I hike. Quite a bit, at least when I think I have the time. My main hiking grounds are the Santa Monica Mountains and a handful of surrounding parks (Wildwood, Point Mugu); a few trails around west Ventura County; and the Los Padres National Forest. Now faced with a decent amount of “free time,” having just finished undergrad and a rather time-demanding job, hiking is once again on my active radar.
If you want to explore the hills and mountains, trails and valleys, walkways and otherwise around these California locations, check out the following resources.
- Nobody Hikes in L.A.: A blog with dozens of hikes, regularly updated, with detailed information such as best time of day/year, elevation gain, fees/permits, and time for hike. The guy who writes this also has a book, linked to below.
- Modern Hiker: Written by Casey Schreiner, this is another current blog with dozens of Southern California hikes. These are some of his favorites.
- 1000 Hikes 1000 Days: This is a fun blog written by a guy who, well, plans to hike 1000 trails in 1000 days. He’s having a good go at it so far! There are hikes from the Pacific Northwest, the east coast, Vegas, and even New Zealand. Most are from west Ventura County and the Sespe, Canejo Valley, the Santa Monicas, Santa Barbara, LA, etc.
- LocalHikes: LocalHikes is a hike database for the United States. People from around the country are invited to be hike reporters who can submit hikes to the site. You can search by city or area code, see listings in general regions (i.e. CA – Los Angeles-Riverside-Orange County (241 hikes)), and get reliable hike information. Check out the Sandstone Peak hike, one of my favorites.
- EveryTrail: Haven’t used this site much, but it is another hike database. They have a mobile app, which may be useful to some.
- 100 Peaks: Solid southern California hiking and backpacking website by Derek Loranger.
- Day Hikes Around Ventura County by Robert Stone: Robert Stone is a prolific hiker and prolific hike book writer. Most of his review books feature California, Hawaii, and Montana. I highly recommend any book by him. This Ventura County hike book is one of my go-tos for hike outings.
- Day Hikes Around Los Angeles by Robert Stone: Haven’t used this one, but I’m sure it’s a solid buy.
- Nobody Hikes in LA by David Lockeretz: This is from the guy who writes the blog under the same name.
- Hiking & Backpaking Santa Barbara and Ventura by Craig R. Carey: The author focuses much more on the Los Padres National Forest and has good, useful information. One of my well-traveled backpacking friends uses it often.
Finally, these are some other LA books that I haven’t used or purchased, but they all look awesome:
- L.A. Bizarro
- Walking L.A.
- Tidepools: Southern California
- A People’s Guide to Los Angeles
- Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles
Be safe, leave no trace, and have fun out there!