Photo Friday – February 13, 2015

You, like us, are probably itching for the weekend to come more than usual. It’s a Fee-Free Weekend at most National Parks, Monuments, and Forests are being waived from February 14th through the 16th, so you’ve got no excuse NOT to visit.

Here with some SoCal hiking inspiration are this week’s Photo Friday winners sharing their epic outdoor photos from all over Southern California.

First up is sw33twhatsminesay, who played it smart with the butt-kicking Vital Link Trail and decided to tackle its relentless elevation gain when the sun wasn’t blazing directly overhead. I had to learn that lesson the hard way!

Top of #dtla peaking through the clouds #modernhiker

A photo posted by ????????? (@sw33twhatsminesay) on

Sackalini spent his hiking day closer to the coast, where he captured the Boy Scout Motto on Inspiration Point just off the Mishe-Mokwa Trail.

Frequent contributor jaxba got up close and personal with some of the features around Rocky Peak – a really fun hiking area in the north Valley that really doesn’t get as much love as it should.

And finally, we wrap up with joshjiniego, who took on the overgrown lower reaches of Trail Canyon and found the goings tough but rewarding. Trail Canyon was already a little messy before the Station Fire, but now it’s in dire need of some TLC from trail crews, but Josh said he enjoyed the route’s more rugged wilderness feel.

Snuck in a quick 6 miler over the weekend and was pleasantly surprised with #trailcanyonfalls at #bigtujungacanyon. This area was burnt during the Station wildfires, the same fire that threatened our house back in 09. The trail was closed for 3 years and posted signs on the trail warns that it's not being maintained. We didn't see any other car parked on the trailhead which concerned us at first, suspecting there must be a reason nobody's there. We were worried it hasn't recovered from the fire yet. I'm glad to report that it's back and it's more beautiful than ever. Plant life has grown back and other wildlife has returned. The lack of maintenance adds to its charms as it feels more like you're in the wild without the manicured trails. It's tucked in the lower part of #angelescrest national forest and it's easily accessible but we didn't see any other people during our hike. It's peaceful, serene, wild and surprisingly enjoyable for a short hike. We found ourselves stopping several times just to admire the vistas and to express how awesome life is. Lol. It is however easy to get lost in, swarming with bugs and rattlesnakes sightings have been reported so be mindful of your surroundings at all times. ???? . #hike7of52 #52hikechallenge #socalhiking #modernhiker #hiking #rei1440project #lastory #hiking #adventuretime #outhike2k14 #designedforfreedom #goplayoutside #explore #sunset #magichour #sunland

A photo posted by Josh J Iniego (@joshjiniego) on

All four featured photographers will get a code for a discount from our good friends at Sierra Trading Post. To get your photo featured on a future Photo Friday, simply add the tag #modernhiker on Instagram or Twitter or submit to our Flickr Group Page.

Now go get outside and enjoy the weekend … maybe on one of our 15 Favorite Hot Weather Hikes, for instance?