Boney Mountain

Big Sycamore Canyon Fire Road – Serrano Canyon Trail – Serrano Valley Trail – Backbone Trail – Chamberlain Trail – Old Boney Trail Distance: 22 milesElevation gained: 3,100′Difficulty: MasochisticTime: 8:25, including 30 minutes worth of breaks Critters: Feral parrots, hawks, two deer Pros:– Experiences every ecosystem in the Santa Monicas, excluding valley oak woodlands.– Expansive…

Mt. Woodson

Lake Poway Trail – Mt. Woodson Trail Distance: 7.6 MilesElevation Gain: 2,800′Difficulty: Moderately StrenuousCritters: Coots! Pros:– Fairly challenging workout– Good views of San Diego County– Boulders, boulders everywhere! Cons:– Very crowded– Full sun exposure from start to finish\– Hot, even when it’s cool out. Details: Mt. Woodson looms pretty large over central San Diego County.…

Backpacking in Santa Anita Canyon

First Water Trail – Gabrielino Trail – Rim Trail – Sturtevant Trail – Lower Winter Creek Trail Distance: Day 1 – 5.2 Miles                Day 2 – 13.5 Miles Elevation Gain: 4,100′ totalDifficulty: StrenuousCritters: A thriving grey squirrel population Pros: – Easily accessible from Los Angeles– Beautiful forest set along a stream– A sense of…

High Point

High Point Truck Trail – Palomar Divide Trail – High Point Lookout Trail Distance: 22.1 Miles (+1 mile)Elevation gained: 4,000′Time: 8:30Difficulty: MasochisticCritters: none to speak of Pros: – Epic views of mountains in Riverside, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Orange Counties, including San Gorgonio, San Jacinto, Baldy, Santiago Peak, Cuyamaca Peak, Laguna Mountains, Hot Springs Peak–…

Los Penasquitos Canyon

Penasquitos Canyon Trail Distance: 11 MilesElevation Gain: 300 feetTime: 3:50Difficulty: ModerateCritters: A coyote, woodpeckers, various vermin Pros: – Close to urban and suburban areas of San Diego– Long stretches of oak and riparian woodland– Nice waterfall stop halfway can cut the distance in half– Accessible on the the east and west ends– Surprisingly remote feeling…

Cheeseboro Canyon

Modelo Trail – Palo Comado Connector Trail – Shepherd’s Flat Trail – Albertson Fire Road – Cheeseboro Canyon Trail Distance: 13.2 milesElevation Gain: 1200′Difficulty: Moderately StrenuousTime: 4:45Critters: A roadrunner, a crow that hovered over my shoulder, squirrels, rabbits, Pros: – Long stretches of oak woodland– A nice transition from rolling green hills and oak woodland…

Palomar Mountain and Lopez Canyon

Hike 1:Scott’s Cabin Trail – Cedar Trail – Doane Valley Trail – Chimney Flat Trail Hike 2: Observatory Trail Hike 3: Lopez Canyon Trail Distance: 4.6, 4.4, 4.4 miles, respectively.Elevation Gain: 600, 750, negligableDifficulty: Easy, Moderate, EasyTime: 2:14, 2:43, 1:57Critters: 25 mule deer, squirrels, chipmunks, hawks, bluebirds, jays Pros (Palomar): – Reasonably easy access to a…