Southern California Mid-Winter Adventures


Happy Feat

Research shows that this is the most depressing time of year. Turn that frown upside down by soaking up some sun and suds, stoking a fire, and seeing things in a whole new light.

Rainforest Trail Fryman Canyon

Light of Day: You don’t have to visit a studio set to stroll through a rainforest in LA. Hike the little-known Rainforest Trail in Fryman Canyon Park in late afternoon and get a magnificent light show, as stunning shafts of light beam down through the lush greenery overhead.

Slow Steam Ahead: There's a happy place to relax during winter's big chill. Soak yourself silly in the mineralized waters of Sycamore Springs, just 10 minutes from downtown San Luis Obispo (SLO)—named The Happiest Place in America.

Hot Spot: The trail to Deep Creek Hot Springs in San Bernardino National Forest runs hot and cold—or, more literally, cold then hot. There are two ways to reach this year-round mineral water retreat…

Ring of Fire: With miles of sun-kissed beaches, Los Angeles County still seems to hold a grudge against bonfires. Only Playa del Rey’s Dockweiler Beach allows open flames. The good news: this 3-mile slice of coast is among the most scenic stretches of sand.

Great Ascot! Sometimes the skyline’s the limit, and that’s a good thing if you’re visiting Ascot Hills Park, an 83-acre urban respite that offers a winter sunset to remember. A loop hike passes over the park’s highest hill—an excellent spot for seeing the sun sink behind LA’s downtown skyline, creating a fiery silhouette.

Moonshiners: A 7:30 p.m. start time and possibly even a group howl are part of the action on a full-moon hike with TreePeople. Dedicated to urban forestation and conservation in LA, this non-profit organization brings people and trees together on a night journey through Coldwater Canyon. The next full-moon hike is this Saturday, January 26.

Mount Whitney Peak Hike: Step 1

It’s the highest point in the contiguous U.S. and one of the most popular wilderness destinations in the world. At 14,494 feet, California’s Mount Whitney is a bucket-lister, and totally doable even if you’re a casual hiker. You’ve just got to know a few important things. The best time to hike Whitney is in spring—making now the time to start planning! Here’s how: show up at one of Adventure 16’s free local Whitney Clinics, and an expert will walk you through the entire trip-planning process, from gear and popular routes to the newest system for booking your permit online (read: hassle-free). See a photoshow and mingle at a Happy Half-hour—compliments of A16. Whether your goal is to hike Mount Whitney in a single day or as a side trip while backpacking for multiple days, reaching the summit is a whole lot easier with advance preparation from the local pros who know. Your Mount Whitney adventure starts at Adventure 16.

TIP: Check out the Mount Whitney live web cam! You won't find a more knowledgeable resource than Adventure 16 to prepare for Mount Whitney. Free Whitney Clinic dates and A16 locations:

Monday, January 28: A16 Oceanside Store
Tuesday, January 29: A16 Solana Beach Store
Wednesday, January 30: A16 San Diego Store
Thursday, January 31, A16 Tarzana Store
Friday, February 1: A16 West LA Store