Video editor and hobby photographer based in Santa Monica, California. Husband, and Father - trying to raise two of the good guys.

Perfect workout in preparation for the real hikes

It's just stairs, but stairs are a great exercise to get in shape for the challenging hikes you want to do. While here you can see the Palisades and Pacific Ocean, I can think of worse places to be while training! It can get crowded on the weekend, you'll have to maneuver around others. In the end, this is not an adventure, it's the preparation for one.

Good Local Hike With Little Tree Cover

This hike is a good standard in the Santa Monica Mountains. If you do it clockwise, the beginning is far more exposed then the 2nd half. When the sun is out and it's warm be prepared to be blasted in the first half, the shade is infrequent. It does get better towards the end, trees start to surround the trail and shade becomes constant. You'll see a lot of people doing this trail in running shoes, not hiking boots. The trail is patted down and finding good grip is not an issue, nor is there any scrambling. I'd prefer a hike with lush forest but this hike is predominately bushes and small trees.

Rewarding Family Friendly Hike

This was our first lake hike in Colorado, it's beautiful. There is a decent amount of elevation gain but nothing our 2 year old son couldn't handle the majority of. Looping around Lost Lake and getting different backdrop views was particular gorgeous. The wild flowers were a welcome additional, as were the variety of trees. We didn't see many hikers or wildlife. We had lunch by the lake, as did a few other hikers, there was ample room for all of us to be there and not be close to one another. It was far less populated than Rocky Mountain National Park.

If you have to be in the car, it might as well be on this highway

You wont want to spend too much of your time in Colorado inside a car but this is a beautiful scenic drive. We rolled down the windows and appreciated the long drive we had ahead of us. If time allows pull off whenever you want and take in the view. I found myself stopping to take pictures or simply look at the mountain side.

Great campground with more open space but less rock formations right on the campsites.

I think Hidden Valley has better rock formations right by the campsites but Jumbo Rock is still a fantastic place to camp in Joshua Tree. I think there are more spots here with a general desert/dry bush surrounding. Jumbo is a great place to explore, especially the boundaries of the camping area, there are some awesome boulders right near by. All the sites I've been to have been well maintained and noise disturbances were'nt an issue. I'll usually check Hidden Valley and then Jumbo. You can't really go wrong with either place if you can get a spot with nearby rock formations. Both will include the incredible view of the stars, make sure you stay awake long enough to appreciating the night sky.

A Must Do Classic Route In Joshua Tree

This is a truly fun climb. It's exposed! I watched the sunset from the top of Headstone Rock and it was unforgettable. Parking wasn't a problem, it's a quick approach and the scramble is easy enough. If you drive by you'll usually see someone one climbing there. We arrived while there was another group climbing but there was space and routes for all of us to keep busy. It's not a large area so you'll be close to each other but we made friends with them and ended up enjoying the rest of the day together.

Good Hike With Views Of Santa Monica Mountains and A Rewarding Rock Pool.

The hike to the rock pool is fairly easy and straight forward. No real elevation gain or challenging terrain. Once you get to the rock pool it's a cool place to hang out, swim, eat some lunch, or continue on to The M.A.S.H. site or scramble to the rock climbing areas. You'll usually see rock climbers scrambling to the other side of the pool because that's where all the climbing starts. (I highly recommend that as well if you climb). There's a problem with people leaving trash here. It's been bad each time I've been. There are trash containers near by but people don't seem to care. I try to clean up a little when I'm there because it's distracting from enjoying the rock pool.

Best Combination of Rock Formations and Campground

This is my favorite campground in Joshua Tree National Park. I know I'm not the only one that thinks that because it's usually full. There are some amazing sites right up against the rocks, allowing you to scramble through the boulders without going far from your camp. For me this is the best balance of fascinating rock formations, desert sand and maintained camp spots. At night while you're watching the stars the fire will bounce of the rocks and illuminate your site. If the area is full it's good to ask around and see if anyone is leaving that day. Check out is at noon, so if you arrive early it may not look like anyone is getting ready to go leave yet. You can pay for the spot and leave the yellow tag on the wooden post in front of the spot .

Leave The Crowds At The Parking Lot

At times the parking lot at Tunnel View can resemble an amusement park gathering. Depending on when you go it will change your experience here. The perfect alternative to standing in the crowded parking lot is to do this quick hike. You'll notice that you lose the crowds in under a mile. No one from the tour buses is doing this hike. It's incredible to have the view of Half Dome and El Cap at your back while gaining elevation to the outlook.

