Sunset Peak

I was happy to get back to the mountains and enjoy a day of peaceful solitude.  It feels like it’s been awhile since I’ve hiked in a place that was free of crowds.  On the trail I seek a calm and positive state of mind where I’m free from worry and anger and negativity.  Moments of true freedom can be found on the trail.  For me, this state of mind is easiest to reach when I hike on uncrowded trails with vast mountain views, like some found in the Angeles Forest.  Sunset Peak sits beneath Mount Baldy and has outstanding views of nearly all the San Gabriel Mountain Range.  It was a bit hazy today.

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Aniso Trail

Trying to beat the heat is always one of my first priorities when choosing a trail.  This week I traveled up the coast a bit to the coolest spot I could find, about 20 miles or so past Santa Barbara.  Aniso Trail runs between El Capitan and Refugio State Beaches.  The trail is paved but one can hike in the dirt right next to it for much of the way.  There is a section of trail, officially closed due to erosion, but the barriers are unmaintained and easy to get around and the closure does not seem to be enforced.  I crossed paths with many people hiking this stretch.  The blufftop views of the coastline are outstanding, and the beach below has several interesting features.

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Rocky Peak Trail

Rocky Peak Park in Simi Valley was one of my first hikes outside of the Santa Monica Mountains, way back in 2012.  On that day I started on Hummingbird Trail and never actually made it to the peak.  I returned on this day, starting right off the 118 Freeway on Rocky Peak Trail, and this time made it to the summit.  Overall, an enjoyable day. Read more

Parma Park – Santa Barbara Botanical Garden

On this day I hiked in two areas separated by only a couple miles of road, but very different in character.  Parma Park has a maze of trails running through what was once a goat ranch.  All the trails are marked only by signs that read, “Trail”.  Santa Barbara Botanic Garden has several miles of trails, very well marked, and is much more manicured, especially in the heart of the gardens near the entrance.  Obviously, the latter is more crowded.  I enjoyed both parks equally.

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