Just a Taiwanese-American blogging about his travels outdoors and occasionally his thoughts on life.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Hiking in Joshua Tree National State Park, California

A map of our journey.
Trail Description

Length:  19 miles
Elevation Gain: 1784 ft
Difficulty Assessment: Moderate
Trail Type: One Way

The trail was a combination of many trails. The majority of the hike was along the California Riding and Hiking Trail which spans 37 miles. Our hike began at Black Rock Canyon and ended at Keys. Overall, the hike was around 19 miles over mountains and valleys. Each day we aimed for 9 miles.

For more information see: National Park Service

The Hike

This weekend I went backpacking in Joshua Tree National Park. For those of you who don't know what backpacking is, I would describe it as hiking for a long time with nothing but a backpack containing what you need to survive. It was definitely an amazing experience and it reminded me just how during the human body is when you have the will and prepare accordingly. This was my first time backpacking and I was glad I packed just enough to survive comfortably each day.

We got there on Friday and camped at Black Rock Canyon for the night. To set up camp, we had to hike one mile down the path and then 500 ft off the path.

The morning after the first night. Everyone had at least a sleeping bag except Sam. It was amazing how he survived the cold nights in just a blanket.
One thing I came to appreciate on this trip was my sleeping mat. It really helps keep you warm by keeping you off the ground which is a huge source of heat loss. Some of the gear I had to rent from REI. I didn't have cooking gear, a sleeping mat, or even a proper backpack. To offset the cost of a backpacking pack, I ended up using a normal school backpack and tying my sleeping bag and mat together with strings.

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hiking Pyles Peak, San Diego, California


Trail Description

Length:  5.8 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1784 ft
Difficulty Assessment: Moderate
Trail Type: Out and Back

For more information see: All Trails

The Hike

Today I went to hike Pyles Peak and was incredibly satisfied with the quality of the hike. I definitely suggest this hike to anyone into hikes or looking to try a fun hike. Not only is the  duration of the hike long enough, 6 miles round trip, but the difficulty was relatively challenging as well.

In fact, now that I know Pyles Peak exists and have done it, my opinion of the Cowles Mountain hike is that it's for middle aged women who feel like gabbing with their girlfriends on a weekend.

Another highlight to this hike is that it's only 20 minutes away from the La Jolla area. The next closest hike is Torrey Pines and that's just straight up a waste of time if you are anyone not 50 years old.

If you were to google the location of this hike, you simply google map cowles mountain parking lot, san diego.

Oh! And I can't promise you, but chances are, you will see tons of dogs on this hike. Today, I saw the fattest pug ever at the Cowles summit.
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