California Hiking

Take a hike in Topanga State Park, Pacific Palisades

Located in the cliffs and canyons of the Santa Monica Mountains, Topanga State Park features 36 miles of trails through open grassland, live oaks and spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean. The park is located entirely within the Los Angeles city limits and is considered the world’s largest wildland within the boundaries of a major city. More than 11,000 acres of land are preserved in the park. Excellent recreational opportunities abound for hikers as well as mountain bikers (restricted to fire roads) and equestrians. The park is bound on the south by Pacific Palisades and Brentwood, on the west by Topanga Canyon, and on the east by Rustic Canyon. Numerous geologic formations can be found in the park, including earthquake faults, marine fossils, volcanic intrusions, and a wide variety of sedimentary formations. Park Trails Many of the park's trails can be accessed from Trippet Ranch. The Musch Trail leads north to Musch Trail Camp by winding in and out of the sun and shade where plant assemblages change with every subtle difference in light and moisture. Two miles from Trippet is Eagle Junction, where hikers encounter the Eagle Spring loop trail. Eagle Rock, one of the many boulder outcrops on the trail, looms over the terrain and provides panoramic views of the park. At the eastern end of the Eagle Spring loop, hikers will come to the Hub Junction and the Temescal Fire Road. Going north, hikers travel through chaparral to unpaved Mulholland Drive, which traverses the park. South on Temescal Fire Road takes hikers high above the wild canyons with sycamore and oak riparian forests below. At Rogers Junction, hikers can opt for the Backbone Trail, a trail that winds through the Santa Monica Mountains from Will Rogers State Historic park in the east to Point Mugu State Park in the west. Rustic Canyon can be seen from the Backbone Trail. Another option from Trippet Ranch is to walk east to the Topanga Fire Road and then north for a short distance to the Santa Inez Trail. Descending into the Santa Inez Canyon, hikers can see crumbly sandstone formations containing pockets where moisture can collect, supporting numerous small plants that form tiny cliff gardens. Close to the bottom of the trail is a side trail leading to a lovely waterfall. Directions: From Pacific Coast Highway, travel north on Topanga Canyon Boulevard, pass the post office at the center of "town," then turn right on Entrada Road. Keep to the left at every opportunity until you reach the park's main parking lot (about one mile). From the Ventura Freeway (101), exit at Topanga Canyon Boulevard, drive south over the crest of the mountains and proceed three miles to Entrada Road and turn left. Address: 20825 Entrada Road, Topanga Phone: (310) 454-8212 Check out the comments for more California Hiking Or Click to Add your own recommendation


I Love to Hike said...

Total Escapes lists the schedules for meteor showers and full moons so you can plan your hikes for the best star-gazing.

I Love To Hike said...

Take a hiking break at the Tourist Club Chalet, Mill Valley.

The Tourist Club
30 Ridge Avenue
Mill Valley, CA
(415) 388-9987

They are open from 2-6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, closed the 2nd Sunday of the month for trail work.

A few times a year, the Tourist Club holds a festival. I think it's usually on the third Saturday of whatever month it's in. At these events, food -- pretzels, sausages, etc. -- is served. The patio and bar is open to the public, but the club also has members-only areas which include some rooms and cabins for overnight stays. I'm not sure what the membership requirements are, but I've been told that it's costly and also requires one to volunteer to work during the festivals.

They had a good selection of soda and juice, and they also sell chips, but yes, most folks bring food. Also, I took Ridge Avenue in, and found walking down the driveway in to be quite step. The hike across the Redwood trail is far easier and prettier. Also, if you go, make sure to put some change or a bill in the donation box on the bar!

irishlass said...

Hike the Tahoe Rim Trail

An enormous, deep-blue, subalpine lake surrounded by lofty, snowcapped peaks. Lush, green forests, dark volcanic peaks, stark granite faces and hundreds of small, jewel-like lakes adorning the wilderness areas above this special lake. Should someone build a loop trail here? Absolutely! In fact it is quite remarkable that the trail was completed only as recently as September 2001. If a loop trail should have been built anywhere in the world, this was the place.

The now 164-mile Tahoe Rim Trail circles one of the world's most beautiful lakes, and winds through two states, several wilderness areas, National Forest and state park lands, and an incredible diversity of geology, flora, and fauna. The trail accesses both the Sierra Nevada and its Carson Range spur, each with a unique personality. It winds through aspen meadows, skirts high mountain peaks, and runs for miles along ridgetops with stunning views. You can walk for miles under a forested canopy, or saunter through meadows. You can venture above treeline for long stretches. That the trail is a big loop, a circle, may be its best feature. Wherever you set off, as the days and weeks go by, you can follow the circle back to where you began. Across the big, blue expanse of the lake, you can pick out where you were a week ago, and where you will be again in another week. A multi-use path, much of the Tahoe Rim Trail was constructed for the pleasure of hikers, equestrians, and mountain bikers, using modern trail-building techniques, with the goal to not exceed an average grade of 10 percent.

