Griffith Peak

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Griffith Peak is located in the Spring Mountains.  It is the 3rd highest peak in Southern Nevada ( 11,064 ft)

The trail passes through the old burn area of the Carpenter1 fire. You’ll the the scars along the way. Towering Ponderosa Pines dominate this first section of trail.

Junctions are well marked follow signs for Griffith Peak. 

As you climb up the canyon the trail gets a lot steeper but the magnificent views outweigh the pain. Just keep moving. You’re getting closer!

Once you climb out of canyon you hit a series of switchbacks through a ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest. 

After the last switchback you are left with your first view of Griffith Peak. Proceed on over to the saddle and make a left. 

Push for the peak on this last stretch and you’ll be rewarded with amazing views !

Views from the peak on a cloudy cloudy day!

Summit register! Goat worth hike for sure! Make sure to sign in or it never happened! ūüôā

  • Difficulty – Strenuous 
  • 3300 ft gain
  • 10 miles
  • Out and back
  • Amazing views
  • Season – Late Spring to Fall

LINK TO TRAILHEAD

LINK TO GPS TRACK

LINK TO PHOTO ALBUM

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Hidden Valley Loop

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Hidden Valley Nature Loop is a fun place and usually my first stop when visiting Joshua Tree National Park.

The valley loop is home to several of the native plants that are home to park. Pi√Īon Pine, Yucca, Beaver Tail Cactus and of course, Joshua Trees can be found along the trail. 

The loop is just over a mile long but you can spend the whole day here scrambling around and exploring side trails. 

The valley loop is also popular with climbers. While on your hike take a moment to stop and scan the boulders you’ll most definitely spot someone taking in the views. 

CLICK FOR GOOGLE MAPS LINK TO TRAILHEAD

  • Difficulty – Easy
  • Season – Winter, Spring, Late Fall
  • Family friendly 
  • No dogs allowed
  • No shade ( it’s the desert)
  • Bring plenty of water

SAN MATEO PEAK

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San Mateo Peak is located in the San Mateo Canyon Wilderness of the Cleveland National Forest, in the Santa Ana Mountains. At 3,591 ft it is the highest point in the SMC Wilderness.

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Views from the peak to the east are amazing. Lake Elsinore is pictured here.
Also  visible are the San Gabriel, San Bernardino and San Jacinto Mountains.

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The trailhead for this peak is located off of the S. Main Divide Rd at the MORGAN TRAILHEAD

Take the trail down and make a left at the first junction, about a 1/4 mile in.  Follow this trail and keep right at the second junction until you reach a cairn and sign that reads San Mateo Peak. Make a right here.

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From here the trail climbs steeply for a good 1/2 miles. It eventually levels off again but still has some steep points.

It’s about 2.3 miles to the summit from the trailhead. Trail starts off easy for the first mile then steeply climbs of the east face of the mountain.

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Thank you to Maria and Angie for joining me on this trek.

‚Ė™Difficulty – Easy/Moderate/Strenuous
‚Ė™5 Miles round trip/  out and back
‚Ė™Bring a hat and sunscreen
‚Ė™Forest adventure pass for parking

ELEPHANT ROCK – VALLEY OF FIRE, NEVADA

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Elephant Rock is probably one of the most awesome rock formations I’ve seen. It’s definitely one of the best in this park! Arches are cool..   but come on, it’s an Elephant! 

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The trail is right off Valley of Fire Highway near the junction with Highway 169

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The hike is family friendly and the trail is easy to follow. It’s only about .2 miles to elephant rock.

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CLICK FOR MORE PHOTOS OF VALLEY OF FIRE

‚óŹ Difficulty – Easy
‚óŹ Seasons – Spring, Winter, Fall
‚óŹ Distance – .2 miles each way
‚óŹ Fees – Park entry $10

HAGADOR CANYON

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Beautiful¬† Hagador Canyon in the Santa Ana Mountains.¬† This beautiful canyon really caught me by surprise. I had never hiked in the Eastern part of the range so I didn’t really know what to expect.¬† Well…. IT WAS AWESOME!

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The hike it’s self is is just under 4 miles roundtrip but with neighboring Tin Mine Canyon just around the way you could easily do both hikes in one day.

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Hagador Canyon

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The steepness of the eastern slopes of the range makes for awesome views.

