Archive of ‘Hiking’ category

Oso Flaco

This was one of the first hikes I did near my new home! An easy trail near Nipomo, CA (1.7 miles, out & back, flat).

Oso Flaco means Skinny Bear. An interesting history…

The name originates from a 1769 Gaspar de Portola expedition through the area. On the shores of what is now Oso Flaco lake, the men shot and killed a skinny bear for food. The next day, several men in the expedition died. It was fabled that the local Chumash had been in competition with the bear for food, and so fed it tainted food.

Unfortunately, Oso Flaco Lake is also super polluted. The fish have among the highest levels in the state of DDT, which makes sense as the surrounding area (Santa Maria, Nipomo) is a huge producer of agriculture.

The trail is part of the beautiful Oceano Dunes. it leads straight to a beautiful beach.

Grand Canyon: The Way Up

Yes, T’was Hot.

We saw many people struggling back up.

Including us! Shade has a hot and rare commodity on the S. Kaibab Trail.

Way, way worth it.

Grand Canyon: The Way Down

This was my first visit to the Grand Canyon. What landscape! How sweepingly vast! Such definition! So much pixelated rock surface area visible at one time!

The parking lot was packed with U-Hauls, thousands of people making the epic American road trip, stopping at the grandest of sights. Many things melted and fused in our car, becoming sticky, tacky gums in the sweltering heat.

We took the South Kaibab Trail down (not all the way to the river) and were advised to bring salty foods in addition to our water supply. Did someone say chips??

The trail went downhill real fast, as we wondered, how will it be to crawl out of here?

Name this Hike

This has been my laptop background for almost 2 years. And I cannot remember the name of the mountain it was taken on! Someone has been spoiled by hiking opportunities, sheeeeeeeesh.

The Facts of the Case:

-Los Angeles area

-celebrated this hike with the most exquisite bear mocha in existence (Cafe Maji, upstairs to a fitness gym in Artesia, CA):

-burned at some point-extremely beautiful

-shelter at the top with desert views

These are my confessions.

Just when I thought I said all that I can say…

Send me a message with your guess, and I’ll post results next time!

Lake Tahoe and the Desolation Wilderness

Just about two years ago (already?!), I bought my first car and promptly drove it up to Lake Tahoe for its first road trip. What a glorious start to summer adventures. Pictured above is Fannette Island, within Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe, the lake’s only island.

Hiking opportunities are plentiful around Tahoe, and the Desolation Wilderness to the lake’s southwest side does not disappoint. Incidentally, the PCT passes through here. We took a day hike on the Glen Alpine Trail to Lake Aloha (~10 miles RT), passing alpine lakes, waterfalls, and mighty bristlecone pines (some of the oldest trees ever).

Susie Lake, Desolation Wilderness

Heather Lake, Desolation Wilderness

Lake Aloha, our hiking destination

The water was so fresh and clear, incredible to think of these pristine waters in the United States. Let’s do what we can to keep these safe.

Big Sur

It’s been about 2 years since this trip was taken up the stunning coast of Big Sur. This year, Big Sur was ravaged by the Soberanes fire, which was set off by a campfire and burned for 83 days.

Our trip was foggy, but warmer than you’d expect! The fog rolled in one evening, spilling into the valleys.

A truly magical scene, as a lone guitar player sang out above the clouds:

The warmth of the sun above this thick cloud layer gently woke the resting campers… for pancakes :)

Montaña de Oro

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This is sunset at a state park in San Luis Obispo County, south of Morro Bay. At the time (February 2015), we didn’t know that we would spend many more days here in the next year. It was a beautiful getaway, a start to our coastal Valentine’s Week adventure! Since then, we’ve camped here, explored the tidepools, watched more sunsets, and hiked most of its trails.

