Mt. San Jacinto Traverse: Tram Station to Deer Springs Trailhead

Mt. San Jacinto, with its accompanying state park and federal wilderness, is one of the best example of montane, mixed-conifer high country south of the Sierra Nevadas. One of the most dramatic geological features in Southern California, the towering peak and its surrounding highlands dominates the Inland Empire, and provides appropriately astounding views. Distance: 11…

Murray Canyon

Murray Canyon is one of a number of spring-fed, oases-filled canyons in the Indian Canyon area south of Palm Springs. This region of shallow, narrow gorges is fed by springs from high up on the Desert Divide, which supports lush, cool micro-ecosystems. Distance: 6 Miles Elevation Gained: 500′ Difficulty: Easy Time: 2:15 Critters: Rabbits, lizards…

San Mateo Canyon Wilderness

San Mateo Canyon Wilderness is a substantial federally protected region of cool, shady canyons and sun-blasted hills that look as if they are coated with green velvet – at least from afar. The region offers some remote backcountry camping, in addition to more accessible day hikes. Distance: 23.2 Miles (over two days) Elevation: 4,750 (total)…

Santa Cruz Island

Santa Cruz Island is the largest of the eight Channel Islands off of the coast of Southern California. The northern Channel Islands are part of Channel Islands National Park, which protects the unique ecosystems that have evolved parallel to the mainland, lending the islands the nickname “The Galapagos of North America.” Distance: 8.5 Elevation Gained:…