Top 12 hikes of ’12!

Deep Creek from the Pacific Crest Trail
Deep Creek from the Pacific Crest Trail
Big Cienega Trail on the way to Mt. Islip
Big Cienega Trail on the way to Mt. Islip
Ocean view from the Trans Catalina Trail
Ocean view from the Trans Catalina Trail

Greetings hikers, and thank you for making 2012 a successful year for the Nobody Hikes in L.A. Blog!  In addition to record-setting traffic, highlights of the year included developing a relationship with the Catalina Island Conservancy, whose generous support made possible several posts about hiking on the island; renewing our affiliation with Amazon; becoming an affiliate of Infohub; the inauguration of the NHLA image licensing store–and, of course, some great hiking trips.  In case you missed any of these, here are our twelve best hikes of 2012.  Enjoy!

#12) Cooper Canyon Falls from Cloudburst Summit.  Elusive Cooper Canyon Falls can be reached from several trailheads.  The most common approach is from Buckhorn Campground, but this 7-mile route showcases some of the Angeles National Forest’s great high country, and provides a great workout.

#11) Pinnacles.  This short but steep hike in the western San Bernardinos showcases some outlandish geology and provides great views of the San Gabriels, the high desert and more.

#10) Mt. Waterman.  For a moderate effort, the climb up Mt. Waterman yields great mountain and city views.

#9) La Jolla Valley Loop.  This is one of the best-kept secrets of the Santa Monica Mountains.  Not many people know about the Chumash Trail in Point Mugu State Park, and while it may test the resolve of some hikers, it serves as a portal to some of the best scenery in the area.

#8) Indian Truck Trail.  Hikers looking to build their endurance won’t want to miss this trip, which climbs 7 miles and 2,600 feet from Corona to Main Divide Road.  Great mountain and canyon views along the way make the effort worthwhile.

#7) Deep Creek.  This beautiful hike near Lake Arrowhead has a little bit of everything: a peaceful stream, dramatic mountain views, geology and more.

#6) Silver Peak.  This remote summit in the northeastern corner of the San Bernardino National Forest might not be a household name, but for hikers willing to make the trip, the rewards are plentiful.  Desert views, mountain views, mine shafts and a steep climb through a canyon on a cable are among the highlights.

#5) Mt. Islip from Crystal Lake.  This seminal Angeles National Forest peak can also be reached from the north, but the south approach is more challenging and arguably more scenic.

#4) East End Loop and Lone Tree Point on Catalina Island.  This 13-mile epic can be done entirely on foot from Avalon.  Highlights include stunning ocean vistas, aerial views of the town and a LOT of climbing.

#3) Stonewall Peak.  One of San Diego County’s best hikes, Stonewall provides incredible views of the Cuyamaca, Laguna and Palomar ranges.  Although it’s a drive from Orange and Los Angeles Counties, it’s well worth a visit.

#2) Mt. Wilson Loop.  Along with Baldy, Mt. Wilson is one of the San Gabriels’ most famous summits, and this great loop from Chantry Flats is one of the most scenic and challenging routes.

#1) Red Tahquitz.  If you want great desert and mountain views, a green valley, interesting geology and serene pine forests, you’d probably have to do several different hikes, right?  Actually, all of the above can be found on Red Tahquitz, a challenging and incredibly scenic hike–and the best one to be posted on NHLA in 2012.

We’d like to thank all of our readers for their support and interest, and we wish everyone a successful and happy 2013 – on and off the trails!


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