Great Hike Through a Trio Of Lakes

This is a perfect hike, passing Nymph Lake and Dream Lake. Dream Lake was my favorite but Emerald Lake has a grander view of the rocks and peak. You can scramble up some boulders to the left of the lake and get an amazing view of the hike you just accomplished. It's a great place to relax and eat some lunch. My son and I hung out by the water, skipped rocks and enjoyed the crisp air and beautiful views. The hike is fairly easy, my two year old son was able to do most of it on his own.

Unique Hiking Experience We'll Never Forget

My wife and I hiked 8 miles of the narrows and loved every bit of it. It was crowded at the beginning but a lot of those hikers tapered off after a couple miles. Starting early would have been more enjoyable I'm sure. Even with the crowds they couldn't take away from the beauty of the canyons and the excitement/challenge of maneuvering through water on a hike. We brought our Bedrock Sandals to hike in the water and they worked out really well. We saw many people with water specific hiking boots from the rental shop. There were hikers that looked very confused and uncomfortable that they were hiking in water. Don't be fooled, we spent 80% of the time with our feet in the water. This is not a standard hike so you shouldn't take your standard hiking boots. I'd love to backpack the Narrows in the future.

Photographed By So Many For A Reason

You just have to go. The pictures do it a good justice but still. When you're up there looking at the valley, it really puts the magic of Yosemite into perspective. The hike is easy, doesn't take long nor is there a challenging elevation gain. Chances are there will be multiple people setting up for sunset photos or time lapses. There is a hike near by that I don't recall the name of but we did a quick 4 miles before returning for sunset.

Easy approach For Such A Pretty Lake

We finished our hike to Emerald Lake and before returning to the car we decided to quickly check out Bear Lake. It was worth the very fast hike there. You can do a loop but we did not, we simply admired the lake, took a couple pictures and returned to our car. It was raining and the clouds were rolling in, making it particularly different and beautiful.

Popular But Very Rewarding Hike

This was the most populated hike on our trip to Colorado. Although, that did not take away from its beauty. You'll start to lose significant hikers after Dream Lake. The terrain was beautiful and diverse through all three lakes. We took our 2 year old son and he was able to hike a significant portion on his own. The trail is well marked and maintain, there should be no issues with those aspects. I could have looked at Dream lake for hours. It might have been my favorite scenic view during our trip. When someone mentions Colorado, I think of Dream Lake.

Woke Up Early For This Great View

I was on the road by 5:00am to make it to the top before the sun rose. It was a fairly easy incline, but I was running off adrenaline to make it before the sun started poking over the mountain. It was by far the widest view I had during my time in Colorado. Once the sun starts making its way up, there is a scramble as a photographer. From the west to the east side, it's a beautiful yet different view on each side. The colors are constantly changing until the sun is all the way up.

Decent Local Hike With Great View

This is your average Santa Monica Mountains hike but the view at the top is a pleasure. You can see all of Santa Monica. There is some cover along the trail but the trees aren't that interesting, and most of the area is bushes. I like to do this as a quick day hike if I don't want to travel too far from Santa Monica.

Great hike outside the more populated valley

I've done this hike two years in a row in late February and the trips were very different. In 2016 I made it all the way to the top without any issues. It was cool outside, sun was out, there was a little bit of wind but more noticeably, no snow. In 2017 I did it again and I couldn't make it to the top. I was breaking new snow for about half a mile before I had to turn around. The wind was more predominant and it was significantly colder. Both years the trip has been beautiful, and challenging at times with the elevation gain. Overall it's a solid hike with gorgeous views.

Solid hike with a decent reward at the end

We did this hike with my 2 year old son and everyone was able to enjoy it. There were ample opportunities for him to exit the carrier and hike on his own. Ouzel falls was lovely and a good enough reward for our family hike.

Magical first experience in Zion National Park

This backpacking trip is incredible! We stayed at site #5 and watched the sunset over the canyons, it was unforgettable. This was my wife's first backpacking trip and she was able to tackle it fairly easily other than the blisters she got on day 2. Her boots were too small and the decline on this trip is very aggressive. There are so many different types of trees and terrain along this trip, it really captures the beauty and variety of Zion National Park.