Among outdoor enthusiasts, through hiking the Pacific Crest Trail (“PCT”) is one of the most coveted accomplishments. But at 2,650 total miles, completing the PCT is a daunting task that requires a substantial amount of time. As a result, instead of completing the PCT in one fell swoop, many hikers elect to “section hike” – hike sections of the trail – over an extended period of time. While perhaps not as glamorous as a through hike, section hiking allows hikers to complete the trail at their schedule, and allows one great latitude to appreciate the many hidden gems that are along the PCT. One of the first hidden gems along the PCT is Kitchen Creek Falls, a seasonal waterfall that is just off the first section of the PCT near Campo, California. Irrespective of whether one is starting out to complete all of the PCT, section hike the PCT, or head out for a day hike, Kitchen Creek Falls is a great destination year-round.
With windswept sandstone cliffs, and stunning year-round views of the Pacific Ocean, Torrey Pines State Reserve is one of San Diego’s most popular parks. Even though it is a park that is popular with locals and visitors alike, few people realize that the park was established to protect the Torrey Pine, which is one of the rarest trees on the planet, as it only grows in and around the confines of the park and on Santa Rosa Island. While there are many spots within the park where one can walk under, view, and get close to the pinus torreyana, there is only one spot that demonstrates the risks that these rare trees still face, and that is the Parry Grove Trail.
San Diego County has many high points of over a thousand feet; and out of these high points, some are more popular than others. While there are many lists of mountains that can be climbed, the main list for hiking enthusiasts in the confines of the county is the Sierra Club “100 Peaks” list. Over the years, due to a variety of factors, some of the peaks on the list have been exchanged for others. Despite the changes, the mountains that originally started on the list have remained, and in most cases, are still accessible. One of the original peaks of the “100 Peaks” list, Potrero Peak was removed, but is to this day, remains accessible for hikers in the county who want to climb a mountain along the Border Range.
San Diego is best known for being “America’s Finest City”, but like most locations, it also has a stranger, darker side, built on speculation, myths, rumors, and legends. With Halloween just around the corner, along with the shorter days and cooler nights of fall, now is a great time to explore these thirteen locations to search for monsters, ghosts, aliens, and whatever else may be out there. I’ve compiled this list from my experience and from what “evidence” is present in the public domain about these spots. I’ve subjectively ranked the spots from “most active” to “least active”, or for the skeptical readers out there, from “most credible” to “least credible”. Irrespective of how you feel about the supernatural, this is a great list of San Diego locations that add historic flavor to a fine city that are worth a visit.
Outside of the big three hikes in San Diego – “Potato Chip Rock”, Cowles Mountain, and Iron Mountain - the Cedar Creek Falls hike is one of the top five most popular hikes in the entirety of San Diego County. And, unlike many claims made about hiking in San Diego, this is not blogger hyperbole, this is a verified fact. The Forest Service website for the area even states that this trail is “...possibly the most traveled trail in the Palomar District”. As Cedar Creek Falls is so popular, no description of the hike would be complete without getting into why the trail and the waterfall is and has been so popular.
San Diego is a destination that is well-known for its fantastic weather, beautiful beaches, Comic-Con, and for being the home of Ron Burgundy in Anchorman. In addition to all of these things, San Diego is America’s Finest City and is the host city of the 2016 Major League Baseball All Star game. While Petco Park, the Convention Center, and the Gaslamp District are great spots in the city core of San Diego, the city, and the county as a whole have innumerable spots for visitors who have the time to explore, or who want to get away from the downtown crowds. Whether you are a first time visitor to San Diego, or a long-time fan of the city, check out the below destinations this weekend that prove that the city’s nickname is more than hype.
In 2016, getting outside and experiencing the outdoors is more popular than ever, and along these lines, microadventures are more popular than ever. In case you’ve been living on the moon, a “microadventure” is an adventure that doesn’t require a large amount of time or specialized gear, and is something that in theory, is accessible to everyone, and yet somewhat secret at the same time. In short, a microadventure is whatever one wants it to be. As a long-time San Diego resident, it’s been my position for years that San Diego County is one of the best spots in the country to have microadventures, mainly because of the huge variety in types of terrain located in a two hour radius (beach, mountain foothills, alpine, and desert) and because of the many wilderness pockets that honeycomb the area, even in the urban corridors of the City of San Diego.