Southern CA Adventures for Olympics

07.26.12


Ready, Set, Gold!

With the Olympics officially kicking off tomorrow, we've rounded up a few epic hikes that will test your mettle and have you reaching for glory. Ready, set, gold!


Pear Lake Hike

Pear-fect Score: Looking for an overnight backpacking trip deep into the tallest mountain range in the lower 48? Pear Lake is your destination: a sparkling, emerald lake surrounded by jagged granite peaks with multiple cascading waterfalls filling its glacial green waters.

Good Mileage: Most hikers jostle for space on the 1.8-mile Gabrielino Trail to popular Sturtevant Falls in Big Santa Anita Canyon. But with extra daylight to spare, this misty—and mystifying—oasis becomes one of many spectacular highlights on a less-traveled 9.25-mile (round-trip) journey. Here’s how you do it...

Golden Opportunity: The Verdugo Mountains north of Glendale are a small collection of peaks, but don't let that fool you. This micro-range is a great place to find a big sunset. It's going to require a little work; a 7.5-mile out-and-back moderate hike, to be specific—and you'll need to bring a flashlight!

Reach New Heights: Imagine 55-miles of uninterrupted hiking from the coast of San Diego to the crest of its mountains: Developers of the ambitious Coast to Crest Trail plan to eventually connect 60,000 acres through San Dieguito River Park. Some sections are already open, and the 7.2-mile (round-trip) trail to the summit of Bernardo Mountain is one of the most scenic and accessible.

Go Big: There are lots of big views in Big Bear, so when something’s named Grand View Point, you know it’s going to be good. To get there, follow a 6.6-mile (round-trip) trail that weaves up through a forest of Jeffery pines and white firs, past cascading creeks, and along mountain meadows while gradually climbing 850 feet to a spectacular vista.

Rise Above: Waterfalls, rock scrambling, peak-bagging. Sound good? Then you’ll love the challenging hike up to Arlington Peak. Rising 3,258 feet above sea level, the peak offers 360-degree views of the Channel Islands, Oxnard, and Santa Barbara. The most popular way to reach it is via a challenging, 6-mile (round-trip) hike with 2,350 feet of elevation gain and plenty of boulder scrambling.

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