Anonymous said...

The Bearpaw High Sierra Camp is only accessible by an 11.5 mile hike from inside Sequoria National Park.

Nestled 11.5 miles into Sequoia's backcountry, high atop a 7,800 ft. granite saddle overlooking the Great Western Divide, Bearpaw High Sierra Camp has been pampering overnight guests for the past 71 years.

Friendly, warm hospitality, led by Carolyn Pistelli, who has been the Bearpaw Camp Manager for 12 years, will ensure that your stay at Bearpaw is an unforgettable backcountry camping experience.

Six tent cabins, with wooden floors and canvas siding, each with twin beds, linens and down comforters.
Each cabin can sleep three people total (one person on the floor; no bedding provided).
Central shower house with hot showers and flush toilet.
Generous home-style breakfast and dinner served daily, included in the daily room rate. Box lunches can be purchased separately.
Numerous trails and day hikes, ranging from 3 to 18 miles round-trip begin from the Camp. Great local lakes for fishing.

You won't go hungry at Bearpaw. Meals are generous, home-cooked and served family-style.

A typical breakfast epicurean adventure may include: Tomato and Cheese Frittata; Oatmeal Raisin French Toast; Sausage and Egg Scramble; Broccoli-Squash-Pepper Quiche; Fresh Fruit Compote.

Dinners may include such delicacies as: Grilled New York Steaks or Tri-Tip; Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin; Indonesian Chicken; Portabella Lasagna; Sautéed Asparagus with Almonds; Grilled Zucchini, Orange Wild Rice and Twice Baked Potatoes.

Desserts are a specialty and home-made from scratch, such as: Pound Cake with Fresh Strawberries and Whipped Cream; Fresh Baked Berry or Apple Pie; Chocolate Layer Cake; New York Style Cheesecake and Cream Puffs with Chocolate Sauce.

A vegetarian option is available at every meal.

Wine by the glass is available for purchase.

The hike to Bearpaw is 11.5 miles one-way, along the High Sierra Trail. The trailhead starts at Crescent Meadow, approximately ten miles south from Wuksachi Lodge. The elevation begins at 6,800 ft. and ends at 7,800 ft. The hike is considered moderate, with several creek crossings and dramatic views of the Great Western Divide. The average hike in/out takes approximately seven hours.
PRE-PLANNINGWilderness Permits are required and free of charge, issued at the NPS Lodgepole Wilderness Office. For permit information, trail maps, conditions information, call 559.565.3761. Permits cannot be mailed; they must be picked up in person the morning of your Bearpaw arrival date. The Lodgepole Wilderness Office is open daily from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in summer; limited hours in the off-season. For current weather conditions, call 559-565-3341.

We recommend that you consider staying at Wuksachi Lodge the night before and after your hike, so you can acclimate yourself to the elevation and get a good night’s rest before hiking or driving home.

Reservations for the 2006 season will be taken beginning January 2 after 7 a.m. PST by calling 888-252-5757.

Cancellations throughout the year happen, so check back often for newly available dates online, or by calling our Reservations Office.

Anonymous said...

State Parks in Mendocino County Offer Summer Sunday Hikes

Four to Six-Mile Hikes Will Explore Beaches, Fern Canyons,
Waterfalls and Coastal Bluffs

MENDOCINO – A series of special hikes for the whole family have been scheduled for
July, August and September in Van Damme, Russian Gulch, Big River, Mendocino Headlands
and MacKerricher State Parks. The parks are located in the Mendocino Village-City of Fort
Bragg area, 150 miles north of San Francisco.

Lead by State Parks Volunteers Bill Adams and Louise Young, interested hikers will
meet at 9:30 a.m. for each Sunday hike(dates below). They need to bring water, a light lunch,
hat, light jacket, sturdy shoes and sunscreen. No pets will be permitted on the hikes.

The hiking dates are:

Sunday, July 9: Russian Gulch Waterfall Loop, about six miles, moderate difficulty. Pay
day use fee at the park gate and meet in the recreation center parking lot. About four hours.

Sunday, July 23: Van Damme Fern Canyon to the Pygmy Forest; five miles, moderate.
Meet at Beach parking area. About three hours. One short, steep climb.

Sunday, August 6: Big River Beach and watershed, six miles, easy. Meet at Big River
Beach below Mendocino Village. About three hours on the beach and old haul (logging) road.

Sunday, August 20: Mendocino Headlands Loop, four miles, easy hiking with many
scenic breaks along the ocean. Meet at parking area on Heeser Street (off Lansing) in
Mendocino Village. About three hours.