Four Things You Need to Know to Plan a Successful Backpacking Trip in Joshua Tree.

Backpacking in Joshua Tree

Joshua Tree is one of the most beautiful National Parks I’ve ever seen. The sunsets are spectacular and the stars are so bright they light up the night sky. It’s a backpacker’s dream, as long as you know what to expect.

Out of all the hiking and backpacking that I’ve done, Joshua Tree has proven to be the g

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McGinty Mountain Trail Hike: Peaks and Valleys Galore!

Hike to McGinty Mountain Summit

Distance: 5.0 miles | Hiking time: 3 hours | Difficulty: 6/10 | More info.

McGinty Mountain is a fun, challenging hike with rewarding panoramic views that doesn’t require setting aside an entire day. The steep trail takes you quickly up the mountain’s face and through some of the most d…

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Gaskill Peak Hike: Off-trail Adventures in San Diego’s Backcountry

Hike to Gaskill Peak

Distance: 7.1 miles | Hiking time: 4-5 hours | Difficulty: 7/10 | More info.

Gaskill Peak and Lawson Peak share much of the same hiking and scenery, so I’m picking this trip report up where the report on Lawson Peak ended. If you haven’t read that report yet, be sure to check it out for a des…

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Lawson Peak: Hiking, Scrambling and Climbing to the Summit

Lawson Peak Hike

Distance: 4.5 miles | Hiking time: 3 hours | Difficulty: 7/10 | More info.

The hike to Lawson Peak is the type of hike you do for the challenge, not because you’re looking to get out in nature. Unless you happen to be a practiced rock climber, the scramble to the summit will test your nerve. It̵…

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Take on the Mission Trails 5-Peak Challenge

5-Peak Challenge - North Fortuna Peak

On Saturday, November 7, Mission Trails Regional Park announced the 5-Peak Challenge to bring attention to the park’s 60 miles of mixed-use trails that lead to 5 of the highest peaks in the city of San Diego.

Mission Trails is home to some of my favorite local hikes, so there was no question wh…

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El Cajon Mountain Hike: El Capitan, San Diego’s “Toughest” Hiking Trail

Hiking El Cajon Mountain Trail

Distance: 11 miles | Hiking time: 5-6 hours | Difficulty: 8/10 | More info.

El Cajon Mountain, a.k.a. El Capitan, is one of San Diego’s most rewarding hikes. If you’re fit and up to the challenge, don’t hesitate to take on El Cap. It will challenge your body and mind with relentless elevation changes, …

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Willet Hot Springs: Hiking and Camping in Los Padres National Forest

Willet Hot Springs: Hiking and Camping in Los Padres National Forest

Tucked away deep inside a lush green forested canyon and perched high up on a cliff in Los Padres National Forest is a hot tub built for five. Assembled and still maintained by some incredibly resourceful, and apparently anonymous folks, the Willet Hot Springs hot tub is a rewarding experience at the …

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Leave No Trace Principles for Hiking and Camping Explained

Use Map & Compass Instead of Cairns - photo by Craig Stanfill

Whether you’re new to hiking and camping or just starting out, chances are you’re familiar with the term, “Leave no trace.”

So what exactly does it mean to leave no trace?

The answer to that question seems straightforward, and for the most part it is, but there are a few details you may not have consider…

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