In the mood for a hike this week? Check out these great hiking spots sprinkled throughout Southern California and add them to your lust-list of great outdoor adventures. Some of these hikes may be no-brainers that you’ve experienced before, but there are many on this list that are off-the-beaten-path hidden gems that offer a unique twist. Go out and experience them all!
1. Potato Chip Rock on Mt. Woodson
A hike to the peak of Mt. Woodson in Poway isn't complete without a potato chip. Potato Chip Rock, that is. Because it looks like, you know, a potato chip.
2. Bridge to Nowhere -- San Gabriel Mountains
You will navigate rocks and streams on this moderate 10-mile hike as you wind your way to an old abandoned bridge built in 1936 that literally leads to nowhere. The bridge draws a crowd not only for hiking enthusiasts, but it's also a popular spot for bungee jumping. I think I'll stick with hiking, thank you!
3. Mt. San Jacinto
This hike in San Jacinto State Park kicks things off in Chino Canyon where you take a thrilling ride on the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway that climbs 6,000 feet to Mountain Station. From here you can hit the trails and experience the breathtaking views at the summit.
If you're afraid of heights, this may not be the way to go!
4. Ice House Canyon Trail
A great year-round hike located in the Angeles National Forest in the San Gabriel Mountains. Be prepared for snow if you check this out in the winter.
5. Mt. Wilson Trail
Towering above Pasadena, Mt. Wilson is hard to miss. There are several trails you can take to reach the top. The Chantry Flats route seems to be the most well-traveled; clocking in at over 13 miles roundtrip, it's also the longest hike on this list.
6. Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak
Sandstone Peak is the highest point in the Santa Monica mountain range. The view at the top is a nice little reward for experiencing this 6-mile hike.
7. Kelso Dunes
A 4-mile hike up and over sand dunes in the Mojave National Preserve. Feeling thirsty yet?
8. San Clemente Beach Trail
This unexpected trail that runs along the railroad tracks at San Clemente Beach is a great way to get your engine running in the morning. Stellar ocean views can be seen on this flat and walkable 4.5 mile roundtrip trail.
9. Slot Canyon
No, this is not a set-piece from a Star Trek episode where Captain Kirk and Company get stranded on some random rock planet. This is the real deal right here in Southern California. It's called Slot Canyon and it's a unique hike in Anza-Borrego Desert State Park where you navigate your way through some pretty narrow rock sculptures. Be prepared to suck in your gut as this adventure can be a tight squeeze.
10. Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve
A peaceful coastal hike with a variety of scenery including ocean views, train tracks and colorful wildflowers in the spring. If you time your hike just right you will also see the seal pups out on the rocks soaking up the sun at the Seal Sanctuary.
I hope you’re inspired to get outside and check out some of these great spots. Where are some of your favorite hikes in and around Southern California? Please let me know in the comments so I can include them in the next list.