Sunday, October 11, 2015

Exploring LA's less known hiking trails..

Hiking has been a favorite past time of mine since I was a child. Every Sunday the whole family would load up in the old Cadillac and head to the park for  hike. When I arrived in LA all anyone would talk about was hiking at Runyan Canyon or Griffith Park..However, I soon discovered there were much more amazing trails with waterfalls (yes, WATERFALLS!), a grotto (one of my fav. hikes) and much more gorgeous views of LA. Here is a list and a brief description of each:  (Sorry, I wrote the reviews at different times so the rev. formats are different)

Solstice Canyon-

The grotto-
Escondido Falls-
Mishe Mokwa/Sandstone-

Sturtevant Falls- 701 N Santa Anita Canyon Rd, Sierra Madre, CA - I loved this hike. I went on a weekday last week and did not see many people. There were about 5 people at the actual waterfall. Don't skip the middle (lower)trail. There are a few beautiful pools/smaller falls you can swim in and can be romantic if you want some privacy(hint,hint).
Scenery: Oddly shaped, giant rocks to climb on 
Hike Time: Depends on how long you want to walk/climb around the rocks
Rating: 3 Stars (not much of a hike but it was fun climbing on the rocks)

Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, Trabuco Canyon- Highlights:Red Rock Scenery: Oak Forest, Amazing Rock Formations Hike Time: About 2 hours Difficulty: EasyRating: 4Summary: After reading the reviews of this hike, I'm not going to lie I was a little scared!. The Mention of mountain lions several times in several reviews and then the sign announcing mountain lions in the area when you first arrive to the parks gate...a little intimidating and every rustle in the bush made me want to run back to the entrance (luckily, I didn't see any mountain lions, just 2 deer)..The hike to Red Rock was very peaceful and surprisingly empty for a Saturday (watch out for bikers). Maybe because it was a pretty hot day, mentioning that, make sure to bring plenty of water, the path has a lot of uncovered parts from the sun. The trail starts off going through a forest and eventually evolves into a more "desert" environment with a sandy path, cactus and red rock formations. The statuesque red rock formations were definitely the highlight of the hike and I spent a good 20 minutes just climbing on them and exploring. It's amazing what can be found a "city", definitely worth checking out..

Abalone Cove- Abalone Cove/Sacred Cove/Smugglers Cove Highlights: Bluffside Views, Sea Caves, Tide Pools Scenery: Ocean View Hike Time: Varies, several different paths are available Difficulty: Moderate Rating: 5 Stars Summary: This is definitely one of my favorite hikes in LA. The views are gorgeous and you're constantly wondering what is around the next bend. The hike is filled with breathtaking views, sea caves, tide pools and sometimes even seals (one was sun bathing on the beach). The hike is a dirt path and can be steep at certain points. There is a $5 parking fee but it is well worth it.Address to Trailhead: 5970 Palos Verdes Drive South, Rancho Palos Verdes

Parker Mesa Overlook- 575 Los Liones Dr, Pacific Palisades, CA- 3 stars-  I didn't like this hike because you are just hiking along a fire trail without shade the whole way :( The view at the end is gorgeous though. A great place to clear your mind and take in the ocean breeze.

Newton Falls- Highlights: Easy access waterfall, sweeping views on Santa Monica Mountains Near: Malibu, CA  Distance: 4.11 miles Difficulty: Medium Trail Condition: Dirt path/Overgrown by the waterfall Rating: 4 Summary: This was my second time to this particular trail. Unfortunately, neither time I had time to fully complete the hike. I've hiked about a hour of it each time and it consists of breathtaking views of the Santa Monica Mountains and the soothing sound of the babbling creek follows you throughout the trail. One thing I particularly liked was the easy access to the waterfall. Most of the waterfall hikes I have hiked in LA take about a hour if not more to just reach the waterfall, with this hike it only takes about 20 minutes from the trailhead. The remoteness and height of the waterfall almost make you believe you are on a tropical vacation.:)Trailhead: From the Ventura Freeway (101) in Agoura, take Kanan-Dume Road towards the beach for about 8 miles. Park at the Backbone trailhead parking area between the second and third tunnels (Newton Canyon).

Vasquez Rocks
Highlights: Oddly shaped, giant rocks to climb on
Difficulty: Easy. 
Summary: It’s thought provoking, knowing you are walking on rocks created 25 million years ago (sorry, I guess I’m a bit of a dork). However, this location has also been used for quite a few films such as Star Trek, Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure, etc. There isn’t a structured trail here, you basically walk anyway you can around and over the rocks. Definitely a fun time for kids who have a lot of energy to burnJ.
Address to Trailhead: 10700 West Escondido Canyon Road
Agua Dulce, CA  91350

Switzer Falls- 34-14 Angeles Crest Hwy,La Canada Flintridge-The first time I took this trail it was early June and one of my favorites(I give it a 5 that time)!!! It is beautiful and the woods reminded me  of a fairy tale! The 2nd time I went with my best friend was 2 weeks ago. Bugs were after us the whole time in the shaded area and we decided to try to take the upper trail since it was rated as a more beautiful trail. However, I guess we branched off at the wrong point (there wasn't a sign) and ended up on this super narrow, high path with no shade. We hiked for awhile hoping it would bring us back down but after a mini rock slide almost fell on our heads twice we turned around. (very scary when you don't see another hiker for a hour and you don't have cell phone serv.). The lower trail was def. one of my fav. hikes though.
Eaton Canyon- 1750 N Altadena Dr, Pasadena- 2 stars- Not really a fan of this trail...There was construction and graffiti everywhere. It was hard to follow the path too, it wasn't clearly marked.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Fabulous Things to Do In LA 10/8-10/15...

