Spitler and Apache Peaks

Spitler and Apache Peaks are two prominent bumps standing at 7,500′ on the Desert Divide, which includes the southern portion of the San Jacinto Mountain range. This portion of the range gets its name from the fact that it separates two distinct desert environments contained in the Coachella Valley and the Anza Valley. Distance: 13.1…

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park: Oakzanita Peak, Granite Springs, East Mesa, Dyar Springs

Cuyamaca Rancho State Park comprises one of the largest public parks in Southern California. It features mountains topping out at 6,500′, rolling meadows, shady canyons, rare cypresses, and a plethora of wildlife. There is a vast network of trails that can create easy hikes, masochistic hikes, and everything inbetween. Distance: 12 MilesElevation Gained: 1,600′Difficulty: Moderately…

Sitton Peak

This relatively modest peak in the southern end of the Santa Ana Mountains features great views of the ocean, and, when it’s clear, the San Bernadino Mountains, Palomar Mountains, Los Angeles and Orange County Basins, and Catalina Island. Distance: 9.5 MilesElevation Gained: 2,150′Difficulty: Moderately StrenuousTime: 3:45Critters: Squirrels, birds, hawks Get there like this.  The Santa…

Marble Falls Trail

The Marble Falls Trail leads to the cascading Marble Fork of the Kaweah River in a deep gorge just west from Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park. While the park is famous for the big trees and the high country, this trail features the foothills, which include chaparral, riparian, and oak woodland ecosystems. Distance: 4.8Elevation…

Batiquitos Lagoon

Batiquitos Lagoon is an easily accessible, well-maintained, and extremely popular trail that runs along the northern side of the tidal lagoon and adjacent salt marsh ecosystem. While you will never get a true sense of solitude here, it has great value as a convenient, relaxing respite from urban noise and stress. Distance: 3.5 Miles Elevation…

Mission Trails Regional Park: South Fortuna, Oak Canyon, Junipero Serra

Mission Trails Regional Park is a 5,800 acre natural preserve situated entirely within the city limits of San Diego. A municipal park this size is so rare that Mission Trails ranks as the sixth largest municipally-park in the country, as well as the largest in Southern California. It features numerous rocky peaks with great views…