Tag Archive: history


The Autry’s New California Continued Exhibit Shows a Hopeful Way Forward

You know a museum exhibition is good when it leaves you energized to plan hiking trips all over the state, book desert campsites, refresh your knowledge about native cultures and fire ecology, and get your hands dirty in your garden all at the same time — and that’s exactly how I felt after leaving a media preview of the new California…

read » October 7, 2016
head smashed in-15

Hike at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site

An easy nature trail outside a fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Site that provides a great opportunity to learn how the region’s First Nations people utilized this unique terrain over thousands of years. A wonderful accompaniment to the excellent on-site museum and a great place to experience the wide-open magic of Canada’s Great Plains. Located between Calgary and Waterton Lakes National…

read » June 6, 2016
Johnny Lang Canyon

Hiking Johnny Lang Canyon in Joshua Tree National Park

The 6-mile loop through Johnny Lang Canyon is a great introduction for folks interested in getting into off-trail desert hikes. I enjoyed this hike, but there are long stretches of exposure and trudging through the desert, so I wouldn’t recommend it on a hot day. Even in mild weather it’s a good idea to get an early start — the…

read » March 24, 2016
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

Hiking Ashford Canyon

For every colorful story of lucky prospectors and rich strikes in Death Valley mining history, there are ten quiet stories of lost fortunes and gutted hills. The Ashford Mine got its start in 1907 when Harold Ashford prospected in the area. Most of the land was already claimed by the Key Gold Mining Company, but they hadn’t done the annual…

read » February 11, 2015
sturtevant camp

Saving Sturtevant Camp

Over the weekend, Modern Hiker held its first Go Hike L.A. event of 2015 – a trek through Santa Anita Canyon to the legendary Sturtevant Camp, the last remaining wilderness resort of L.A.’s “Great Hiking Era.” As I’ve detailed previously, the circa-1897 camp has been owned and operated by the United Methodist Church since 1945 but the camp has never…

read » January 28, 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
mount lowe history

Meet the Authors of Mountain Histories

Fans of hiking and history will be very interested to learn about a free meet-and-greet and panel discussion with 11 authors of books on our local mountains on Saturday, January 24th. From 1 to 4PM, First Water Design will host history, hiking, and botany experts in a panel discussion on a wide variety of topics near and dear to the…

read » January 9, 2015

Newspaper Rock State Historic Monument

Newspaper Rock is located just outside the entrance to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park in Indian Creek – a BLM region popular with rock climbers. It’s a short walk from the roadside parking and is one of the largest-known collections of petroglyphs in the country. There are more than 650 individual glyphs carved into the desert varnish, and…

read » September 16, 2014

Hiking Tepozteco National Park

There aren’t too many places where you can find a trail that will kick your butt with elevation gain, bring you to the ruins of a 500-year-old religious complex, and drop you off right next to a market filled with unbelievably delicious, cheap, hand-made food but the village of Tepoztlán in the state of Morelos is such a place. Easily…

read » July 18, 2014
fish canyon falls

Hike Fish Canyon Falls

NOTE: Due to the Complex Fire, this trail and trailhead are closed as of June, 2016. Fish Canyon Falls has been a somewhat elusive beast since I moved here. Because the mouth of the canyon is occupied by a Vulcan Materials quarry, access to the canyon’s famed three-tier waterfall has always seemed just a little bit too much trouble. You…

read » July 3, 2014

Hiking McWay Falls at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park

If you’ve ever searched for images of Big Sur, you’ve seen McWay Falls – an almost unbelievably picturesque waterfall that drops 80 feet onto the untouched sands of McWay Beach before churning in the azure Pacific. It’s one of those scenes that, when you show your photos of it to friends, they won’t believe it’s real. But the falls are,…

read » May 2, 2014

LA as Subject Explores Funiculars

L.A. as Subject – the online archive of great stories from L.A.’s history – is about to debut the first part of its very first documentary series on KCET at 4PM this afternoon. The four part series is about funicular railways in Los Angeles – which you may be familiar with from the ruins of the famous White City on…

read » May 30, 2013

The 5th Annual Big Parade is This Weekend

Stretch out your legs and dig out your comfiest walking shoes – the Big Parade is back this weekend! The annual pedestrian celebration is entering its fifth year and will once again trace a long and winding route from Angel’s Landing in downtown Los Angeles to the Griffith Park Observatory over two days starting on the morning of Saturday, May…

read » May 13, 2013
Kenneth Hahn Recreation Area

Hiking the Kenneth Hahn Community Loop Trail

A lovely 2.6 mile loop in a park in the heart of L.A. sprawl. On clear days, this trail offers outstanding views of downtown, the San Gabriels, the Hollywood Hills, and beyond – and otherwise this park has wonderful bird-watching, surprisingly secluded and shaded trails, and lots of open green-space. This is a great little park that deserves a visit,…

read » January 28, 2013

Modern Hiker's 6th Birthday

Today marks the 6th birthday for Modern Hiker, the day I bought a .com and spun off the trail writing I’d been doing on a personal blog into this little web domain. Since then, I’ve written up over a hundred hikes around Los Angeles, Southern California, and beyond, welcomed over a million unique visitors to the secret world of L.A.…

read » December 10, 2012

Modern Hiker’s 6th Birthday

Today marks the 6th birthday for Modern Hiker, the day I bought a .com and spun off the trail writing I’d been doing on a personal blog into this little web domain. Since then, I’ve written up over a hundred hikes around Los Angeles, Southern California, and beyond, welcomed over a million unique visitors to the secret world of L.A.…

read » December 10, 2012

Reconstructing Grand Canyon Views

The Grand Canyon is just one of those places that no matter how many pictures you’ve seen, will still take your breath away the first time you actually lay your eyes on it. It’s been drawing tourists from all over the world and capturing the imaginations of people who’ve seen it for thousands of years. And with scenes like this…

read » December 5, 2012

Historic Pasadena Zanja Hike

This Saturday, you can work off a bit of that turkey, explore a beautiful section of the city most people just drive over, AND learn a healthy dose of history all at the same time. The Arroyo Seco Foundation and Pasadena Water and Power are leading a free, guided hike through Pasadena’s Arroyo Seco. The hike will highlight the history…

read » November 20, 2012

L.A. Archive Bazaar is This Saturday

If you’re like me, you’re probably a bit of a history nerd. If so, I highly recommend getting acquainted with the Facebook page L.A. As Subject – a network of libraries, collectors, and research archives dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of the L.A. And I know, I know, we’ve ALL heard the jokes about L.A. not having any…

read » October 25, 2012