This April, I spent more time on the trail than I ever have before. I set myself a challenge to hike 175 miles. I do this sort of thing at least once a year. I set some ridiculous goal, which makes me hike either further or more frequently. It’s a great way to get myself on the trail more. As a result of the challenge, I hiked 33 times this month.
April is a fine month for hiking, and I got to see a ton of wildflowers, green grass, and wildlife. I spent four nights out camping (2 at Sequoia and 2 at Palomar).
Here are three of my favorites for the month:
1. Cahuilla Mountain
Cahuilla Mountain has long been on my list of places to explore, and with a free Saturday, I decided to go check it out. My friend Ashley joined me for this misty, drippy stroll through chaparral, pine and oak forest, meadows, and springs. There wasn’t much of a view from the summit thanks to all the cloud cover, but the profusion of wildflowers and cool, damp air more than made up for it.
2. La Jolla Valley
I hiked this old favorite of mine on a trip up to the LA area to see my family. The valley lies on the extreme western edge of the Santa Monica Mountains in Point Mugu State Park. The area burned in the 2013 Springs Fire, and the recovering vegetation put forth a nice mix of wildflowers and new growth. Moderate rain kicked in toward the end of the hike, making a very soggy finale for an otherwise gorgeous hike.
3. Paradise Creek
At the beginning of the month, I spent three days in the foothills area of Sequoia National Park exploring a variety of trails. All of the hikes were beautiful, but none moreso than Paradise Creek. This 5 mile trail travels through a steep, secluded canyon bedecked with dense woodlands, rumbling cascades, and abundant wildflowers. I capped the hike off with a long rest at a waterfall before returning to my campground for a roaring fire. I cut my trip short due to an infected tick bite, but I know I’ll come back to Paradise Creek as often as I can.
Next up in May, I’ll booked my birthday month with a nearly two-week long trip to Maui. I plan to hit a number of shorter trails on the western side of the island with a possible longer excursion on the slopes of Haleakala. At the tail end, I’ll head up to the Grant Grove area of Kings Canyon National Park to do a thorough exploration of Grant Grove, Redwood Canyon, and a few spots in the Giant Sequoia National Monument.
Miles hiked in 2016: 483.7