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The canyon is well shaded and the beautiful singletrack trail gives the narrow canyon a even more cozy feel.

click for Google Maps link to trailhead

From the parking area continue down the concrete path until the the mountains become visible. Go over the guardrails on the left and follow the unnamed trail until you reach the Hagador Canyon Trail. Look for this sign and make a left.

Link to where Hagador Canyon Trail Starts

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Click for more photos

‚óŹ 4 miles round trip – Out and back
‚óŹ Less than 500 ft of gain
‚óŹ Difficulty – Easy
‚óŹ Shaded trail
‚óŹ Family friendly
‚óŹ Dog friendly
‚óŹ FREE PARKING
‚óŹ Poison Oak

MT. CHARLESTON PEAK – NEVADA

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Mt. Charleston Peak  was a pretty awesome hike! At 11,918 ft it is the tallest mountain in Southern Nevada. The views from the top are some of the best! Vegas amd Death Valley are visible from the peak. It is said that on a clear day the Sierra Nevada are visible from the peak.

It had been on my list for a few years and on Labor Day I finally checked it of my list ‚úĒ

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Had the pleasure of bagging this peak with my good friend and fellow hiker Neal. He’s the one who got me into bagging peaks so it was only fitting hat he joined me on this trek.

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We started close to 8 am and took the Trail Canyon Trail up to the North Loop Trail to the peak.

  The hike itself is one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve done. The landscape is painted with Quaking Aspen and towering pines peirce the sky. In the upper reaches of the Limestone cliffs Bristlcone Pines dominate the mountain.

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‚óŹ 17 miles out and back
‚óŹ 8 -10 hours
‚óŹ Difficulty – Very Strenuous
‚óŹ Elevation Gain – 4,500 ft

Click for Google Maps link to trailhead

Link to full photo album

MCWAY FALLS – BIG SUR

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.25 mile trail

Mc Way Falls is located off of highway 2 in beautiful  Big Sur, California. The waterfall, which is actually a tidefall because  it empties into the ocean, is one of two in the region. The other being Alamere Falls up near San Francisco,  Ca.

  This is a short quarter mile hike along a cliffside trail. It is perfect for persons of all ages. 

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McWay Falls

At 80 ft tall waterfall is a stunning sight!

Parking for the trailhead is located along Highway 2

‚óŹ Hike difficulty – easy
‚óŹ Trail  type – out and back
‚óŹ Distance – .5 miles -roundtrip
‚óŹ 80 ft waterfall

DOPPLER RADAR – SANTA ANA MOUNTAINS

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The hike to the KSOX Weather Radar in the Santa Ana Mountains is best done on a cool day. Its around 8.5 miles to the Radar. The non shaded trail winds though Black Star Canyon and then up to the top of the canyon to the Main Divide Road.

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Doppler from Beeks Place

The doppler viewed from  Beeks Place which is at the 8 mile mark on this trek.

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There are two single track short cuts that will save you time and miles on this 16 mile hike. Look for them when your on your way up the trail and take then on the way down. Its a great change from the fire road.

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Up on one of the unnamed  singletrack trails heading down Black Star Canyon.

CLICK FOR DIRECTIONS  TO TRAILHEAD

‚óŹ Trail difficulty – Strenuous
‚óŹ 18 mile hike
‚óŹ Trail type – Out and back
‚óŹ Zero shade – bring sun protection

MOBIUS ARCH – ALABAMA HILLS

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The gateway into Alabama Hills

Mobius Arch is one of many natural  arches in the Alabama Hills. It is the most popular  though and gets many visitors on a daily basis. The drive up Whitney Portal Road is a beautiful  one. Drive slow and enjoy the views.

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View of trailhead and the Sierra Nevadas

After turning down movie road you drive down a couple miles and reach the Mobius Arch Trailhead.

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One of many natural arches

The area is home to 100’s of natural arches so keep your eyes open and you might spot a few.

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Sierra Nevada Mountains

Mobius Arch is about halfway up the trail. Its a loop hike so start in either direction  and you will run into it. Actually  going counter clockwise  will probably  get you there a bit sooner.

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Mt Whitney

Here we have Mt. Whitney ( 14,508 ft), the highest point in the lower 48, framed by the Mobius arch.

CLICK FOR DIRECTIONS  TO TRAILHEAD

‚óŹ Trail difficulty – easy
‚óŹ Trail type – loop
‚óŹ 1.5 miles roundtrip
‚óŹ Zero shade – bring sun protection
‚óŹ Bring water – 2 liters
‚óŹ Mountain views
‚óŹ Parking is free