Monday, February 21, 2011

Trail Types

When I was hiking amongst the Adirondacks, I was always impressed by the uniformity of the hikers and their apparel on the trail. Everyone wore wickable clothing, most had hiking sticks/poles and ever person was there to "hike" the "mountain".

In LA, I have seen a huge variety of trails and quite the variety of people on them. Who have I encountered you ask?


This has been basically me and no one else. I have gone on several hikes and have been the most "overdressed" one.

Overdressed meaning wickable, hiking boots and a hiking rucksack. Now in fairness to me and my style choices, I have tackled many trails that are multi-use trails and not the 10k + peaks that surround SoCal. I am hoping that on these peaks the hikers will be more A-16 than True Religion jeans otherwise I am going to have to invest in a new wardrobe.


These guys and gals are in serious shape. Earbuds firmly attached? Check. Watch with a timer? Check. Making me feel like a fat piece of Twinkie?

Check. I am amazed at the amount of people in LA who are not just doing the trails but kicking ass by running them. LA inspires you to be outdoors because the weather is too nice to be in and these people have taken it and upped it a few notches. I wonder if trail runners can take in the beauty of the trail (roadside flowers or otherwise) as they zoom past it but they are clearly enjoying themselves or at least enjoying the after effects of running (being physically fit and not a Twinkie I can only surmise).


One of the biggest surprises in LA hiking has been the amount of fireroads that serve as trails. Clearly, in a region that gets very little rainfall is prone to fire and the need for these roads not only as transport for firefighters but as a tinder-barrier is high. It is still amazing that the main trails on some of these ranges are as wide as they are. This leads to many biking opportunities and often I see guys/guyls whizzing past me. I had a mountain bike when I was a kid. As I went through the ranks of driver's licenses (permit, home before 11pm, full permit, taking the California driver's test- 200 feet to signal gawwhh!) my bike use dipped in inverse proportion. Now that I live close to work, I am contemplating dusting off the ol' wallet and investing in a bike. You best believe that if I get one, I am getting it to not only cruise the streets of Wilshire but the trails of SanMo as well.

Clearly in LA, there are many types of people who use the trails not just the avid hiker who covets Campmor catalogs like they are the next volume of the Twilight Series (go Team Jac...awww screw it I HATE those movies). I am also glad to see the lack of baby carriers on the trail. These things were springing up all over the ADKs and the Mississippi River has been a nice barrier to such things so far. I digress, LA you are a land of variety as are the people who use you.

What do you do on the trails? Comments always welcomed as is answering my poll Q.


  1. You'll see plenty of baby carriers when you go more toward to the Foothills near Angeles's like baby heaven.

    I was doing the Bridge to Nowhere trail (about 10 miles, several water crossings) and about half of the families were wearing converse and jeans. I don't know if it is about style, but more about 1) not knowing what proper gear looks like, 2) finding affordable gear, 3) never being outdoors...we had one of these n00bs on the hike with us, her first hike EVER. She showed up in full makeup and pearl earrings.

    I think you'd like the Bridge to Nowhere hike, espcially as the weather gets warmer. Part where-the-hell-am-I part I'll-just-follow-the-river and part I-think-I-see-an-arrow-on-that-rock-up-there :) Bring a sandwich and consider bungee jumping off the bridge at the end ;)

  2. Funny, I was looking for a place to satisfy my sandwich/bungee cravings!

    I like the story about first timers and earrings. In the ADKs on the more popular trails you would see people wearing stuff like that because they had just come from the shops in Lake Placid straight to the trail.


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