Thursday, January 3, 2013
It is good to have goals. My goal for 2012 was not to hike a particular mountain or visit a particular area but to hike 366 trail miles. Last weekend at Point Reyes National Seashore, I reached my goal and it was very satisfying, let me tells ya. It was made doubly special that when I made 366, I had my girl with me to document the event and several of my friends hiking with me as well. It was a special day and I couldn't have done 366 without my girlfriend's support and encouragement over the last year. Thanks Love!
Almost all of the trail miles were not repeats, I did hike Debs park here in LA a few times but I would say a good 95% was a new trail every weekend. The downside to this goal is I have almost hiked out all the trails around LA.
In celebration of me making it to 366, I decided to make a short list of some of my favorite trails over the last year.
Timber Mountain. One of my first peaks over 8,000 feet. There are smaller mountains that still get you the views and the alpine feel and the pine scent. Timber gives you all of that and more. It gives you a hike up Icehouse Canyon which is a beautiful stream laden canyon up to the Icehouse Saddle. Then the peak itself gives you the entirety of SoCal and boffo views of Baldy and the Antelope Valley. This peak is a must hike.
Monrovia Canyon Park. I hiked this late in the year but whoa boy what gem! You almost never hear about this place but as soon as you hike it, you will can't wait to go back. The Overturff trail, the waterfall trail, all of them are worth your time.
Henninger Flats. If there was one trail that was "little bit of everything, SoCal trail", this is the trail for you. You pick up the trail in a residential area (typical), you take a fireroad with no shade (also typical) and the you get to a beautiful vista ringed with pine trees (less typical until the higher elevations). Basically, this trail has it all.
Favorite Underrated Trail:
Mission Point. Tucked in the corner of the 118 and the 5 lies Mission Point. It is a relatively short hike that winds it way up through flowers and grass and tops out a beautiful little peak with the American flag adorning the summit. What you get for this effort is knock out views of LA. All the trails you have hiked on this year become illuminated from the summit, a great little hike, unheralded but great.
Favorite National Park:
Yosemite. Yea, yea, I know its an obvious choice. I haven't explored many national parks in my short time upon this earth but man was I impressed by the park. It is built for the average Joe and the intrepid backpacker. Chocked with views every where you look you can ignore the crowds by looking up. Yes, it is almost bordering on a cliche to say Yosemite is a must do but well, they have cliches for a reason, go to Yose!
So what is next for 2013? Well I will be hiking less consistently but I will be going on more adventures. On the docket, taking a wilderness travel course which will take me to places like Joshua Tree and the Sierras for backpacking adventures. Also, a trip back to Yosemite, a new trip to the Grand Canyon, maybe doing Mt. Baldy and definitely being a part of the Glendale Trail Safety Patrol.
Needless to say, 2013 should be as packed as 2012, just in a different way. I hope you are having a happy holidays and have a great new year!
Posted by Peter Flanigan at 9:30 AM