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My Top 10 Hikes of 2017

December 26, 2017

As the year comes to a close, it's time to start wrapping things up for 2017! I logged over 43 hikes this year in various different states which is the most I've ever done. It's hard to pick which were my favorites as all were pretty amazing, each with their own unique thing to offer. In the spirit of the season for lists and resolutions, here are my top 10 hikes of 2017 in no particular order:

 

1. Castle Rock Trail, Big Bear Lakes CA

Length: 2.7 miles out and back | Level: Moderate | Duration: 1-2 hours | Elevation: 757 | Dogs: Yes on-leash

Directions and full hike info here

Beautiful, classic, must-do Big Bear hike with highest viewpoint of Big Bear Lake. This hike is for any level, though I rated it moderate for the quick steep ascent in the beginning. It's one of the most popular in the area and it certainly doesn't disappoint. With these gorgeous views, you can see why!

 

 

2. Rim & Gorge Trail Loop, Treman State Park NY

Length: 4.5 mile loop | Level: Easy-Moderate | Duration: 2-3 hours | Elevation: 500 | Dogs: Yes on-leash

Directions and full hike info here

Nestled in the Finger Lakes region of upstate NY just a few miles outside of Ithaca, are several of the beautiful gorge trails. This one in particular is one of my favorites! I've done this hike over a dozen times in my life, but it never gets old. With two huge waterfalls to view - Lower Falls, and the famous Lucifer Falls (above) this really is the perfect hike to do spring through fall.

 

 

3. Devils Bridge,  Sedona, AZ

Length: 4.4 miles out and back | Level: Easy-Moderate | Duration: 2.5 hours | Elevation: 587 | Dogs: Yes on-leash

Directions and full hike info here

Super popular, super crowded, but super awesome! It's the iconic Sedona hike you have to do and for good reason--there's nothing quite like the scenery and adventure here! This was one of my most memorable hikes this year, so be on the lookout for the full write-up on the trail with a lot more photos and all the details on this beauty!

 

 

 

4. Trail Canyon Falls - Tujunga CA

Length: 4.2 miles out and back | Level: Easy-Moderate | Duration: 2.5 hours | Elevation: 700 | Dogs: Yes on-leash

Directions and full hike info here

A hidden gem in the western part of the San Gabriel mountains, Trail Canyon Falls is best seen after a good rainfall month in CA. Visiting sometime in Jan- March will get you these full flowing falls! It's a great hike through the mountains, with this beautiful payoff waiting for you at the end.

 

 

5. Barker Dam Trail - Joshua Tree National Park CA

Length: 1.5 mile loop | Level: Easy | Duration: 1-1.5 hours | Elevation: 50 | Dogs: Not on trails in the park. They are only allowed in in campgrounds and within 100 feet from roads, always on leash.

Directions and full hike info here

An easy and beautiful loop, this short hike in Joshua Tree National Park is well worth visiting, especially in the months after rain. Pictured here is the dam in earlier 2017 right after all the storms we experienced in southern California. Best photos are at sunset (above) and sunrise to grab this perfect reflection.

 

 

 

6. Sandstone Peak Trail, Los Angeles CA

Length: 6.25 loop | Level: Moderate | Duration: 3 hours | Elevation: 1075 | Dogs: Yes on leash

Directions and full hike info here

Another staple here in LA, this one of Los Angeles's most popular hikes. Sandstone Peak is the highest peak in the Santa Monica mountains, so this trail offers sweeping views of the valleys out to the ocean. The trail itself is a moderate loop, or out and back depending on which path you choose. Either way, it's a great way to spend your afternoon! Be sure to visit my full write-up on this hike here.

 

 

7. Cathedral Rock Trail,  Sedona AZ

Length: 1.5 out and back | Level: Moderate but very steep in parts | Duration: 2.5 hours | Elevation: 600 | Dogs: Yes on leash

Directions and full hike info here

Another memorable one from my Sedona trip this year, Cathedral Rock is another must-do when visiting here. Though it is a short hike, its got a few strenuous steep climbing parts, but nothing unmanageable for any level hiker or those afraid of heights. The view at the top is worth the effort on this one! Full write-up on this also coming soon!

 

 

8. The Narrows (Bottom-Up Day Hike)- Zion National Park UT

Length: 8-9 miles out and back | Level: Moderate - flat hike, but level can vary depending on river water flow and height. | Duration: 6-8 hrs Elevation: gradual ascent up the river | Dogs: No | No permit required

Directions and full hike info here

If there is one bucket list item everyone should complete, it's The Narrows at Zion National Park. No hike has left me feeling so small in the world, and in awe of such epic natural beauty! And for that reason, I have to say this one was my top favorite of 2017. Visit here for my full write-up on this epic experience. 

 

9. Duck Pass Trail, Mammoth Lakes CA

Length: 8.1miles roundtrip (3.9 straight to Duck Lake, no turnoffs)  | Level: Moderate-to-Hard | Duration: 4-6 hours | Elevation: 10,800

Dogs: Yes on leash

Directions and full park info here

Headed to Mammoth this spring? Then be sure to check out Duck Pass Trail. This full-day hike is one of the best ones you can find in the area. It has all the beautiful elements -mountains, water, trees, green, clear crisp air, and a great workout! I'll be hoping to check this one out again soon. Check out the full write-up here, on the day I spent there.

 

 

10. The Grotto Trail, Malibu CA

Length: 3 miles out and back | Level: Moderate | Duration: 1.5 hours | Elevation: 475 | Dogs: Yes on leash, but not all the way to grotto due to large rocks and parts of high uneven ground with light river crossing.

Directions and full park info here

Last, but most certainly not least is one of my other local favorites here in Malibu, CA. This beautiful Grotto trail can be found in the Santa Monica mountains, not too far from Sandstone Peak. It's not heavily trafficked which makes it a perfect and peaceful escape from the city! Visit here for my post on this one from earlier this year.

 

That wraps up my top 10 list of hikes for 2017! Hope you enjoyed them! What were your favorites? Send me a DM or leave me a comment! Would love to hear any good ones I should hit up for 2018. Happy New Year everyone!

 

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