Garnet Peak

Garnet Peak is one of the many peaks that thrust out from the eastern edge of the Laguna Plateau. While it is not the highest, it has one of the most commanding views of the desert country of Southern California, including Anza-Borrego desert, Mts. San Gorgonio and San Jacinto, the Salton Sea, and northernmost Mexico.Stats:┬áDistance: …

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The Sunset Trail

Perched atop a rolling plateau in the Peninsular Ranges in eastern San Diego County lies a vast, sumptuous meadow, rimmed with pine trees and studded with small, ephemeral lakes. This landscape, which may be one of the most beautiful in all of San Diego, offers contrast, solitude, silence, endless vistas, and cool, shady forests to …

Santa Anita Canyon, Thanksgiving Day Edition

Distance: I'm guessing about 7.5-8 MilesElevation gained: I'm guessing 2,200'Difficulty: Moderately strenuousCritters: Grey squirrels galore.Get there like this.Note: You will need an Adventure PassJust as important: You need to get here early on weekends and holidays since this place is insanely popular.Just a few linear miles from the endless urban sprawl of Los Angeles county …

Joshua Tree, Day 2: Willow Hole and the Wonderland of Rocks

Distance: 7.2 MilesElevation Gained: Eh.Difficulty: ModerateCritters: RavenGet there like this.┬áDetails:Willow Hole and the Wonderland of Rocks. That sounds like either a fantasy movie or an album by an obscure prog band. Turns out that this is an actual place - and a beautiful one, at that.This was the signature hike for this camping trip. I …

Joshua Tree, Day 1: Barker Dam

Rocks showing the waterline within Barker ResevoirDistance: 4.5 milesElevation Gained: Not certain there is anyDifficulty: EasyCritters: A roadrunner, a hawkGet there like this.Details:Everything in the desert is centered around water. Plants evolve elaborate responses to the climate such as small, waxy leaves that balance the need to conserve water with the need to photosynthesize abundant …

San Gabriel Peak

Panorama of the San Gabriel Range looking east to Mt. BaldyDistance: 4.2 MilesElevation Gained: 1,600'Difficulty: Moderately StrenuousTime: 2:30Directions to the trailheadNote: Don't forget your National Forest Adventure PassDetails:Red Box Canyon from the TrailheadThe Front Range of the San Gabriel Mountains looms like a massive, green wall over the cities of the San Gabriel Valley. This …