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    Jan Raquinio reviewed Lake Hodges Overlook Trail

    4 months ago

    PARKING: limited parking in the dirt lot that opens at 8AM so i recommend getting there a little early to claim the prime spot.

    THE HIKE: locating the trail head was a bit difficult for me since there were multiple trail heads at the start. choose the right one or you'll end up by the river with no where else to go (whisper: saw a lady doing yoga posses on this very short trail and i awkwardly walked backwards as though i just saw a bear)

    Anyway, the hike itself is very well maintained and saw a few rangers making rounds making sure that people are leashing their dogs and making sure poops are in poop bags. I went during the weekday so didn't notice a lot of human traffic (perfect for my introverted self). HOWEVER, the reserve does offer guided hikes and as i was heading back, a swarm of (i kid you not) 20 children were running past me and 1 chaperone absentmindedly staring at her phone.

    You'll go through some slight inclines and declines but overall, the hike was bearable. The dam (which i mistook for the lake) is pretty cool but definitely make your way up to the actual overlook for breathtaking views!!! i guarantee you're hiking mind will feel the euphoria of gorgeous scenery. Take your time taking it all in, too! It was nice being the first and only one at the overlook.

    I would say this is one of my favorite hikes in the area. Warning though, there's very little shade so either go super early to beat the heat (especially during the summer) or be prepared and slather layers of sunblock. Also be careful for random animal droppings. And bugs.

    Jan Raquinio reviewed El Matador, La Piedra and El Pescador State Beaches

    5 months ago

    PARKING: limited parking on a dirt lot. Fees apply. I think it was $3 for an hour and $6 for 2.
    THE BEACH: very beautiful rock formations that have been through a lot of erosion over the year that you don't see in many California beaches.

    Apparently, because of these picturesque scenery and uncommon rock formations, this place is a hot bed of photo shoots. Its like, okay, i want to enjoy my time here but i also don't want to be in your shoots but if i am, pay me some commission. LOL.

    But if you walk/swim north, you'll find areas uninhabited by flash photography and models. there's a cool cave, which you can walk in and just enjoy the smell of seaweed, scent of salty water, and sounds of waves crashing. (Funny coincidence - i was just listening to Stuff You Should Know the episode about Tsunamis)

    If you do decide to traverse north to other beaches, take your time cause those steps are slippery and there are plenty of rocks you can slip on and crack your head on. This is a little morbid of me to think but i wonder how many and how often people slip and get knocked out and get pulled into the ocean. Yikes!

    Anyway, very beautiful beach even when its overcast. Aside from all the hoomans taking photos on rock and giving their best duck lips, this place was pretty neat. If you're about the photo-bombing life, this is a place for you as well.

    Also, is there an option for "Frolicking" as an activity cause that's exactly what i did here.

    Jan Raquinio reviewed Climbers Loop Trail

    6 months ago

    PARKING: you can park in the visitor center lot, the side of the road that leads to the visitor center, or the side of the road within the gated entrance (not sure when the gates open but i imagine 8AM?) it was pretty crowded when i was returning from the hike (around 9AM) since there's free guided nature walks on certain days, so definitely keep that in mind. BTW - i highly recommend visiting the visitor center as they have small interesting exhibits ^_^

    HIKE: the hike is pretty straight forward with some branching trails at the start but they inter-connect with the main trail. there's incline and declines but they aren't too drastic UNLESS YOU PLAN ON ROCK CLIMBING/BOULDERING!

    Funny thing - i tried to boulder my way up to the top and almost fell. so be very careful and have the proper equipment when attempting. I only had climbing shoes but. But i'm also a novice LOL.

    Anyway, you can choose to not boulder and just continue the hike.

    It got pretty packed early in the morning so if you're looking for quiet serenity - i'd advise to come around 7AM since there were already a bunch of humans by 8AM. and since the park offers free nature walks, that just adds to the human traffic you'll need to navigate around.

    overall, i'd say this was enjoyable and the scenery was very nice. i just wish i'd made it to the top but i'll need to up my climbing skills.

    Jan Raquinio completed Climbers Loop Trail

    6 months ago

    Jan Raquinio reviewed Dragon's Back

    7 months ago

    !!ATTENTION!! the default map of Dragon's Back is not up to date. almost half way through the hike, part of it was fenced out. BUT - there is a detour, but you can imagine the inconvenience of having to trek back a few 100 yards just to take the detour. SO - just be aware of that. I would have recorded my version but it was hot and my mobile phone wasn't cooperating with me and I started having panic attacks thinking i was lost. HNGGGGG! I NEEDED AN ADULT!

    PARKING:
    lots of space for parking. there's actually two separate lots right next to each other. if they're both filled, you can still park outside the park area.