10/8- Downtown Art Walk-
10/8- Horror Film Trivia-
10/8-10/11- LA Fashion Week-
10/8-10/11- Sourfest Beer Festival-
10/9-10/11- San Pedro International Film Festival-
10/10- Taste of Italy-
10/10- Beer/Art & Music Festival-
10/10- Taste of South Lake-
10/10- Oktoberfest Beer Olympics-
10/10- Reimagine Garden Grove By Day & Night Festival-
10/10- Artisanal LA Fall Show-
10/10- Best Coast Beer Fest-
10/11-Taste of the Redondo Pier-

Shopping/sample sales
10/8-10/11- Toms Shoes Warehouse Sale is on 10/8-10/11, (Th-Fr. 10am-8pm, Sat-Sun. 9am-7pm). Save 40%-75% on signature Toms shoes for men, women and children. Fairplex in Pomona, 1101 W, McKinley Ave., Expo Hall 9, Pomona 91768. (Parking $10 at gate 17 on Fairplex Dr.), Cash/ CC.
10/15-10/17- Greylin Sample Sale- Thurs. & Fri 8am-5pm, Sat. 9am-1pm- 2812 S. Grand Ave., Los Angeles, CA Cash/CC 

Events for a cause
10/8-10/31- Annual Fundraising Halloween Sale- Benefits HIV & AIDS assistance programs in Long Beach-
10/8- Autism Speaks-
10/9- High Tea and Fashion Show- Benefits Orange County’s Ronald Mcdonald House-
10/10- Unwined with LA’s Best- Benefits Free a=After School Programs for kids in LA-
10/10- International Myeloma Foundation 9th Annual Comedy Celebration- Benefits International Myeloma Foundation-
10/10- Strutt Your Mutt- Benefits animal welfare groups to help save the lives of pets in shelters-
10/11- Women’s Health 4 Annual Run10 Feed10 Fun Run- Run a 10k and you will ionstantly provide 10 meals for those that are hungry in your local and surrounding communities-
10/11- CHOC Walk in the Park- Benefits CHOC-

Best Places to Go Camping-

Future/ongoing dates
Mon.-Fri.- Free Meditation at 1:00pm-

Every Fri. through Oct.- Front Porch Cinema in Santa Monica-

Wednesdays- Free Public Planetarium Shows-
Saturdays- Free Archery Classes-
Sat. through 10/24- Roga on the Pier-
10/1-10/24- Barnsdell Park Outdoor Movies-
10/1-10/31- Knott’s Scary Farm-
10/1-10/31- Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor-
10/2-10/31- Haunted Hayride-
Every Sunday through Nov. 1- Oktoberfest Dachshund races-


10/23, 10/24, 10/30,10/31- Beware of the Realm- Admission is free with a one can donation which goes to the SCV Food Pantry-

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Fabulous Things To Do in LA...Week of 9/10..

Hmm..What to do this weekend?? There are soo many fun events I want to attend this weekend in particular. Unfortunately, I do have to work most the weekend :(. But you on the other hand, better get out of your house and explore LA!!!!

9/10-9/13- Burbank International Film Festival-
9/10- Twilight Concert-
9/11- Moca Free Night-
9/11- Downtown Artwalk-
9/11-9/13- LA Greek Fest-
9/12- 13th Annual Chalk Art Festival on the Pier-
9/12- Venice Beach Music Fest-
9/12- LA Beach Cities Modern Home Tour-
9/12- Street Food Cinema- 3 different locations!-
9/12-9/13- Polyenesian Festival-
9/12-9/13- California Beer Festival-
9/12-9/13- Long Beach Comic Con-
9/13- Catalina Wine Mixer-

Sample Sales
The Saturday Sale LA: LA’s biggest Sample Sale-

Happy Hours/Food Deals
9/8-9/28- Tues. through Sept.-50% of dinner menu and 50% off wine priced $150 or less- Must make a reserervation and say code T50-
The Best Happy Hour Deals in Santa Monica-

Events for a cause
9/12- Southern California Hospice Foundation- 6th Annual Wine Soiree-
9/12- Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation For Children’s Cancer-

Future/ongoing dates
Wed. through Sept.- Summer Concert Series @ The Point-
Fri. Dodgers games fireworks- www.
Fri. through Sept. Free Jazz Music-
9/4-9/27- LA County Fair-
Through 9/19- Rooftop Film Club-
9/11-10/31- Oktoberfest at the Alpine Village-
9/19- LA Cider Fest 2015-

9/26- LA Beer Fest-