We concluded our family weekend in the Sierra with a day hike to the Treasure Lakes near Bishop. This is another short trail that gives hikers a great taste of the High Sierra without too much effort.
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We returned to the mountains this past weekend for another taste of early summer in the High Sierra. This time, the whole family tagged along and we did some more family friendly dayhikes out of Owen’s Valley. Our first hike was in Little Lakes Valley, which is one of the easiest access points to the High Sierra and also one of the range’s flattest trails. It’s the perfect trail for someone’s first trip to the Sierra.
This trip was the two year anniversary of Callie’s first backpacking trip and the launch of CaliTrails. We celebrated the occasion by taking our first backpacking trip of the year on one of the Sierra’s best dog friendly trails.
The Sierra season is quickly approaching, so Callie and I took advantage of one last opportunity to get a big training hike in before the summer’s adventures begin. Our destination this time was the San Bernardino Peak trail, a first for both of us but definitely not our last. With gorgeous open views and very few hikers to contend with, this is a fantastic trail to hike with your dog.
With the suburban sprawl of the Inland Empire surrounding its west side and plush resorts in Palm Springs flanking the east, San Jacinto State Park provides a convenient refuge for Los Angeles hikers looking for an escape from the grid. Most visitors access the park via a tram that ascends from Palm Springs for close to a mile of elevation gain to an altitude of 8516 feet. On the opposite side of the mountain, a number of trails offer more ambitious and desolate routes to the summit. The Marion Mountain trail is probably the most popular of those routes, and with good reason. It’s a phenomenal hike that at times feels more like the Sierra than a local LA trail.
About an hour west of Los Angeles, Sandstone Peak features a dazzling vista of the Pacific that rivals any view that I’ve seen in Southern California.
Tucked away on the northern side of the San Gabriel mountains, the Devil’s Punchbowl is one of LA’s best kept secrets. The juxtaposition of mountain scenery with desert geology gives it the type of rich diversity that defines California’s landscape.
Under the right conditions, the Cucamonga Peak trail transcends what one expects from a local Los Angeles hike. Two years ago on a beautiful winter day, a ten month old Callie and I shared an amazing experience on the trail. I was blown away by the prospect that a hike with scenery and solitude that matched the Sierra was within such close proximity of my doorstep. That hike was a huge inspiration for the creation of this website, and I have been looking forward to returning to it ever since.
The Mount Waterman loop is two different experiences wrapped into one. A typically serene stroll through the high elevation forests of the San Gabriels is combined with a tour of a defunct ski resort slowly decaying as global warming redefines expectations for Southern California’s winters.
Don’t let the name fool you, the Devils Slide Trail is a heavenly slice of Southern California hiking.