Southern California 4th of July Adventures

06.30.11


Fired Up

Independence Day is on the way—got plans? Here are some reminders for enjoying the freedom of the outdoors. Happy 4th of July!


Monrovia Canyon Waterfall

H2-Oh!: Play misty on a morning hike in Monrovia Canyon Park: the 3.4-mile roundtrip Bill Cull Trail cuts along a canyon wall, passes over a stream, and skims through a lush forest to the main attraction: a 30-foot two-tiered waterfall flanked by oak and bay trees. Go to the flow!

Eye on Ojai: The artsy town of Ojai is better known for spa retreats than bike rides, yet one of the best ways to relax in the region is on two wheels. Join locals on a favorite route that starts from town, rises to panoramas, and goes down smooth. This one comes with a burrito bonus.

Beachy Keen: Tucked between beloved favorites Leo Carrillo and Zuma, Nicholas Canyon County Beach doesn’t get as much attention. But this south-facing stretch of sand is a simple way to spend the day—and a secret cave is yours to explore (mind your footing if the rocks are wet).

Big Deal: High-altitude hiking brings a bonanza of scenery on the 7.5-mile roundtrip adventure to Bertha Peak above Big Bear Lake. Snow-hugged peaks, Jeffrey pines, and the glinting blue lake are just a few of the highlights on your way to the 8,200-foot summit.

Small Crush: Temecula’s wine region is home to some grape big vineyards, but just 13 acres yields plenty of signature reds—and one refreshing white—at the mom-and-pop Palumbo Family Vineyards. Sample five different wines for $10, keep the glass, and wander the hilltop grounds overlooking Temecula Valley. Give it a swirl!

Million-Dollar View: Oceanfront property usually costs a fortune, but every now and again you can find a crystal in the rough. Crystal Cove State Park’s hike-in campsites offer bluff-side bliss with unobstructed Pacific views. And because you’ve got to hoof it in, there’s a reasonable chance of nabbing a last-minute spot over a busy weekend. Bonus: This weekend is also the grand opening of Crystal Cove State Park’s Moro Campground, 35 acres of premier coastal real estate and 60 campsites all offering a huge ocean view. Reserve in advance through reserveamerica.com (though this weekend may be booked).

Happy Tails! Weekend Sherpa always indicates if an adventure is dog-friendly in the italicized section of each story. For a quick reference, visit our dog-friendly archive.

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