Our friendly neighbors at Joshua Tree National Park recommended visiting Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (AnzBo) since the wild flowers are supposed to be in full bloom this time of the year. Since our original plan to explore the Mojave Trails did not pan out, we had one more day before our vacation ended. We decided to go home first to resupply and cleanup before heading to Palm Canyon campground at AnzBo. We called the Palm Canyon campground the day before and the ranger informed us all campsites were booked but we could still try for a walk-up tomorrow at noon.
The Quick and Dirty:
Location: Devils Postpile National Monument is located close to Mammoth Lakes resort, the drive time to the trail head was approximately 6 hours from Orange County. Park your car at the Village in Mammoth Lakes and take the Reds Meadow/Devils Postpile shuttle bus service ($7/person RT) to the Devils Postpile trail head.
Distance: ~6.5 miles to the entrance of the Minaret lakes, there’s about 2 additional miles of unmaintained trail to explore once you’ve reached the lakes. 13 miles roundtrip.
Difficulty: Easy, total elevation gain of about 2500ft over 6.5 miles
Best Time: summer and fall
Duration: 3.5 hours at a leisure stroll to the lake
Permits: Wilderness permits are required for all overnight stays. Permits can be obtained at recreation.gov. Keep in mind, this is a popular trail, daily quotas fill quickly.
Dogs: Dogs are allowed on the shuttle and trail, however, they do require dogs to wear a muzzle on the shuttle.
The Quick and Dirty:
Location: Located within San Bernardino National Forest in San Bernardino County, California. The trail head is located on Jenks Lakes Road West off Hwy 38. Follow sign for Foresee Creek Trail to a dirt road, the parking lot is approximately a quarter mile away from Hwy 38.
Distance: 13 miles round trip to San Bernardino peak trail junction via John’s Meadow.
Terrain Type: Relatively flat from Foresee Creek trailhead to John’s Meadow. There is a 200+ feet climb from John’s Meadow to the main San Bernardino peak trail junction closest to Columbine Springs. This trail is unmaintained but navigable. Water is available year round on this trail.
Difficulty: Easy to moderate, we were able to keep a little over 3 mile per hour pace for this hike.
Best Time: Year round but spring or after a rain storm is the best time.
Duration: 5 hours include 30 minutes of lunch break
Permits: Wilderness permits are required for all day and overnight hikes. The permit can be obtained up to three months in advance at the Miller Creek Ranger Station. For more information, see the following link for instructions on how to obtain a permit. You do not need a National Forest Adventure Pass to park at the trailhead. http://www.sgwa.org/permit.htm
Dogs: Dogs are allowed on this trail
The Quick and Dirty:
Location: The turnoff for the trail is approximately 6 miles from O’Neil Park on Trabuco Canyon Road. Make a right turn onto a dirt parking lot onto Trabuco Creek Road and continue on Trabuco Creek Road for about 4.6 miles to the main parking lot for Holy Jim Falls. Tip: google maps will pull up the parking lot location if you search “Main Parking for Holy Jim Falls and Trail, Trabuco Creek Road, Corona, CA 92883.”
Distance: 16 miles round trip to Santiago Peak, 2.8 miles to Holy Jim Falls
Terrain Type: High clearance vehicle is highly recommended to get to the trail head. Nice coverage for the first 1.4 miles to Holy Jim Falls, it is a continuous climb with lots of sun exposure for the remainder of the hike to Santiago Peak. There are no water sources after the Holy Jim Falls, 3L of water is suggested if you plan on doing the entire 16 mile hike. This is a dog friendly trail.
Difficulty: Strenuous hike with more than 4,000 feet of elevation gain
Best Time: Year round but spring or after a rain event is the best time.
Duration: 6.5 hours, averaging 2 mph going to the peak and 3 mph coming down.
Southern California winters can be one of the best times to go to the beach. With small tourist crows and high temperatures around 90 degrees this past week, we couldn’t resist spending a day with Dakota lounging at the beach!
Woods Cove is located a couple miles south of downtown Laguna Beach on Diamond Street and PCH. From September 17th through May 31st, dogs are allowed on the beach all day as long as they are leashed. During high tourist season, June 1st through September 16th, dogs are only allowed on the beach before 8AM and after 6PM. Parking is metered around Diamond Street and the maximum allowed time is 1 hour. It is best to come with a friend to have someone feed the parking meter without losing your spot on the beach!
As like most coves, the beach area in Wood’s Cove is small. But on a Friday afternoon in February, the place was not overly crowed.