Laguna Mountains

Big Laguna Trail - Pacific Crest Trail - Noble Canyon Trail - Sunrise TrailDistance: 12 Miles (approximately)Elevation gain: 900 feetDifficulty: Moderately StrenuousTime: 4 hours, 45 minutesCritters: hawks, rabbits, squirrels, bluebirdsYou Should Know: The Lagunas are part of Cleveland National Forest, and you will need an Adventure Pass to park here. Pros: Expansive desert viewsRelatively flat as …

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Malibu Creek State Park, Part 2

Crags Road - Bulldog Road - Castro Crest MotorwayDistance: 8.3 milesElevation gain: 1,700 feetDifficulty: Moderately strenuousTime: 2:30-3:00Critters: a black lab/German shepherd mix.Thank the universe for hills. They may seem like a pain in the ass when you're climbing them, but they do you the following benefits: one, you get fit; two, you get a good …

My Top Ten Hikes

Many components can comprise a great hike: degree of difficulty, sense of accomplishment, scenery, one's companions, and variables such as weather conditions, wildlife, or uniquely memorable incidences, all of which can transform a routine or average hike into something spectacular. Just about every hike contains a degree of any one of these elements, although some hikes will …

Boden Canyon

Difficulty: ModerateDistance: 11 MilesElevation Gain: 500 feetCritters: Hawks, squirrels, a coyote, and two very confused bovines.Boden Canyon lies just east of the San Pasqual Canyon nature preserve, which lies just east of the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Both Boden and San Pasqual Canyons are cut by the Santa Ysabel river, which at this time …

Mt. Wilson

Chantry Flats - Gabrieleno Trail - Sturtevant Trail - Sierra Madre Trail - Old Toll Road - Upper Winter Creek TrailDifficulty: StrenuousDistance: 14.6 MilesElevation gain: 4,000 feet.Critters seen: a thriving community of grey squirrelsEven though I've been hiking for years, I still don't really feel like I've been "hiking." Crazy to say since I've been all …

Pt. Mugu State Park Loop

Pt. Mugu Loop: Ray Miller Trail, Overlook Fire Road Trail, Wood Canyon Vista Trail, Sycamore Canyon Trail, Backbone Trail, Serrano Valley Trail, Serrano Canyon Trail, Sycamore Canyon Trail, PCH.Difficulty: StrenuousDistance: 14.5 MilesElevation Gain: +2,800/-2,800Critters Spotted: A flock of wild parrots Pt Mugu Loophttp://www.everytrail.com/swf/widget.swfEveryTrail - Find the best Hiking in Point Mugu State Parkhttp://www.everytrail.com/trip/widgetimpression?trip_id=1411827Sometimes the best …

Daley Ranch

Ponds Trail - Jack Creek Meadow Trail - Engelmann Oak Trail - Cougar Ridge Trail - Boulder Loop Trail.Difficulty: Moderately StrenuousDistance: 10.6 Miles Elevation Change: +1,886/-1746Critters seen: NoneNew/rare flora: The Engelmann Oak Daley ranchhttp://www.everytrail.com/swf/widget.swfScott Turner is the fastest blue dot you ever saw!http://www.everytrail.com/trip/widgetimpression?trip_id=1408931So, I'm a dork about trees. I'm not simply content to walk along …

Iron Mountain

Difficulty: Moderately strenuousDistance: 9.5 milesElevation gain: 2000 feetCritters spotted: A very feisty Weimeraner The Iron Mountain Loop is a popular trail which sits just outside the Poway city limits, south of equally popular Mt. Woodson. Both mountains, as well as other adjacent peaks, are studded with massive granite boulders and covered with new growth chaparral. …