Category archive for dog-friendly

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),…

read » August 28, 2014
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…

read » August 22, 2014
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.…

read » July 28, 2014
Tahquitz_Peak

Hike Tahquitz Peak

Tahquitz Peak, sometimes known simply as “Tahquitz,” is a prominent peak crowning the South Ridge that hems Idyllwild into large bowl of Strawberry Valley. The peak features a National Forest fire lookout, and is the focus of Native American legend. The climb is a relatively moderate peak-bagging experience that offers tremendous views over the Inland Empire, the Desert Divide, the…

read » July 16, 2014
cuyamaca_peak

Hiking Cuyamaca Peak

Cuyamaca Peak is the second highest peak in San Diego County. It sits a mere 20 feet lower but is far more accessible than Hot Springs Mountain near Warner Springs. The peak’s 6,512’ summit is relatively modest compared to the behemoths in the San Gabriels, San Jacintos, and San Bernadinos. However, Cuyamaca has the honor of being the geographic center…

read » July 14, 2014
clevenger_canyon

Hike Clevenger Canyon

Just past the city of Escondido, Highway 78 winds through citrus-clad San Pasqual Valley before emerging in the narrow confines of Clevenger Canyon. This canyon has been carved out over the eons by generally placid but occasionally violent Santa Ysabel Creek, which drains the Volcan Mountains before snaking its way through San Diego’s northern backcountry. The canyon boasts the San…

read » June 30, 2014
wild_flower_hill_theodore_payne

Hike Wild Flower Hill at the Theodore Payne Foundation

I’m not gonna lie – the Theodore Payne Foundation is one of my new favorite things about Los Angeles. Founded in 1960 to continue the work of horticulturist Theodore Payne, who ran nurseries and seed stores in downtown Los Angeles in the early 1900s. Although he immigrated here from England, Payne devoted his career to the education, propagation, and discovery…

read » June 26, 2014
penasquitos_creek

Hiking Los Peñasquitos Canyon

  Recently, I played a game on a hiking group on Facebook called “Can you name this spot?”. I would show a picture and elicit other hikers to identify the location. When I posted a photograph of Carson’s Crossing in Los Peñasquitos Canyon, one of the hikers stated “The Florida Everglades.” How on Earth does one confuse semi-arid San Diego…

read » June 24, 2014
Santa Rosa Plateau

Hike Santa Rosa Plateau

Long ago, much of the flat areas of Southern California were covered with endless grasslands punctuated by several different types of oaks, including coast live oaks, valley oaks, and Engelmann oaks. These flatlands included much of the Los Angeles Basin through the San Gabriel Valley and Inland Empire. Further south, the grasslands stretched across the vast coastal plains of Orange County…

read » June 23, 2014
batiquitos_lagoon

Hiking Batiquitos Lagoon

North Coastal San Diego County – more popularly known as “North County” while managing to exclude everything east of the 15 and north of the 56 – contains some of the nicest places to live in Southern California. There are beaches, safe neighborhoods, good schools, great yoga studios, and shopping galore. However, what North County does not have a lot…

read » June 16, 2014
big_laguna_trail

Hike the Big Laguna Trail

From the tip of Baja California to the tectonic collision that gave birth to Mt. San Gorgonio and Mt. San Jacinto, the Peninsular Ranges provide some of the most startling contrasts and expansive views anywhere south of the Sierra Nevadas. This chain of ranges includes (from north to south) the San Jacinto, Santa Rosa, San Ysidro, Santa Ana, Palomar, Volcan,…

read » May 21, 2014
Kanaka-Flat

Hiking Kanaka Flat

If you’ve ever devoted a substantial period of time to your television set, you may have at one point become familiar with those happy cows who claim to hail from California. These contented, conversing cattle would graze on impossibly verdant hillsides, chewing the cud while doing their best to give Wisconsin an inferiority complex. Anybody with an ounce of skepticism…

read » May 6, 2014
daley-ranch

Hiking Daley Ranch

Daley Ranch is a 3,058 acre park comprising most of the landscape north of the city of Escondido. Originally, this land was peopled by the Kumeyaay Indians, who used the area for hunting game and gathering acorns from the abundant oaks throughout the park. As European Settlers accumulated larger portions of land during the middle and late 1800’s, this region…

read » April 30, 2014
View of Los Angeles from Beacon Hill in Griffith Park

Hiking Beacon Hill in Griffith Park

One of the things I love most about Griffith Park is its range of hiking – you can take a leisurely, stroller-friendly walk along a fire road to the Hollywood Sign or do an intense firebreak trail run up nearly-vertical sections of ridge – sometimes both on the same trail. For as long as I’ve lived here, I’m still finding…

read » March 20, 2014
Corral Canyon

Hiking Corral Canyon

Hugging the coastline just off the PCH, Malibu’s Corral Canyon has the distinction of being the last canyon in the Santa Monica Mountains that has a completely undeveloped watershed that flows freely into the Pacific Ocean. And yes, that sound like a very specific thing, but you don’t need to memorize the honorifcs if you’re headed here – all you…

read » March 12, 2014
Escondido Falls

Hiking Escondido Falls

The Winding Way Trail in Malibu leads to the multi-tiered 150 foot tall Escondido Falls, the tallest waterfall in the Santa Monica Mountains. While the waterfall’s strength is subject to the levels of precipitation, the trail to the base of the falls is a shaded, lovely stroll – and the trail to the upper tiers of the falls is an…

read » March 5, 2014
9511205264_5e3f59172d_b

Hiking Mount Lowe from Red Box

This 6.1 mile out-and-back travels over one ridge of the front range of the San Gabriel Mountains to get to Mount Lowe, part of old, sprawling land of the nearby Echo Mountain Resort. Mount Lowe was planned as the site of a grand alpine tavern and aerial tramway for the resort, but geography and money woes kept it from being…

read » August 23, 2013
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Hiking Red Rock Canyon to Calabasas Peak

This moderately graded fire road ascent just outside Topanga Village provides some amazing views of the interior of the Santa Monica Mountains – especially if you get to see the marine layer flowing over the peaks closest to the coast. This dog-friendly hike has enough of an incline to get your legs working but isn’t tough enough to scare off…

read » July 12, 2013
Cahuenga Peak

Hiking to the Wisdom Tree and Cahuenga Peak

A rugged three mile out-and-back in the newest section of Griffith Park. This trail features relentless ascents and tremendous views of Griffith Park, heading to a unique lone tree and geocaching area. The trail then traverses a ridge east toward recently-saved Cahuenga Peak with an even more rugged option to continue to Mount Lee and the Hollywood Sign. One of…

read » February 28, 2013
Trebek Open Space

Hiking the Trebek Open Space

A just-under-3 mile out-and-back in the Hollywood Hills. This seldom-traveled route offers fantastic city views and easy, dog-friendly routes. While parking and trailhead issues may be complicated, this area has many of the same features and views of nearby Runyon Canyon with a fraction of the foot and paw traffic. A nice, hidden gem.

read » February 8, 2013