What an awesome year 2014 was! There were lots of new adventures, new hiking friends made and new trails explored. And it was a year of tremendous growth for SoCalHiker. I’ve got some exciting things to share for 2015, but first I wanted to look back at the year that was and share a few highlights. I’m going to break this into several posts, starting with…
The Top Posts of 2014
This might more accurately be called the “most-read” posts during 2014, since some of these were actually posted in prior years.
- Find a Hiking Trail
This is where you’ll find the real meat of SoCal Hiker — an interactive map and a sortable table of all our trail guides. I updated the maps to make it easier to navigate, and recently created dedicated pages for Los Angeles and Orange County. It remains the most-request resource on SoCal Hiker.
- Overview of the John Muir Trail
Planning my second thru-hike of the JMT is what inspired me to start SoCalHiker, and I’m glad that this overview is still in demand.
- A Six-Pack of Peaks
The SoCalHiker Six-Pack of Peaks was a big part of my training regimen for the JMT, and I’ve met many, many people who have taken up the gauntlet. It’s a great challenge in itself, or to train for bigger adventures like climbing Mt Whitney or hiking the JMT.
- Trans-Catalina Trail
The TCT is truly an epic backpacking trail, and a perfect week-long trip. Even though it’s just 20 miles off the coast, it feels like another world. If you haven’t hiked this trail, you should!
- Holy Jim Trail to Santiago Peak
The tallest peak in Orange County, Santiago Peak — aka Saddleback Mountain — is a rite of passage for OC hikers. It’s 16 miles with 4,000 feet of vertical gain. Though the top elevation is modest compared to the peaks in the San Gabriel or San Bernardino Mountains, those numbers add up to a serious challenge. For me, it’s a great warm-up to the Six-Pack.
- Mt Wilson via Chantry Flats
Next up was the first hike in the Six-Pack, a long loop that tests your quads.
- San Gorgonio via Vivian Creek
Seventh on the list was the finale of the Six-Pack and the tallest peak in Southern California — San Gorgonio. I summited San G via this same trail again this summer, and was reminded how important training is.
- Murphy Ranch
The former (alleged) Nazi compound in Pacific Palisades is an oddity that attracts hikers, curiosity seekers and graffiti artists.
- Mt San Antonio Loop
Mt San Antonio — aka Mt Baldy — is another rite of passage for SoCal hikers. And it’s over 10,000 feet, giving you a sense of what it’s like to hike in higher elevations (hint: it’s harder).
- Itinerary for the JMT
Rounding out the top 10 is another JMT favorite — the itinerary from my 2010 JMT thru-hike. We hiked the trail over 22 days with one rest day, and that three week itinerary remains popular with a lot of thru-hikers.
Were you surprised by the top 10? Let me know in the comments.
Next, check out the top posts from 2014.