Category archive for Trail Write-Ups

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
Wooded Hill

Hike Wooded Hill

The Laguna Mountains Recreation Area offers a massive network of trails that allows the hiker to piece together tremendous loops encompassing soaring desert views, cool pine forests, vast meadows, and rugged hillsides. But not every worthwhile hike in the Lagunas is an epic, nor is every worthwhile hike directly connected to the network. The most notable exception is the nature…

read » October 21, 2014
monument peak

Monument Peak via Desert View Picnic Area

Rising up like a 6,000′ tall frozen wave threatening to crash over Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, the Laguna Escarpment features some of the most spectacular views anywhere in Southern California. The Pacific Crest Trail runs along the edge of this escarpment while offering access for numerous side trails to some of the 6,000′ peaks dotting the highest part of the…

read » October 17, 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
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…

read » October 15, 2014
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…

read » October 9, 2014
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…

read » October 9, 2014
Rock Creek Lake

Hiking Rock Creek Lake

If you’re looking to take a leisurely stroll along the shores of a lake past glowing fall color and transparent, deep blue waters, then Rock Creek Lake is an essential stopping point for your leaf peeping expeditions. This easy 1.6 mile trail alternates between access roads to the dock and the campground and an unofficial trail used by fishermen that…

read » October 8, 2014
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…

read » October 7, 2014
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…

read » October 7, 2014
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…

read » October 6, 2014
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…

read » October 1, 2014
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…

read » October 1, 2014
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…

read » October 1, 2014
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…

read » September 30, 2014
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…

read » September 29, 2014
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…

read » September 26, 2014
north lake fall foliage

North Lake Road Fall Foliage

If you’re on a quest for fall foliage, you’re probably going to end up in Bishop Creek Canyon. Located in the Sierra Nevada just west of the town of Bishop, this charming, quiet region has extensive aspen groves that are reliably colorful in the early fall – and in fact are usually some of the first places to hit peak…

read » September 25, 2014
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…

read » September 24, 2014
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…

read » September 23, 2014