Summer is just around the corner, and it’s easy to assume that to get exercise, one must find an air-conditioned gym for cardio and weights. Now, nothing against cardio or weights, but one can also get exercise in the great outdoors – and not have to drive up into the mountains to do so. If the last list of easy, accessible hikes that help beat the heat wasn’t enough, here are ten more to check out.
Badlands Trail – This short route visits some interesting marine geology and takes in some of Orange County’s best coastal views. On clear days, expect to see the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Dana Point, everything in between and even perhaps a little beyond.
Bluff Cove – This trail serves as an access point for the Palos Verdes Peninsula’s rugged west side. Whether you just do the short route described here or walk farther along the beach, you’re sure to find yourself physically and mentally refreshed.
Bronson Caves – Best known as the Bat Cave and the inspiration for Charles Bronson’s stage name, these caves are a pleasant surprise to come upon after battling the heat of the Valley or traffic on the 101 Freeway.
Canada Loop – A nice little retreat on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, this short loop visits a secluded canyon while taking in views of the Port of Los Angeles.
Dixie Canyon – This is a perfect place to escape the heat of the San Fernando Valley. The short and sweet loop travels through a quiet canyon and takes in nice views of the mountains to the north.
Franklin Canyon – Located in the Hollywood Hills, Franklin Canyon is surprisingly isolated, getting considerably less traffic than nearby Griffith Park or Runyon Canyon.
Paramount Ranch – Why not get a little film history in with your exercise and outdoor time? At Paramount Ranch, you can not only explore the quiet of the Santa Monica Mountains, but also check out Western Town, used as a set for a variety of TV shows and movies.
San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary – Conveniently located to I-405, the San Joaquin Wildlife Sanctuary in Irvine is a perfect introduction to the outdoors. Even veteran hikers will be impressed with the wetland scenery and how peaceful this urban oasis feels.
Sea Caves (Corona Del Mar) – Just past the refined polish of Newport Beach, one can experience Orange County’s wild side with crazy geology and crashing waves. If the tides are high, access to the sea caves may be difficult, but the primitive, scenic stretch of coastline is well worth a visit any time.
Zuma Canyon – For most people, the name Zuma connotes the beach and surfing, but on the inland side of P.C.H., the scenic and secluded canyon, one of the more under-appreciated areas of the Santa Monica Mountains, should not be missed.
So there you have the proof: You can get your exercise, fresh air and time to commune with nature almost right in your back yard. Nothing’s stopping you, so get out there and beat the heat!
Check out more trails in your area: icedjamb.com’s Trail Guide