Sandstone Peak

Trailhead12896 Yerba Buena Road, Malibu, CA 90265
Length: 6.25
Elevation Gain: 1075 ft.
Difficulty: Beginner/moderate
Total time: 3.5 hours
Dogs: Yes
Parking: Parking at trail head (free)

Sandstone Peak is the tallest point in the Santa Monica Mountains, which is super adorable because it’s only 3,111 feet tall. Look at you go, little guy!

The trail is a loop with a fairly gradual incline, although there are a few ups and downs… just like life, amirite?

To take the longer route, go to the right when the trail splits off, unlike what we did, which was go left and then have to turn around. This seems to happen a lot when I happen to hike with this particular guide. Not sure why I keep letting him lead me into the wilderness.

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Most of the trail is completely exposed, so going early morning or late afternoon to catch the sunset is advised. While trekking along, you will likely see rock climbers on Echo Cliffs, which is a name that sounds like something that you’d see in The Princess Bride.  “As you wiiiiiiiissshhhhh!”

There is one spot about 2 miles in that offers some shade, but that’s about the only part on the trail that doesn’t leave you exposed.

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After this section, you’ll continue skirting around the mountain. Head down the backbone trail to continue to Sandstone. To get to the actual peak itself, you’ll be required to participate in a smidgen of rock scrambling, and climb some stairs, so get a few Buns of Steel workouts in before you go (J/K its not that bad and also does Buns of Steel even exist anymore?).

Sunset at the peak is quite a sight, especially when it’s windy and cold and you have to shield yourself behind a rock because you didn’t bring a jacket. Good times.

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Once you’re done and complete the loop, go back down the stairs and make a right when you reach the trail. I was told by my guide that you can also see glow worms on the trail at night, but I didn’t see any on our trek. Then again, he is also the one who says “I think we go this way” and is wrong soooo…

Enjoy!

 

Sitton Peak

Trailhead: Sitton Peak Truck Trail, Lake Elsinore, CA 92530
Length: 10 miles
Elevation Gain: 2200 ft.
Difficulty: Moderate
Total time: 4-5 hours
Dogs: Yes
Parking: Parking lot across the highway from the trailhead (and across from the candy store!)

Sitton Peak is a relatively easy hike that then tries to destroy you at the last .25 miles. At almost 10 miles total, the slope is fairly gentle for most of the climb with many stretches of flat spots to catch your breath. You will meander through nice, shaded areas filled with flora and fauna (not sure what fauna is)

Once you get to the turn off for the last quarter of a mile to the peak, however, you’re going to need to mountain goat your way up that bad boy to get to the top.

The peak offers 360 views of the area AND as a bonus, has a sign that you can take a picture next to and later caption “Standin’ on Sitton Peak, hahahahahahaha.”

Okay, now I am going to let you in on some super secret insider information: Sitton Peak is pronounced Sit-ton Peak, as we were informed by a snarky local when we asked for directions.

Pronounce it right, and no one will be able to tell you’re not a native.

You. Are. Welcome!

Lake Gregory

Trailhead: 24171 Lake Dr, Crestline
Length:
 2.3 miles
Elevation Gain: Negligible
Total time: 1 hour
Dogs: Yes, on leash
Parking: If you park at the main lot at the entrance to the lake, you’ll pay $10. OR you can park over at San Moritz for freeeeeeee!

Lake Gregory is an easy hike that takes you around the scenic town of Crestline, CA. It is a popular spot that has a water slide, swimming, fishing and hiking. The trail also features physical fitness stations where you can do pull ups and sit ups and other feats to show how strong and awesome you are.

The lake was developed under the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1938. Urban legend claims that the construction equipment left at the site is still at the bottom of the lake.

If you want a easy hike and a quick vacation like experience, Lake Gregory is a great choice for a day trip. It is not particularly strenuous, making it a great option for families with small children.

Crestline is also my home town, so obviously awesome people come from there. 

 

Bonita Falls

Photo: @trashfreeearth

Trailhead:  Exit the 15 freeway at Sierra Ave. Proceed under the freeway. The road will turn into Lytle Creek. Continue up Lytle Creek for about five miles until you see the lots on your left hand side.  
Length:
 2 miles
Elevation Gain: 300 ft.
Difficulty: Easy
Total time: 1 hours
Dogs: Yes
Parking: There are lots a the trailhead. You need an adventure pass which you can purchase at any sporting goods store.

Bonita Falls is a 100 foot waterfall in the Lytle Creek area of San Bernardino. This is one of the highest waterfalls in Southern California. The trail is also great for kids and makes a great family hike.

One thing of note about this hike is that it is full of graffiti and trash, which detracts from the beautiful scenery. For the life of me I will never understand why people think it’s okay to put their artistic spin on nature. STOP IT. Nature doesn’t need your help in this aspect. Destroying it and leaving your mark does not make you cool.

In January of 2016 Trash Free Earth organized a clean up, removing over 300 lbs of trash from the trail and we barely scratched the surface. If you do travel along this trail (or any trail, really), I encourage you to take a trash bag and some gloves with you. At the very least, don’t leave anything behind, including “bio degradable” items (orange peels, etc.). If you wouldn’t leave it in your back yard, don’t leave it on the trail.