February Summary

During the month of February, I hiked 95.7 miles, gaining approximately 10,350′. I spent a total of 39 hours and 20 minutes on the trails, during which time I burned approximately 13,674 calories. Despite the shortened month, I did my most hiking since July of 2012. This indicates that feet are fully healthy and are […]

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Santa Rosa Plateau: Grand Loop

The Santa Rosa Plateau stands above the city of Murrieta in the southern foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. This gently rolling landscape features the last great Engelmann oak woodland, endless fields of green, trickling streams, and California history. With seemingly endless trail options, Santa Rosa presents something for everybody, from lazy strolls to all […]

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Los Pinos and Trabuco Peaks

Looking north Looking south Los Pinos and Trabuco Peaks are two moderate peaks accessible from Main Divide Road in the Santa Ana Mountains. Both peaks sit around 4,500′, and, taken together, they present a borderline-strenuous walkabout that throws in a large stretch of Main Divide, which runs along the north-south crest of the Santa Anas. […]

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Boden Canyon, Revisited

East of Escondido, the San Diego countryside transforms from densely packed suburbs to rolling, arid canyons and hills. At the bottom of these canyons lie stream beds, over which water will flow during particularly wet times. Boden Canyon is one of these canyons, and the old streambed rolling through the canyon supports a lush oak […]

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Cypress Gardens

Cypress Gardens is a small nature preserve/plantation/heritage center/swamparium/etc., etc. located about a half hour from Charleston. The small network of trails allows the wanderer to explore a lovely patch of swamp, as well as some dense forest, plantation sites, butterfly exhibit, swamparium, and numerous buildings and exhibits nearby. Distance: 2.2Elevation Gained: 0Difficulty: EasyTime: 1:45Critters: Great […]

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Old Wide Awake Park

Old Wide Awake is an old plantation site and adjacent park about 30 minutes outside of Charleston. The plantation house is a popular venue for wedding receptions, and the park, with its moss-draped live oaks, is a popular setting for the ceremonies. In addition, there is a tiny network of trails that allows for an […]

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Charleston Urban Hike

Charleston is the oldest and second largest city in South Carolina. Founded in 1670 by friends of King Charles II, this city would eventually become one of the most important, and notorious, ports in the south. Famous for its gardens, plantations, mansions, and manners, this city is considered the most polite, best dressed, and friendliest […]

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Relict Species: Tecate Cypress

Relict, n: a remnant or survivor.Species, n: a distinct sort or kind Tecate Cypress (Cupressus forbesii) This rare cypress occupies only four cites in Southern California, three of which – Otay Mountain, Tecate Peak, and Guatay Mountain – are in San Diego County. The fourth grove, in Coal Canyon on the north end of the Santa Ana Mountains, was […]

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San Onofre State Beach

The name “San Onofre” is usually synonymous with a pair of suggestively-shaped nuclear reactors. However, this area also features miles of pristine coastline that, due to Camp Pendleton and the reactors, has been left undeveloped. This beach represents one of the last undeveloped stretches of coastline in the Los Angeles/Orange/San Diego County region.Distance: 6.1 MilesElevation Gained: […]

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Dry Lakes Ridge

Tucked away high atop a ridge in Los Padres National Forest north of Ojai lie five “dry lakes.” These “lakes” are actually meadows, even though they look like they could hold water, given enough precipitation. This unusual, perhaps unique environment is as tranquil and beautiful as it is surprising. Distance: 5 MilesElevation Gained: 1,600Difficulty: Moderately […]

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