    HIKE:
    Ok - here's the thing. There's very very very very VERY little shade on this hike. So gloss up on sunblock and cover as needed. I'm pretty tanned to begin with but i think i just got super burnt. AHOOOOO!

    I recommend going pretty early if you're thinking of hiking during the late spring to summer season just to beat the heat. There's plenty of inclines and declines but none too drastic. There's lots of branching trails and bike trails so pay attention to where you're heading (map at the trail head - take a picture of it if you don't want to use the alltrails map.

    Lots of lizards. they're actually cute. LOL. there were a handful of people while i was on the hike. a few bikers. 1 dirt biker.

    Anyway, the hike is straight forward after you head up beaumont ridge. THE ONLY THING WAS THE DETOUR!

    HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!

    Jan Raquinio completed Dragon's Back

    7 months ago

    Jan Raquinio reviewed Eagle Rock Via East Topanga Fire Road

    7 months ago

    PARKING: the gates to the parking lot opens at 8AM with a fee. I got there by 7AM and decided to park on the dirt road outside the park for free 99. limited spots on the dirt road, though, so if you're looking for that free adventure - go early, otherwise, support your state parks and pay the parking fee.

    THE HIKE: the hike itself is well maintained. you know when you have automatic flushing toilets you got yourself a bougie hike. they even had rolls of toilet paper ready for you. this is probably the Marriot of hikes. LOL. anyway, the hike is pretty straight forward - be sure to follow the signs (not that hard). you'll be taking the fire road for the majority of the hike and its a gradual incline till you get to your destination.

    bring insect repellent cause you'll be coming by a lot of flies and gnats. annoying buggers. ALSO - no cause for alarm but i saw a snake on the way back so definitely stay away from the edge of the trail. Try to stick close to the middle as possible. you'll also see a bunch of the local birds on the trail. also lizards. they creep me out. sometimes they look like twigs and i accidentally stepped on one until it started scurrying away. it had me afrightened. LOL.

    TRAFFIC: human traffic is generally pretty low in the early mornings. you got a few bikers, runners, and fellow hikers. everyone didn't really carry much, which made me the weird one taking my day pack. meh, better prepared. got to the trail head around 7AM and didn't start till 7:15AM (took advantage of the boujie toilets). It wasn't till i was descending back that i started seeing more humans.

    Overall, a pretty nice hike with gorgeous views. definitely would do it again.

    Jan Raquinio reviewed Palomar Observatory Trail

    7 months ago

    PARKING: you'll have to park within the camp ground so be sure to read the signs and not park in lots that have been reserved. ALSO - a few websites note that you need an ADVENTURE PASS to park but i parked without a pass (without researching ^_^') and luckily didn't get ticketed. However, parking at the Observatory is free - just not at the campground. :D

    ANYWAY, from the campground - try to find parking midway into the campground so you're near the amphitheater...cause that's where the trail head is. You'll come across A LOT of chipmunks and squirrels (maybe even some on the road :( you know what i mean) but i think the most annoying critters are the gnats and flies - especially if you go near the afternoon.

    I think i digressed. Where am I?

    The hike is pretty straight forward with no branching trails (from what i remember) and with gradual inclines. I recommend hiking early in the morning (possibly around 7 or 8) to avoid the gnat swarming around in the heat. I think i saw a few deer but i could be wrong. I get my animals mixed up sometimes.

    The hike seems scenic but 15 minutes into it - i started hearing a low guttural roar, which quickly intensifies and then disappear. Yeah, the trail is actually adjacent to a road that actually leads to the Observatory. Kind of kills the whole alone in the woods mood but meh.

    ANNNNNYWAY, about an hour into the hike - you'll finally reach the observatory. Past the parking lot (i wish i had driven myself up there and pretend i actually did the hike - no one would know...) you'll see the museum and gift shop to the right. pretty cool stuff in there.

    A little further up is the actual Observatory, which you can actually go in and read all about Hale and the telescope. Pretty cool stuff. BTW - PLUTO IS A PLANET!!!

    After you've had your fill of interstellar education (btw, there's a tour you can join for cheap), hike your way back the same way you came.

    Overall, pretty enjoyable hike with little human traffic. I heard there's a pretty cool night hike led by one of the rangers or employees or something. Something to think about.

    Jan Raquinio reviewed Vasquez Rocks Trail

    8 months ago

    Pretty nice hike with little human traffic - especially if you go in the early morning. There are multiple parking lots within the hiking area but they open at 8AM. If you decide to go a little earlier, you can park on the side of the road and just shimmy your way through the gates.

    Once you get to the rocks, you can choose to climb it peer down and get major vertigo (i did - but it was worth it!). Aside from the main attraction (the rock), there are other trails you can take and go on your own little adventure - just don't get lost.

