If you’re a hiker visiting Santa Cruz Island, this hike to Smuggler’s Cove has to be on your itinerary. This 8.2 mile hike gains a modest 1500ft of elevation gain, but provides some incredible ocean views in the process. Most hikers reach Smuggler’s Cove via an out-and-back route on Smuggler’s Rd, but in this guide I’ll provide directions for a more scenic loop route through Scorpion Canyon.
This loop hike from Scorpion Bay to Cavern Point takes place on Santa Cruz Island, the largest of eight islands making up Channel Islands National Park. Santa Cruz is also the largest island in California at 96.5 square miles. Starting at the Scorpion Anchorage Visitor Center, hikers will scale an ocean bluff with majestic views of the California mainland. From there, the trail follows the coastline before returning to Scorpion Anchorage via the Scorpion Ranch Campground.
The Mojave Lava Tube Trail sits 25 miles from the city of Baker amidst a landscape of cinder cones, joshua trees, and lava beds. This short hike only covers half of a mile round-trip, but the views and experience it provides makes it one of my favorites. In this guide, I’ll provide maps, photos, and a step-by-step guide for those of you looking to explore this lava tube in Mojave National Preserve.
Johnson’s Pasture is a 180-acre plot of land in the foothills of Claremont that’s a part of the larger Claremont Hills Wilderness Park. This 4-mile loop hike gains a respectable 860-ft of elevation, and provides some of my favorite views of the San Gabriel Mountains. In this guide, I’ll provide directions, a map, photos, and a detailed hike description for the Johnston’s Pasture Gale Mountain Loop.
The 3.4 mile hike to Teutonia Peak passes through an area with the most dense concentration of Joshua Trees anywhere in the world. This 700 ft climb to the 5,755ft Teutonia Peak also provides hikers with breathtaking views of Kessler Peak and Cima Dome. If the scenic views, Joshua Trees, and volcanic domes don’t pique your interest, you can also take a side trail on this hike to explore the old Teutonia Mine.
The Cameron Ridge Segment of the Pacific Crest Trail is a 6.5 mile stretch of trail that starts on Cameron Rd and ends on Tehachapi Willow Springs Rd between the cities of Mojave and Tehachapi. This trail takes hikers right up to the wind turbines of the Alta Wind Energy Center. Hiking this trail in late spring will allow you to rub shoulders with PCT thru-hikers making their way from Mexico to Canada.
This 4 mile out-and-back hike of Cerro San Luis begins at the Lemon Grove Loop Trailhead in my old hometown of San Luis Obispo, CA. This hike gains 1082ft to reach the 1292ft summit of Cerro San Luis for commanding views of the Central Coast. This guide provides a detailed hike description with photos, maps, and directions.