National Parks vandalism Instagrammed

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Why You Should Care

Yes, the National Parks Vandalism story is a big deal - but you can turn it into something positive

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Seasonal Spookiness

Try these 7 haunted hikes in L.A. for a different kind of thrill

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Best Hikes in L.A.

You thought L.A. was all urban sprawl and strip malls, right? WRONG. If you don't know where to start hiking, here are my favorite trails in SoCal.

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Recent Blog Posts


The State of Southern California Fall Color

Over the last week, Modern Hiker made a couple of trips out to eastern San Diego County, where the higher elevations support large groves of deciduous black oaks. These trees are one of the few non-riparian deciduous trees in Southern California, and they are responsible for putting on a gorgeous fall color show that one would not expect to find this far south.…

read » October 30, 2014
hot springs mountain

Hike Hot Springs Mountain

In a wild and lonely corner of the Los Coyotes Reservation stands the highest point in San Diego County. Hot Springs Mountain, which stands about 20′ higher than Cuyamaca Peak, boasts the stunning views you would expect from a 6,533′ mountain smack dab in the center of the Peninsular Ranges. Beyond those views, the mountain’s elevation supports a dense forest full…

read » October 29, 2014
volunteering in the mountains 063

Let’s Reclaim The Vandals’ Hashtags

By now, you all know how I feel about this Casey Nocket / Creepytings National Parks vandalism story – I want to make sure that once the Viral News Spotlight turns to its next story, we don’t forget that trash and graffiti are still far too prevalent in our National, State, and Local Parks and Forests. This morning, I was…

read » October 28, 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

GoLite Files for Chapter 11

Last week Golite filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.  The Boulder-based outdoor clothing and gear manufacturer had been in some trouble for a while but the news of bankruptcy comes as a shock at least to us. While the company said that employees would not be affected, Golite was seeking to “reject” at least 13 leases and the number for…

read » October 28, 2014

How To Leave No Trace

In light of the ongoing discussion (and shared outrage) about one person’s recent graffiti spree in our National Parks, it seems the perfect time to explore what it means to truly “leave no trace.” The phrase (often shortened to “LNT”) originated in the late mid-century, when recreational use of public lands grew exponentially as camping and hiking gear became more…

read » October 25, 2014

Merrell 2014 Fall Outerlayers Review

As the weather starts to (mercifully) cool here, it’s time to start digging out those warmer outer layers for our outdoor adventures – whether you’re hiking, backpacking, sitting around a campfire, or even just the chilly drive to an early morning trailhead. I took two pieces of Merrell’s new 2014 fall line with me on our recent fall foliage expedition…

read » October 24, 2014

Why the Creepytings National Parks Vandalism is a Big Deal

I’m sure by now you have all heard of the Instagram user Creepytings. Its owner, a woman by the name of Casey Nocket, apparently went on a road trip through Western National Parks and – unfortunately – appears to have left a long trail of graffiti in her wake. We here at Modern Hiker broke the story first and we’ve since become…

read » October 23, 2014

7 Haunted Trails in Los Angeles

The pumpkins are out on porches and supermarkets are being flooded with fun-sized candies, which means Halloween is right around the corner. But what if your idea of a spooky good time involves fewer costumes and more time out in the woods? Well worry not, because L.A. has more than its fair share of ghostly history for you to hike…

read » October 22, 2014

“Art” in the Parks

This morning, our friend Rebecca at Calipidder alerted us via a Facebook post to a woman named Casey Nocket who had traveled to the west coast from New York for a few weeks. Ms. Nocket had been enjoying her time in the outdoors so much that she decided to document her trip on Instagram. And apparently Nocket was so moved by…

read » October 21, 2014

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