2015 has been an incredible year here at Trail to Peak. I’ve had the opportunity to travel and explore the Southwestern United States like never before. My year started with the 52 Hike Challenge, and I set a goal to get out and explore each and every week. It made for a lot of exciting times with Julia, Isla, and Lilly. 2016 is going to be another incredible year, and I look forward to sharing some of the exciting things in store for Trail to Peak. For now, I give you the top 7 Trail to Peak moments from 2015!!
Starting with a visit to Stonehenge in 2012 for Summer Solstice, I’ve made it a point to get out and celebrate the start of summer each and every year. The sun reaches it’s greatest height for Summer Solstice, and this is also the day on the calendar with the most daylight. I took Julia, Isla, and Lilly up to the summit of Mt. Baldy to enjoy Summer Solstice for 2015.
Camping at the summit of Cucamonga Peak has become somewhat of a Trail to Peak tradition for the 4th of July. Camping up at 8,900ft with a birds eye view of Southern California is pretty tough to beat. We had another clear night in 2015, and were able to see the fireworks all the way down to Disneyland. This was also the first year we had a crowd, it was a party-like atmosphere with 20 or so tents. Some of the people at the summit had first read about enjoying The 4th on Cucamonga Peak from this very blog!
Looking back, it’s amazing to think that Lilly joined team Trail to Peak in 2015. It feels like she’s been with us for so much longer. We adopted Lilly from a pretty rough situation in February of this year. She had a bit of a health struggle early on, but is now at full health and dominating the trails. The picture below is from her first weekend with us and only her second hike. You can see how happy Isla was to finally have a sister.
Visiting Southern Utah had been on my bucket list for a few years. I finally checked it off over Thanksgiving break. Getting to explore Utah’s 5 National Parks, made for a week I’ll never forget. I hiked Angels Landing in Zion, saw the hoodoos in Bryce, passed under a natural bridge at Capitol Reef, bathed in the never ending beauty of Arches, and saw the sunrise over Mesa Arch in Canyonlands. If you’ve never seen these parks, make sure to add them to your list for 2016.
Catalina Island is only a short boat ride from Long Beach. Living in Southern California, it’s only two hours away, yet we forget how close it is and how easy it is to visit. Julia and I made up for that in February of 2015, by hiking across the entire island on the Trans-Catalina Trail.
In 2014, Julia and I hiked from the South Rim to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon and vowed to return to complete the full Rim to Rim to Rim hike. We made it happen despite a little rain and an injury to Julia’s foot. It wasn’t easy, but was it ever worth it. I’ll never grow tired of the incredible views to be found in the Grand Canyon. I think this is going to be one of those trips we end up taking every year.
My favorite Trail to Peak moment from 2015 was thru-hiking the John Muir Trail. Looking back, this might be my favorite Trail to Peak moment ever. Covering 222 scenic miles through the most beautiful mountains in my home state made for a summer I’m sure to never forget. Julia and I started in Yosemite and forged countless memories on our way to summiting Mt. Whitney two weeks later. The John Muir Trail has my heart, and I’ll be sure to return soon.