Explore To Do - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
1 day ago

It’s a beautiful view and a moderate hike but the trail is really overgrown (lots of scratchy branches) and we lost the trail entirely once we got to the river which was a bummer.

Didn’t see a single other person on the trail the whole hike.

Three stars is because it’s so dusty. You couldn’t access the parking lot because the road was closed due to fire danger. So I parked along the side of the road walked up the hill a bit and found a place to enter. Once he and I had a Tonna fun and it wasn’t crowded at all then again it’s a Wednesday morning. Straight up I went and the rundown was very easy. If you got an hour and a half to kill go knock it out.

hiking
3 days ago

Did this hike with some friends and my two dogs. A very challenging hike, pushed my limits. The weather was cold and windy at the summit. I'll do this hike again.

The waterfall (in November) was pretty small but the hike was nice, not a ton of people, and easy to get to, would recommend

Terrific challenge really pushed myself starting at 6:25, made the summit 7:55am
Breathtakingly views!

Do It People One Of The Best Hiking Trails

Fun and easy hike and the fall was beautiful. The parking lot was closed because of fire season. The incline from the parking area was the hardest part and added a mile to the hike. When the parking lot is open I would recommend for children.

Fun, but hard! Don’t under estimate. From the peak you can see from the Mojave to the pacific. We could also see Catalina island, and even past Catalina island - to San Clemente island. STUNNING!

Fantastic hike!!!! One of the best that I have accomplished this year. It is 11.4 miles, not 13, but if you don't like going down hill, the last 2.5 miles will feel like 5 miles. As others have said it is that first (and last) 2.5 miles that are the steepest. The middle is relatively easy (if you are used to big hikes) while the switchbacks make the last mile quite doable. Very pretty, no steep drop offs, lots to look at, the rock and tree formations are fantastic. The Forest Service office in Idyllwild opens at 8 but you can also get a permit in the outdoor kiosk.

Well maintained dirt road, easy to park and find trail head, wide trail and when you get to the last 1/3 where the rock trail begins the terraine gets more challemging but we saw a 4 yr old doing it so really not hard at all. Great trail day!

backpacking
14 days ago

Giving five stars because trail was well marked, and easy to find. I had downloaded the All Trails map but it wouldn’t load for some reason. I too, am a pro member. Completely relied on the Catalina map that you can buy at the visitor center instead. Decent cell reception on most of the area and plenty of places to stop for food if you plan right (you could easily carry just two days worth of food on a four day trip). We did Avalon to blackjack on day 1 then blackjack to two harbors day two, and finally two harbors to starlight beach (camp at parson landing) day three, and parsons landing to two harbors day four. In retrospect, We wish we had arrived in time to camp at hermit gulch, get an early start, and hike all the way to little harbor on day one (prettiest campsite). Then day two we would suggest little harbor to parsons landing, then back on day three. Don’t skip the hill to parsons landing. It has beautiful views and a lot more fun than the flat way. It is really steep going down. Wouldn’t suggest going up it from PL bc of the grade. The Catalina trail map altitude gain image is more of a pretty looking estimation. Just follow the contours. Overall the hardest part for us wasn’t the hills, but rather the heat and sun exposure on the way to blackjack. Pack as light as possible. But definitely pack a rain fly for camping anywhere on the beach. Ours got soaked and we were very happy to have it. Oh yeah, and for starlight beach take the old west end road trail instead of the road. It’s easy to miss, on the right hand side. Otherwise the road drops steep to the coast, then back up to meet old west end road. Totally unnecessary. Ask for a second bundle of firewood at two harbors... I think it’s included in the cost. Don’t forget to call ahead and order water and wood for PL.

was looking forward to the trial but it was closed today 11/01/18

really super for kids and dogs. wonderful hike

hiking
19 days ago

Very good and very challenging hike. Some steep cliffs with long drops; watch where you step! The ascent wasn’t too tough but the descent down the winter creek trail was brutal; bring poles if you have them. Was bothered by bugs at times but not overwhelming. Would hike again!

backpacking
20 days ago

Nice hike through a giant redwood forest to begin with. The trail was pretty beat up by stock animals, so it was a bit uneven in spots. Summit lake was nice, but no real view from there. Fish weren’t biting, but it was pretty cold.

I did this one again. Only did A free miles. Took my dog (older). So I cut it short. Will do the full hike next visit.

