I’ve found that videos can provide a superior way of capturing the look and feel of a hike or place, so I usually try to get a few good video clips when I’m out and about. Here’s a handy directory of the ones I’ve posted so far. Check ’em out and let me know what you think.
Day Hiking Trails
These You Tube videos are featured as part of Day Hiking Trails hike reports.
Bluesapalooza is an annual live music and craft beer festival in Mammoth, California. Since it’s more of an event than a place, I suppose this one is pushing the limits of the Point of Interest category. But it sure was fun!
Although you probably wouldn’t want to drive out to Bronson Canyon just to walk to the Bronson Bat Caves, it IS a nice stop on your way to the Hollywood Sign via the Brush Canyon Trail. Which is what me, Kim and Haydee cover here. Including a short-cut trail you want to AVOID.
Would it be too much of a cliche to say that Mt Disappointment is in fact, a disappointment? Cliche or not, that’s the case with this radio tower cluttered peak. At 5,960 feet high, it is, however, on the Sierra Club’s Hundred Peaks list and you do get nice views from the rocks at the western edge.
This is a cool hike across several trails from the Crystal Lake Recreation Area north of Azusa, to the summit of Mt Islip. You can also hike to Mt Islip from the north, off of Hwy 2, but this south approach up the Windy Gap, Big Cienega and Islip Ridge trails is certainly doable and satisfying.
Point Dume is one of the coolest little hikes in So Cal due to its fantastic location up on the cliffs, high above the sparkling blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, near Malibu, California. For this video, me and Kim hike to the Point Dume Cliff from the Point Dume Preserve and then down to Westward Beach from the cliff.
Compared to Point Dume, Potato Mountain is pretty drab. At only 3,422 feet high, Potato Mountain barely makes the Sierra Club’s lower peaks list. But this version of the hike up the steep and slippery East Face is sure to give you a good workout, plus a nice challenge.
San Gabriel Peak looks like a pyramid from afar and it’s actually a very nice hike to do. Me, Kim and Haydee did this peak from Eaton Saddle along with Mt Disappointment and Mt Lowe and it was the highlight of day. The views from the top are superb and I’ve heard that the sunsets from this peak can’t be beat.
Although there are plenty of single track trails here, Skyline Drive is mainly known as a fire road hike. This one follows the fire road up to Beeks Place and the Doppler. It’s a long, dry and tedious hike to be sure and only recommended for cool weather.
Once again, the day hiking recon team of Kim, Haydee and I head up the trail, this time to Stoddard Peak. Most of the hike involves a fairly routine walk up the Barrett Stoddard Truck Trail, but once you get to the spur trail leading to Stoddard Peak, its a rollicking romp through brush and across a rocky ridgeline to the summit.
You’ll be hard pressed to find such a beautiful six mile hike as this one which takes you up two mountain peaks with wild and raw beauty in all directions. As 9,000 foot peaks go, Throop Peak is one of the most accessible and easiest peaks to bag. And Mt Hawkins is conveniently located a hop, skip and jump away, down the PCT.
Two Trees is a short but fairly strenuous hike in the Box Springs Mountain Park at the eastern edge of Riverside. The Two Trees trail is similar to the old Garcia Trail in Azusa, but not quite as steep. For this journey, I’m hiking with my friend Georganna. It’s a hike you’ll want to do if you live close by.
If you want to get to the Hollywood Sign but don’t want to walk up a boring fire road to get there, this hike is for you. Join me and group of hikers as we climb up the steep and rugged Wonder View trail to the Wisdom Tree on Burbank Peak. Then follow us across Cahuenga Peak to the Hollywood Sign atop Mt Lee. This is a REAL hike.
You Tube Channel
These videos are only featured on my Big Game James You Tube Channel.
Little used and almost forgotten, the Heaton Saddle would probably not get any love at all if it weren’t for the hardy hikers who trudge through here on the way to Iron Mountain.
You have almost certainly driven over this curious PCT crossing of the I-15 numerous times on your way to or from Las Vegas or the River. This short video takes you on a small portion of the PCT east of the freeway and then down and under the freeway. The freeway is a lot wider than you think but its a pleasant walk.
Lost Lake is located off of Swarthout Road west of the I-15. It’s a sad, forlorn and almost completely forgotten place that has suffered years of neglect and vandalism. And worst of all, the lake is almost dry. If you’ve ever wondered about Lost Lake, save yourself the drive and just watch the video.
You can get to Mt Lowe a couple different ways, including from Inspiration Point above Echo Mountain. But for this journey, me and the girls took the route from Eaton Saddle after bagging San Gabriel Peak and Mt Disappointment. It’s a nifty little climb with a bench on top and a few viewing tubes.
This may be the easiest way to bag Mt San Jacinto, but don’t make the mistake of thinking this hike is easy. Because it’s not. Even after riding the Palm Springs Aerial Tram, you still have to hike eleven miles total in higher altitudes. It is, of course, a most worthy peak to bag.
It’s not cheap to ride the Palm Springs Aerial Tram, but it’s definitely a cool experience. You go from desert floor to over 8,000 feet high in minutes. Plus you get fantastic views all around from the rotating gondola. For this video, I cover the ride from start to finish.
You can think of Register Ridge as a shortcut approach to Mt Baldy or Mt Harwood. But be forewarned, this trail is EXTREMELY steep. It begins on the Baldy Bowl trail (Ski Hut trail) and ends on the Devil’s Backbone trail. You will have to endure a staggering 2,747 feet of elevation gain in only 1.6 miles. And that doesn’t include your hike up from Manker, nor the rest of your climb up Mt Harwood or Mt Baldy if you decide to continue.