canyon…

read » November 25, 2014
Guajome County Park

Guajome County Park

Guajome County Park is an oasis of marshes, creeks, ponds, and lakes tucked into bustling east Oceanside. The park offers several miles of trails, a campground, two day use areas with picnic tables and playground equipment, fishing, and hiking, all within 30 minutes of most of North County. While the rest of the county bakes during the summer, cool ocean…

read » November 25, 2014
glendale peak

Hike Glendale Peak

Glendale Peak is one of those hidden-in-plain-view gems: an easily reachable peak with stellar views that – for some reason – seems to go overlooked by most hikers who generally keep trudging past the short side-trail on their way to Mount Hollywood. But on a clear day, Griffith Park hikers can see sweeping vistas from the San Gabriels all the…

read » November 25, 2014
Sitton Peak

Hike Sitton Peak

One of the better kept secrets in Southern California hiking is the presence of a large Federal Wilderness tucked between Ortega Highway, the semi-rural town of Fallbrook, and sprawling Camp Pendleton Marine Base. This wilderness protects the nearly pristine San Mateo Canyon watershed, which offers numerous hiking and backpacking adventures. Much of the wilderness is difficult to access due to…

read » November 10, 2014
Bernardo Mountain

Hike Bernardo Mountain and Lake Hodges

Bernardo Mountain is a prominent and easily accessible peak towering over the tranquil waters of Lake Hodges. Both landmarks play a starring role in this moderate 7+ mile peak-bagging excursion, which also features good views over the eastern half of the county toward the Peninsular Ranges in addition to the Del Dios Gorge carved out by the San Dieguito River.…

read » October 28, 2014
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…

read » October 16, 2014