If you’re keeping score, this is the last weekend before the summer solstice. In other words, the days aren’t going to get any longer. This means that now is prime time for long day-hikes. Of course, multi-day backpacking trips are a staple of the outdoor recreational life, especially during the summer, but these ten trips are easily doable as day-hikes, especially during this time of the summer. Day-hiking means not having to carry extra gear, and in most cases, less red tape, such as camping permits.
Here are ten great hikes – ten miles or more each – that can help you take advantage of extended daylight during this time of the year. Get ready for the long haul on these epic trips!
Laurel Spring (10 miles) – Make sure you get off to an early start to visit this remote spring in the Santa Ana Mountains. The Harding Truck Trail ascends steadily, rising from the canyon and taking in nice views of the northern Santa Ana summits.
Old Boney Loop (10.3 miles) – This tour of the northeastern sector of Point Mugu State Park features interesting geology, secluded canyons, and nice ocean and city views.
Mt. Zion Loop with Sturtevant Falls (10.4 miles) – This long loop visits some of the best scenery of Big Santa Anita Canyon, including popular Sturtevant Falls. Without the waterfall, the distance is 9.4 miles.
Modjeska Peak (10.5 miles) – Modjeska, the northern and shorter of the two Saddleback summits, can be reached with a nice, easily graded 4-mile ascent on Maple Springs Road and a short but steep stretch on single-track. Get off to an early start, bring extra water and watch out for the bugs!
Mt. Baldy Loop (11.5 miles) – No explanation necessary!
Dry Lake (12.5 miles) – A nice, secluded trip in the San Gorgonio Wilderness to a lake filled with melted snow. Expect great views of San Gorgonio Mountain and Sugarloaf.
Cucamonga Peak (12 miles) – Its intimidating, triangular profile is almost as recognizable as that of Mt. Baldy, and the peak’s close proximity to the suburban edge makes the views from the top all the more dramatic. The climb through Icehouse Canyon alone is inspiring and challenging, and the remaining distance to the top passes through some of the wild back country of the San Gabriels.
Telegraph Peak (13 miles) – Not nearly as well known as it should be, steep Telegraph Peak provides a stunning 360 degree view of Baldy, the high desert, the Ontario-Cucamonga Ridge, San Gorgonio and San Jacinto. Like Cucamonga, it visits beautiful Icehouse Canyon, and also features a dramatic knife-edge stretch on the Three Ts trail. This is a hike that no L.A. trail buff should miss.
San Jacinto Peak via Seven Pines Trail (14 miles) – This is one of the more challenging routes to San Jacinto Peak. The rough Seven Pines Trail passes through some beautiful and remote areas on its way to meet the Pacific Crest Trail. You also visit Little Round Valley and get nice views of Black Mountain and Old Saddleback on the way up. The view from the summit, needless to say, is phenomenal.
Santiago Peak (16 miles) – The taller of the two Saddleback summits, Santiago Peak can be reached with a pleasant climb through Holy Jim Canyon, and an exposed stretch on Main Divide, in which all of the major So Cal summits are visible on clear days.
So lace up the boots, pack the extra water and trail mix and test your endurance on these great hikes. Who says that bigger isn’t better?
Check out more trails in your area: icedjamb.com’s Trail Guide