Skull Rock and Temescal Loop

Hike to Skull Rock on the Temescal Loop Trail

The Temescal Loop trail is one of my favorite hikes on days when the sun dips low. This variation includes a side trip further up the ridge to Skull Rock. And yes, it really does look like a skull (with a little imagination). With the addition of a small side trip to Skull Rock, this […]

Hiking Mt Baden-Powell

Hiking Mt Baden-Powell

The sky was a deep, cloudless blue. The only sounds came from the occasional wind through the sparse trees and the crunching of my boots on the trail. I had just climbed nearly 3,000 vertical feet to the summit of Mt. Baden-Powell (9,399′) — one of the highest mountains in the San Gabriel mountains. The […]

Hiking to Aliso Peak

Aliso Peak Trail has great coastal views

South Orange County is often dismissed as a snooty, well-to-do slice of suburbia filled with malls, expensive cars and cookie cutter houses. It may fit that stereotype on the surface, but there is much more to explore. There are hidden trails like the Aliso Peak Trail above Laguna Beach. This short-but-sweet trail provides a perfect mid-week attitude […]

Hiking Angels Landing

Hiking to Angels Landing

We ascended Walter’s Wiggles, the 21-switchbacks carefully engineered and reinforced with sandstone blocks and were standing atop Scout Lookout, with awe-inspiring views down into Zion Canyon and over the Virgin River. Looming before us was a slender finger of red sandstone leading to Angels Landing. I have been up Half Dome several times. I’ve sat atop Banner Peak and dangled […]

Temescal Canyon Loop

Hiking the Temescal Canyon Loop

Temescal Canyon in the Pacific Palisades provides a beautiful setting for a short hike. Wooded canyon? Check. Great exercise with a challenging climb? Check. Beautiful panoramic views of the Pacific coastline? This hike has all of the above. We checked this trail out late on a Saturday afternoon and were able to enjoy the sunset from […]

Echo Mountain via the Sam Merrill Trail

Hike the Sam Merrill Trail to Echo Mountain

Hiking Echo Mountain via the Sam Merrill Trail is a rewarding experience, rich with history. First, Echo Mountain itself is the site of the ruins of the Echo Mountain House — a hotel built in the late 1800’s by Thaddeus Lowe. There were no roads to this hotel — you reached it by an incline […]

Thru-Hiking the JMT: Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley, Plus Half Dome

Liberty Dome and Nevada Falls

The night is fading as we awaken, excited to finally start hiking the John Muir Trail. I slept like a log at the backpacker’s campground, but Jeffrey and Hari heard people chasing a bear away from the car campground. We eat a quick breakfast, break camp, don our backpacks and walk along the road to […]