    Overall, a pretty nice hike that's not too difficult at all! I recommend wearing a power rangers or star trek cosplay on cause this is where they actually shot some of the scenes for those shows. I was expecting to see Zordon but realized he died in the first movie. :(

    Jan Raquinio completed Vasquez Rocks Trail

    8 months ago

    Jan Raquinio reviewed White Rock Lake Trail

    8 months ago

    Straight forward "hike" with lots of human traffic. Went towards the afternoon and the sunset over the lake was amazing! Lots of dogs on this "trail" so be careful with their byproducts if ya know what I mean. There are bicyclists as well so try not to get run over by them.

    All in all, pretty easy and chill "hike".

    Jan Raquinio completed White Rock Lake Trail

    8 months ago

    Jan Raquinio reviewed Mount Rubidoux Trail

    10 months ago

    PARKING:
    lots of parking availability. whether street or lot located at the park right by the trail head

    HIKE:
    pretty easy with gentle inclines and declines. lots of landmarks with history explained on plaques. the only thing i would say that would cause an introvert like myself to have any gripes on this hike is the amount of traffic! there's so many people and their pets on this hike. i had to dodge so many strollers and crazy but adorable dogs and their POOP! that's the one thing, if you're going to be a pet owner, PLEASE PICK UP AFTER YOUR PET!!!

    other than that, i'd say this is a very nice hike with amazing elevated views of the city below and cool landmarks.

    Jan Raquinio completed Mount Rubidoux Trail

    10 months ago

    Jan Raquinio reviewed Murphy Ranch Trail

    11 months ago

    Some people are complaining that there's graffiti and concrete on this hike. LMAO! Do yourselves a favor and research the hike before jumping into it.

    This is my second time going through this hike and i'm surprised that the structures are stilll standing (heard that the city of LA was going to destroy the buildings).

    There's a long set of stairs near the start of the hike that you can choose to descend first to get to the different structures and ruins OR you can choose to continue on the road. The stairs descend/ascend steeply so watch your step.

    There's a youtube video that briefly talks about the history of the trail: https://youtu.be/ODThe9LTC-k

    Jan Raquinio completed Murphy Ranch Trail

    11 months ago

    Jan Raquinio reviewed Eagle Rock via the PCT

    11 months ago

    The journey to the eagle is pretty straight forward and I agree that the scenery doesn't change dramatically - though its still a good easy/mild hike.

    TRAIL HEAD:
    so this was really confusing as there were 2 entrances on either side of the road. the CORRECT trail head is to the right of the fire station, not the one that has the PCT signpost. I apologize to the 3 ladies I gave wrong directions to. Oops. :(

    Anyway, at the correct trail head, you'll pass through a pipe gate with a sign that say to close it behind you as livestock roam freely in the area. you'll pass through three of these gates and you should make sure you close the gates or else you'll be on television chasing around wild livestock.

    The hike itself is very easy - barely any inclines or declines, HOWEVER, towards the later portion of the trail, there wont be any shade so depending on when you go, be cautious and bring enough water and wear your sunblock. I started the hike at 8AM and the temperature was a crisp 50 degrees F. But it felt like 70 degrees in the open area.

    Once you reach the EAGLE, go ahead and mount it and fly over the remainder of the PCT. HA! Just kidding but wouldn't that be pretty cool? I named the eagle Daenarys after Daenarys Stormborn of the House Targaryen, First of Her Name, the Unburnt, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons.

    Jan Raquinio completed Eagle Rock via the PCT

    11 months ago

    Jan Raquinio reviewed Bronson Caves

    12 months ago

    Very easy hike that takes you to the cave where the 1960s batman cave is located.

    PARKING: it gets really packed and filled quickly. I arrived around 10am and it was dash to wait on someone leaving.

    TRAIL HEAD: kinda easy to miss cause there aren't signs or markings unless you have GPS. but as you continue walking down canyon drive, the first wide path you see to the right will lead you up to the caves. the hike itself is really short but there are less visible hikes once you've reach the caves - but as the description up there mentions, its really steep with very loose gravel so mind your step and take your time if you're planning to prolong the adventure to a higher elevation.

    Has anyone else seen the new Batman Ninja trailer? THAT WAS AMAZING!

    Jan Raquinio completed Bronson Caves

    12 months ago

    Jan Raquinio followed Lyle Bacaltos

    12 months ago

    Jan Raquinio reviewed Graffiti Waterfall

    12 months ago

    This hike was pretty cool! I grew up being influenced by hip hop in many aspects of my life: music, fashion, art, etc - so it was interesting to find something like this.

    PARKING:
    Free parking in the neighborhood the hike is in - just mind yourself and be respectful. I wouldn't want to hear people yelling in the early morning.

    TRAIL HEAD:
    Its a little hard to locate the entrance but once you see the huge sign, its going to be to the left of it. It goes up and along side the cement drainage.