First few miles are flat and kind of boring the last 1.5 is where the fun starts. Took my dog. Just a few spots she needed to be lifted to help her up or down. Not sure I would take a dog I couldn’t carry but I did see a few people with bigger dogs so they must have found a way around the bigger rocks. Fun trail even though the water wasn’t flowing.

the beginning of this trail is a little overgrown so it's not easy to see but once you get past the overgrowth you can see the trail and after about two and a quarter miles you'll come to some stairs that go up to a platform where there are some chairs and a podium and the view from there is really something 360 degree view but be careful there's some narrow spots on the trail and some of it is loose dirt but a pretty good hike none the less

the starting point for this hike is difficult to find if you don't know exactly where it is cuz it's overgrown with brush but once you find it then you can see the rest of the trail and you follow it about two and a quarter miles to a flat platform that has chairs and a podium and the view from there is 360 degrees no water though

Hike this trail up to the Blackstar canyons sign and then walked back to parking lot. This is a very dusty walk your shoes will come back brown. best to do it after a rain fall when it’s not as dusty. It’s mostly a dirt road so it’s not that hard until you get to where the falls are and then you have to do some off hiking and climbing over boulders. All uphill hiking , bring good shoes you don’t mind getting dirty and lots of water. You’ll see peacocks on your way up there and cross 2 bridges. 24hr trail. In summer watch out for snakes on dirt road.

Closed on the weekdays for construction

First off, the out and back mileage is incorrect on this. From the trail
Head to Lightner Peak is 7.2 miles. It’s listed on the trail head sign. Out and back, this hike is 14.4 miles. Be prepared.

I loved this hike. If you live in Cali, and like me, every time you see those rolling golden hills sprayed with oak forests and grazing cattle, you have the urge to wonder on up, and also need a challenging hike that will
Kick your butt... then this is it!

I just did Whitney a few weeks ago, and had been training for it since last Feb. with a series of steep high elevation hikes, and trail running. I’m in relatively ok shape. I’m saying this because... Damn! If I didn’t feel the intensity of this hike.
If you are not an experienced hiker, DO NOT do this trail and definitely don’t attempt without proper hiking boots and polls. The first couple miles are deceptively moderate. Don’t be fooled.

To put into perspective, Whitney has an elevation gain of 6,000 ft in 11 miles. This trail has an elevation gain of almost 4.000 ft in in under 6 miles. And... once you go up, you must come down! It’s not gravely and loaded with steep boulders like Gorgornio or Mt. Marion, but it is a steep narrow dirt trail. The dirt can be very slippery on the way down. And... light traffic can mean you’re alone on the trail. I never saw anyone. If you are not experienced, there are many places in which you can easily roll your ankle.

That said. This hike is truly beautiful. I even got to see fall color at the peak. As low lander in So Cal... that’s as good as it gets. :-)

P.s. I would not suggest this hike on a hot summer day.

This was a fantastic hike. A bit of endurance needed. My Fitbit said 11.4 miles so don’t worry once you pass the 9.8 AllTrails states.

Not a lot of people were around during my hike. I saw maybe 4-5 people and a few bike riders.

Definitely worth doing. Especially since Mt Lukens is apparently the highest peak in LA city limits.

Excellent hiking day

Nice trip overall

backpacking
29 days ago

First off, my AllTrails app did not work on the island. Getting discouraged with the spotty functionality. This, despite pre-downloading maps on my app. The app was just completely frozen. (I pay for the "Pro" version too).
The hike itself was fantastic. Some good elevation and great ocean views. Many of the inlets were a rich turquoise color - reminiscent of the Caribbean.
The best campsites on the island were definitely Little Harbor and Parsons Landing.
Be sure to use the route provided by the Catalina Conservancy map and not the AllTrails route.
Had great weather in October. Every day was around 70 degrees with morning cloud cover (great time to climb).

We did this hike in mid-August along with our friend who was prepping for her trek on the JMT. The hike is well maintained, mostly shaded, and meanders up the mountain with a series of switchbacks. I prefer switchbacks to a straight stair-climb up a slope, so I appreciated the winding nature.
Only annoying part is the peak- little shade and LOTS of fitness group meetups that had music blasting and were having push-up competitions on the summit monument. Oh, and the drone guy. Not everyone wants to hear your whirring drone and be in your videos. Enjoy nature, please, and let the others around you enjoy it too!

Overall: nice and slow pace with lots of shade! No water and only pit toilets so bring plenty to drink.

Love this hike when there is running water to walk in and two beautiful waterfalls (one you can climb up to the top of in to a little cave) it rained yesterday. Does anyone know if it was enough rain for a waterfall?

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