SoCal Hiking Treks: From Novice To No Way

by Michele Leivas

Aug 27, 2014

Crystal Cove © Krapels | Dreamstime

Sports

It is said — by southern Californians – that SoCal is one of the best places to live if you love the outdoors. In one day, weather permitting, you can surf in the morning and snowboard in the afternoon. Or sunbathe and build a snowman, if that’s more your thing.

California is an outdoors enthusiast’s dream. Not only does it have the waves and the slopes, it also has the trails. Hiking trails, that is.

SoCal’s desert landscape offers a variety of trails that accommodate all levels of athleticism and stamina. Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach offers 17 miles of hiking with trails categorized from easy to strenuous. It’s shortest trail – the moderate one – is just under a three-mile trek while it’s strenuous trail is also its longest, topping off at 8.97 miles. Depending on the trail, hikers will enjoy ocean panoramas or mountain vistas.

Farther south, in San Diego County’s city of Poway, Mount Woodson gained popularity due to the humorous photographs hikers posted on Facebook and

Instagram of themselves perched on its cleverly-named peak, Potato Chip Rock. The hike itself is not for the faint of heart; it is approximately four hours and just more than six miles long, but the photo-ops at the end of the trail are worth the trek for most hikers. There does tend to be a wait at the peak as there are generally hikers waiting for their photo-op on Potato Chip Rock itself.

It is always recommended you wear proper hiking attire and shoes and bring plenty of water. Southern California is a desert and temperatures soar easily into the triple digits. Hiking earlier in the mornings or in the cooler months are easy ways to beat the heat.

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