With the weather warming up and classes coming to a finish, it’s a better time than any to break out the sunscreen, grab a couple friends, and go hiking in the great outdoors. Living in Southern California has many perks including its abundance of hiking trails. Below are six incredible trails suitable for a wide range of hiking levels.
1. Sturtevant Falls – This hike is perfect for hikers of all skill levels, as you can choose to take the 15-mile loop or just to make the casual 3-mile walk to the waterfall. The trail along the way is one of the more beautiful ones, with a clear stream running through and cabins along the way. The waterfall is at the end of the hike and is simply the icing on the cake of a beautiful hike.
2. Cowles Mountain – Located in San Diego, this hike is a local favorite due to the scenery. Hikers can get a view of downtown San Diego, Coronado, and even Tiajuana. Mexico if the smog allows for it. It is a relatively easy and straightforward hike.
3. Barker Dam – Barker Dam is located in Joshua tree, which is perfect for UCR students! The trail is about a mile and a half loop and one of the easier ones on this list. Features include a dry creek bed, Indian petroglyphs, and hundreds of rocks for your climbing pleasure. Located in a national park, this hike is one of pure beauty.
4. Escondido Falls – Right off of Pacific Coast Highway, Escondido Falls is gorgeous but requires some risky climbing. This 4-mile trek includes three tiers of cliffs to climb for the view. The first third tier is the trickiest, with a slippery moss exterior. Only moderately experienced hikers are advised to attempt.
5. Eaton Canyon – Located in Pasadena – an easy, short, and beautiful waterfall hike! Family friendly as well as pet friendly, it is a favorite spot for many. This location is relatively crowded on the weekends. Free parking is a perk!
6. Deep Creek Springs – A relatively lesser-know location, Deep Creek Springs is located near Lake Arrowhead. The hike is around 2 miles if you choose to park at the nearby Bowen Ranch. The main attractions are the hot spring pools and the cool bodies of water that line the canyon. (Note: the area is clothing optional and many people choose to exercise their right not to wear clothes.) The soothing water, the people frolicking in the swimming holes, and the sheer beauty of this location makes it a place unlike any other.