Valley of Fire is a State Park in Nevada located 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas. The park encompasses 40,000 acres filled with red sandstone, grey and tan limestone, petrified wood, 2,000 year old petroglyphs, bighorn sheep, and more. Valley of Fire is located just off of I-15 making it the perfect short stop on road trips through the American Southwest.
A hike of Little Lakes Valley via Mosquito Flat makes for a quintessential Eastern Sierra outdoor experience. This 8.5-mile out-and-back hike passes by six alpine lakes and provides side trail options to quite a few more. Hikers will pass under the 13,000+ ft mountain peaks of Bear Creek Spire, Mt. Dade, Mt. Abbot, and Mt. Mills.
Patriarch Grove rests at an elevation above 11,000ft, and requires 13 miles of driving on an unpaved dirt road. There are two .5 mile hikes at Patriarch Grove, the Timberland Ancients Trail and the Cottonwood Basin Overlook Trail. In this guide, I’ll provide directions, photos, maps, and instructions on combining these two hikes for a 1-mile figure eight loop.
The Discovery Trail is a short 1-mile loop hike that gains a mere 276 ft of elevation within the Ancient Bristlecone Forest. Although this hike is short, it can still be a challenge since it begins at an elevation above 10,000ft. The trailhead for the Discovery Trail is located at Schulman Grove, right outside the Ancient Bristlecone Forest visitor center. In this guide, you’ll find driving directions, maps, instructions, and photos.
Stoddard Peak sits at 4624ft in the front range of the San Gabriel Mountains. This peak is sandwiched between the low lying foothills of Upland and Claremont in the front, and the high rising mountains of Mt. Baldy in the back. Stoddard Peak’s location provides hikers with some spectacular 360 degree views of the surrounding landscapes. This hike is 6-miles roundtrip, with 1204 ft of elevation gain, and a trail mix of fire road and cross country single track.
Eagle Scout Trail is a 3-mile out-and-back hike with 1043ft of elevation gain. Located between the 57 and 71 freeway, many Southern California residents have probably driven past this hike without even knowing it exists. As soon as you start to gain elevation from the trailhead, you’ll have views of Cal Poly Pomona, Diamond Bar, and the rest of the Inland Empire to the east.
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.