Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Revisiting The Devil's Chair

If you ask me which are my favorite hikes in Southern California, I would list the usuals like the Verdugos or Monrovia Canyon Park. However, in my heart-of-hearts what really might be my number one choice is hiking to the Devil's Chair in the Antelope Valley.

Why do I like this area so much? Is it the crazy geography caused by fault lines?

Is it the amazing hike through pine trees while simultaneously offering views of the desert?

The hike is all of these things and more. While it is a bit of a jaunt from LA (an hour plus in the Antelope Valley) it is worth the trip for the other-worldly nature of the area. The hike itself isn't too bad, 7.4 miles RT, only about 600 feet in elevation gain but who cares about statistics when you have vistas?

Of course, the point of this hike is to get you to the chair, a piece of rock hanging out in the middle of a canyon surrounded by safety wire, and it is totally worth it!

I really can't recommend this hike enough, get yourself into the Devil's Maw!

For more info on the hike check out this link: http://www.devils-punchbowl.com/

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Hiking Kagel Mountain

In today's modern age of hiking, it is tough finding mountains and hikes that haven't been blogged about extensively by other people. I would like to think you have a good mix here on EWH, some well known trails and also some lesser known ones have floated up in a bottle on my blog-shores over the last few years.

One of my recent lesser-known favorites has to be Kagel Mountain, accessible in the Little Tujunga Canyon section of the Angeles National Forest. Its not an incredibly taxing hike, 6.2 miles roundtrip, 1,000 elevation gain on a fireroad but the views are stunning and you basically have this hike to yourself (always a bonus).

The trailhead picks up at the Dillon Divide on LTC and climbs steadily making its way through the mountains.

The real beauty of this trail is not the trail itself but the surrounding mountain ranges. It kinda feels like this trail is a marshmallow and the surrounding peaks are knives, but I love me s'mores so its rather fitting.

Eventually the trail gains the ridgeline and you are off to the summit of Kagel. One of the interesting things about this mountain is that it is used for launching yourself into the air with a hang glider.   On the summit there were plenty of weird hang glider-y things to greet us:

Of course, the views of nature aren't so bad as well once you are up there:

Overall this is really a bang for your buck type of hike, not too bad going up, killer views once you are up there and maybe some crazy people jumping off of mountains if you are lucky.

Want to know more about Kagel Mountain? Check out Peakery here: http://peakery.com/kagel-mountain-california/

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Outdoor Families Magazine

When people ask me how I got into hiking, the answer I always give is "my dad". My dad took me on many adventures, hiking peaks, camping trips and s'more making. There are so few resources online for families looking for adventures so its with great pleasure that I tell you about a new website for outdoor families Outdoor Families Online.

Check out the website here: http://www.outdoorfamiliesonline.com/

The goal of the website is to unite families and nature, a goal I can fully support! The magazine is officially launching on January 15th and to commemorate the launch, OFM is having a photo contest with some neat prizes:

At the conclusion of the Magazine’s two week-long “Great Family Adventure” Photo Contest, running January 15 - January 29, 2015, one family will be randomly chosen to receive a prize package courtesy of the Oxnard Convention and Visitors Bureau, to jump-start their participation in the Outdoor Families Online community. Winners will receive 2 nights hotel accommodations in Oxnard and an adventure-packed outdoor itinerary of activities including a Half-day Whale & Wildlife Watching Cruise of the Channel Islands National Park and National Marine Wildlife Sanctuary, Kayak or Jet Ski tour of Channel Islands Harbor, Bicycle rentals, admission to the City of Oxnard’s four first-class museums and an Oxnard  Souvenir Gift Pack.  

My suggestion? Keep checking the website for some great family adventures, enter in that contest to get some sweet prizes and I wish them well as they bring outdoor adventures to your family!

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