Category archive for Trail Write-Ups

Joshua Tree Hidden Valley

Hiking Hidden Valley

A short, mile-long interpretive trail through an area rich with history, wildlife, and rock climbers. A great introduction to the park if you’re coming in from the Western Entrance.

read » February 18, 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
Temescal Canyon to Skull Rock 27 (1 of 1)

Hiking Temescal Canyon to Skull Rock

A moderately challenging 4.6 mile loop trail in the Pacific Palisades. This route takes you on the popular Temescal Canyon Trail to Temescal Falls (really just a small cascade, most often only a trickle). From there, the hike makes a strong but shaded ascent up to the ridge and to Skull Rock, a cool little rock formation with some excellent…

read » February 1, 2013
Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

Hiking the Baldwin Hills Scenic Overlook

A short but strenuous hike up a steep set of stairs just south of Ballona Creek in Culver City for some fantastic views of the surrounding landscape. This small park is popular with fitness-types sweating and jogging up the incline multiple times, as well as shutterbugs who set up shop on the overlook – especially on clear days. A great…

read » January 29, 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
Jones Peak

Hiking Jones Peak via Bailey Canyon

This trail has two parts – a surprisingly rugged short trip through a shaded canyon to a small waterfall and a calf-kicking nonstop ascent to Jones Peak with killer views of Sierra Madre and the San Gabriels along almost the entire route. Shadeless and unrelenting, this can be a slow stroll or a great workout trail – with options to…

read » November 28, 2012
Franklin Canyon Reservoir Loop

Hiking Franklin Canyon – Reservoir Loop

This short and easy loop in the north end of Franklin Canyon Park is a great introduction to the area – and a reminder of what kinds of hidden gems are scattered all over the city. There are lots of opportunities to leave the reservoir loop to explore the park – or just sit by the shores and birdwatch, too.…

read » October 12, 2012
Franklin Canyon Hastain Loop

Hiking Franklin Canyon – Hastain Loop

A short loop in the southern half of Franklin Canyon Park – a rugged, hidden little canyon just outside of Beverly Hills. This is a decent workout with some really lovely canyon scenery and views of Beverly Hills and Century City – and not too crowded, either!

read » October 11, 2012
Bee Rock and Old L.A. Zoo

Hiking Griffith Park – Bee Rock and the Old L.A. Zoo

A just-under four mile loop through a seldom-used section of Griffith Park. This hike will take you up to the fenced promontory of Bee Rock for tremendous views of Glendale and the San Gabriels, then back down through the ruins of the old Los Angeles Zoo before ending up at an historic carousel.

read » September 10, 2012
Chilnualna Falls

Hiking Yosemite National Park – Chilnualna Falls

A 7.6 mile round trip to the top of the largest cascade of Chilnualna Falls. This low-elevation, steady uphill trail can get pretty warm in the sunny summer months, but you’ll have a few opportunities to cool off from the cascade mists or at swimming holes off the main trail. This falls along this hike are not quite as breathtaking…

read » June 6, 2012
Bridalveil Falls

Hiking Yosemite National Park – Bridalveil Falls

A quick and easy nature walk up to Bridalveil Fall, a 617-foot year-round cascade that also happens to be one of the most popular spots in the park. Yosemite Valley is notoriously crowded – especially in the summer – so try to hit this spot early in the morning before you move on to other attractions or trails in the…

read » May 31, 2012
Mount Hollywood

Hiking Griffith Park – Mount Hollywood

An accessible, just-under four mile loop in Griffith Park to the peak of Mount Hollywood. On a clear day, this hike will give you tremendous views of the L.A. basin and nearby Griffith Observatory, and its short length belies some genuinely sweat-inducing stretches of incline. A great little hike in the heart of Griffith Park.

read » May 17, 2012
Ernest E Debs

Hiking Ernest E. Debs Regional Park

A lovely 5+ mile loop through almost every section of this hidden park near the Arroyo Seco. Birds are abundant here, and the air will probably be filled with birdsong as you hike its mostly easily-graded trails and fire roads. This park is mostly dog-friendly, has facilities for picnics and fishing, and a top-notch Audubon Center with plenty of activities…

read » May 2, 2012
Death Valley Golden Canyon Gower Gulch Zabriskie Point

Hiking Golden Canyon and Gower Gulch to Zabriskie Point

A six mile loop through some of the most stunning badlands in Death Valley National Park. This route features tons of geologic and human history – you’ll pass through layers of strata defining the different ages of Death Valley’s past, see canyons painted in dozens of different colors, and pass old mining shafts and claims from the area’s industrial heyday.…

read » April 12, 2012
Darwin Falls Death Valley

Hiking Darwin Falls

A decidedly non-desert landscape in the middle of one of the hottest, driest deserts in the world – Darwin Falls is one of the only permanent fresh water sources in the park. A spring-fed creek flows through a narrow canyon, allowing grasses, trees, and all forms of life to flourish in a very small pocket of land. This is a…

read » March 27, 2012
Death Valley Salt Creek

Hiking Salt Creek

A short half-mile loop on a boardwalk through a very, very strange area of Death Valley – a bonafide salt marsh in the middle of one of the driest places on earth.

read » March 12, 2012
Badwater Basin Death Valley

Hiking Badwater Basin

A very easy in-and-out hike from a boardwalk to the salt flats of Badwater Basin, the lowest point of elevation in the Western Hemisphere. Even though it’s not a very challenging hike, if you’re in Death Valley National Park, this is pretty much a must-see.

read » March 2, 2012
Smith Mountain

Hiking Smith Mountain

Smith Mountain is a prominent peak overlooking the central Angeles National Forest near the San Gabriel Wilderness. This hike follows the Upper Bear Creek Trail on a gradual incline before making a much more intense ascent to the summit of Smith Mountain via a rugged firebreak. This trail requires a bit of scrambling to get to the top, sometimes through…

read » February 23, 2012
Towsley Canyon

Hiking Towsley Canyon

A 5.3 mile loop trail through some rugged Santa Clarita terrain. This hike features a decent workout in its elevation gain, some spectacular views of the Santa Susana Mountains and lots of geologic activity – including several small tar pits and natural asphalt in the nearby creeks. This route also has a few fun scrambling opportunities and an area called…

read » January 24, 2012
Elysian Park Angel's Point

Hiking Angel’s Point

A 2.8 mile loop through the northern section of Elysian Park. This route through a park next to Dodger Stadium features a surprisingly rugged single-track overlooking the Golden State Freeway (which is nicer than it sounds) and paved and dirt paths through Elysian Park proper. This route passes soccer fields, barbeque pits, the Los Angeles Police Academy, and several jaw-dropping…

read » January 14, 2012