My first time here is still my #1, for the magic of it all:
2015-02-13 17.32.30The way the sun shone through those Eucalyptus trees that evening:2015-02-13 17.06.28

The light on the rocky coast:
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And my first look at the yellow mustard plant that lights up Spring here:
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To many more sun rises and sets in this beautiful part of California!


2014-11-16 13.51.45Elevation (ft) of San Jacinto Peak.

My most challenging hike thus far! A group of friends and I hiked this one in mid-November 2015. We entered our trail near Idyllwild, which is an awesome mountain town with food that tastes amazing after a killer hike (read: hot chocolate and blue cheese burgers). That is, amazing, for my fitness-team-buds, who didn’t feel totally sick after extreme hiking!

2014-11-16 13.53.51The pictures above were taken at the summit. It is a very prominent peak. So prominent, it is the 6th most prominent peak in the continental U.S. I believe we took the Marion Mountain trail route out of Idyllwild, which is 13.2 miles with an elevation change of 4,500 feet. WOOF. An uphill battle? Of scenic beauty. Some viewpoints from the top: San Gorgonio Mountain, Coachella Valley, Salton Sea.

2014-11-16 13.32.06It looks all still now, but it sure was windy and cold at the top! Definitely amazing to make it and eat that PB&J!

During the hike down, you know, a measly 6.6 miles, we saw this gorgeous sunset:

2014-11-16 16.36.42I couldn’t walk for the next few days, but heck yes :D

What a crew <3:

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Bones Healed, Hikes On!

2014-11-08 12.04.30Shortly after the Sequoia trip, I broke my wrist tripping over the sidewalk on campus. I put my arms out to catch my fall, and relied a bit too heavily on the left one. It hurt a lot less than you think a broken bone would hurt, but it definitely put me in a bit of shock. I think that having a cast on is a pretty miserable experience, and it put a lot of bigger adventures on hold that season. When I got the cast off in early November 2015, I celebrated with a trip to Asheville, NC!

2014-10-09 16.26.20Asheville in the fall –> autumnal oasis! Here are some scenes from the outdoors with my sis:

2014-11-08 12.03.19This is part of the Blue Ridge Parkway close to / below Tanbark Ridge. Pretty nice to revisit these autumn photos in the thick of summer. Do you get a cool, cozy rush, too?

2014-11-08 12.09.46We hiked a bit up a trail starting at the Tanbark Ridge Tunnel. When you Google “Tanbark Ridge Tunnel,” you get this:

tanbark_ridgeThat red! My photo looks like:

2014-11-08 12.15.37I’m hoping to get back to Asheville for a visit and some new hikes in the next month!

2014-11-08 12.06.18

Sequoia National Park: Mineral King

2014-09-13 13.56.40Back home in California, there is no lack of beautiful landscapes. So, it could hardly be a disappointment to head home for MORE ADVENTURES. Quelle aventure!

The sweet San Diego gang and I headed up in September 2014 to the southern end of Sequoia National Park for some fantastic camping and hiking. Our campground was at Mineral King, a subalpine glacial valley located here:

Fun fact about Mineral King: in the 60s, it was marked for development as an alpine Disney ski resort. The Sierra Club, which had previously supported developing Mineral King in the 40s for recreation, opposed Disney’s plan, and in 1978, Mineral King was annexed from Sequoia National Forest to Sequoia National Park. Disney’s Country Bear Jamboree was originally designed for Mineral King:

Unfortunately/fortunately, we did not get to meet any country bears, though we saw their claw marks high up on the trees!

Proposed Development | Mineral King Today (click to view enlarged)
mineralking_disneynews2summer19692014-09-13 12.45.09





I saw my first giant redwoods on this trip! The really really big ones were north of where we were, and I’m looking forward to that adventure too.
2014-09-13 11.49.33

Some parts definitely reminded me of the hiking in the Alps, above the tree line. My favorite part:
2014-09-13 13.47.20

Our turnaround point, the clear waters of Eagle Lake, silent and still:
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We love you, Sequoia National, and we’ll be back!

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