    Once you're on your way, the trail is not too hard to follow, you'll eventually want to keep right and straight forward to get to the graffiti rock formations and the waterfall. Its a very short hike to get there so if you've been wandering around for more than hour - I would start shooting signal flare cause you're probably lost. Honestly, just follow the graffiti all along the side on random rocks and junk.

    When you're at the destination, you can either take the path on the right which takes you to a cliff that overlooks the waterfall and across from you, the rock wall that has a ton of graffiti on it.
    OR
    You an take the path to the left which takes you to the waterfall.

    Once you've taken the perfect instagram photo, make your way back the way you came. Overall, a short but very cool hike. Its different. A change of all the green and brown you typically see on hikes. But I agree that there are lots of trash laying around.

    Jan Raquinio reviewed Solstice Canyon Loop Trail

    12 months ago

    Very straight forward trail - just follow the signs. Lots of shade and can be pretty chilly in the early morning. When i got to the trail at 7:30am - the park ranger was just ahead of me to open the gate. There's a small space for one or two compact cars on the right side of the gate if you find yourself arriving early and the gate is still locked. There's a few actual parking spaces right at the gates and a handful towards the trail head - so I recommend arriving a little early. Saw 2 or 3 families circling the lot, fighting for a spot when I finished the hike at 9:30am.

    The trail itself is well maintained with some incline as well as branching trails to other hikes. Lots of photo ops as you advance in the hike. Its a nice hike with moderate human traffic. At the peak of the trail (about half way), you get a stunning view of the California coast and beach. I suspect it to be very romantic if you had someone with you - alas, I came alone. Nonetheless, the view was still breathtaking so I held my own hands.

    Jan Raquinio completed Solstice Canyon Loop Trail

    12 months ago

    Jan Raquinio completed Quail Loop Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Jan Raquinio completed Dreaded Hill Loop Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Jan Raquinio completed Santa Margarita River Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Jan Raquinio reviewed Mishe Mokwa Trail to Sandstone Peak

    about 1 year ago

    Pretty nice hike. Breath-taking views at the peak but the path is a little obscure so use your best judgment once you hit the final scramble.

    The entrance kind of sucks for smaller cars since its very uneven and rocky. A small car can still make it if you take your time. And its very short (unlike the drive to get to AZTEC FALLS!). People kind of make it sound worse than it actually is.

    After half a mile or so up the hike, you'll have to choose between taking the Sandstone path or the Mishe Mokwa path (red pill or blue pill). Its a loop so technically it doesn't matter since you'll be covering the same mileage.

    But here's the difference - taking the Sandstone path is a shorter path to get to the peak, HOWEVER, the incline is much more drastic than taking the more gradual incline of the Mishwe Mokwa path. Me? I mistakenly took the Sandstone path - no ragrets though because beating everyone else to the peak and having the view to myself for a couple hours was worth it. In all honesty, its not so bad.

    If you reached the antenna, congratulations! You climbed to the wrong peak because as you look to the left, you'll see the TRUE peak (I made this mistake so its okay if you did or will as well)! But we're not here to talk about the phony peak, we're here to talk about the mt allen peak!

    At the REAL peak, you'll notice a plaque dedicated to Mr. W Herbert Allen who did much for the Boy Scouts of America (4-H ALL THE WAY BABY!). Beneath the plaque is a rectangular slit covered by a...cover that hinges upwards. Inside are notebooks and pens for you to write your life experiences. Me? I wrote people who done me wrong. LOL JK (or am i?)

    After you're done taking in the scenery, breathing in the southern california air, and taken plenty of instagram selfies, its time to take on the other parts of the hike.

    Returning down to the main trail and onto the backbone, you'll eventually come across Inspiration Point! I stood there debating if i should take it one since all i really wanted to do at that point was to eat sushi. I decided, the heck with it, what's another mile? PLOT TWIST! it only took a few yards to actually reach Inspiration Point. Once you reach the block with a plaque that describes how this place was created by an eagle scout (still 4-H BABY!), there's a circular plaque on the top surface that if you turn it based on the direction the arrows point to, a cave will open and lead you to an 80s arcade. JUST KIDDING! but the plaque is still pretty cool.

    Continuing on, at this point i'm really hungry for sushi, you'll traverse for another 2 or so more miles until you return to your car.

    Overall, this hike was pretty neat and cool with all the sweet historical stuff. I am disappointed that there aren't any plaques dedicated to any 4-H individuals. House 4-H abides by these words: HEAD, HEART, HANDS, and HEALTH! (Game of Thrones anyone?)

    Jan Raquinio completed Castle Rock Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Jan Raquinio completed Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail

    about 1 year ago

    Jan Raquinio completed Big Horn Mine Trail

    over 1 year ago

    Jan Raquinio completed Aztec Falls

    over 1 year ago