Ferndell Trail to Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, California

If you are like me, who wakes up early and is undecided about how to spend those early morning hours, I would recommend checking out that beautiful sunrise. It’s difficult to find a great spot in Los Angeles for sunrise but the view from Griffith Observatory in those golden hours isn’t all that boring either.

This was a short 2.5 mile, out-and-back hike from Ferndell avenue to the observatory. The elevation makes up for the relatively short hike making it a decent workout. This is the basic trail; there are numerous other trails that branches off of this path; one particularly takes you to the Hollywood Sign.

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The destination – Griffith Observatory

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Trail

I would not hike this trail after 9 am; it gets very crowded around here. But this was very peaceful.

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Full moon behind the dome & a random stranger

More information: http://alltrails.com/trail/us/california/ferndell-ferndell-trail. Detailed information on how to find the trailhead: http://www.simpsoncity.com/hiking/griffith/.

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Eagle Rock Trail in Topanga, California

Topanga is my go-to hiking place. Plenty of trails with varied landscapes – if you want to walk inside woods with narrow curvy paths, choose Musch Trail; if you want some quick elevation then opt for Eagle Rock Trail; or if you prefer loops, you can start on one, merge on the other. There are other trails here that I want to try – Santa Ynez & Parker Mesa Overlook are on my wish-list.

Eagle Rock is a 6 mile trail on a dirt-road with moderate foot traffic.

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Trail

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Dirt road leading to the final destination – Eagle Rock

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Eagle Rock

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Spotted! I have been having lot of luck seeing deers in the evenings around here.

More information: http://alltrails.com/trail/us/california/eagle-springs-loop-trail-backbone-trail

Bolsa Chica Reserve in Huntington Beach, California

This is a wetland reserve located near Long Beach with plenty of bird sightings. Its more of a walk on a dirt road near the beach than a hike in the mountains. It’s not that beautiful and there is the noisy traffic from PCH. That said, this reserve hosts varieties of birds playing, chirping, diving, hunting; which made this hike very different from the usual fare.

It’s a popular spot for photographers shooting wild-life. My 50mm lens did not prove enough, but there are some amazing shots posted by other photographers here: http://500px.com/search?q=bolsa+chica.

Start of the trail

Start of the trail

That's the best shot I could get

That’s the best shot I could get

Wetland

I bet this place would be amazing during sunset.

Trail

Trail

More information: http://alltrails.com/trail/us/california/bolsa-chica-ecological-reserve-huntington-beach-trail.

Shelf Road in Ojai, California

Ojai is a magical small town about 90 minutes north of Los Angeles with plenty of options to hike, bike, go horseback riding. Spending few days here was the perfect escape. I started off with an easy trail (just around 2 miles point to point or 4 miles out and back) with splendid views of the hills.

View of the trail and the valley

Trail and the valley

I had my first sighting of a snake on a trail. Apparently, they don’t hurt humans.

Eastern Kingsnake

Eastern Kingsnake

Here’s a final picture of the beautiful valley seen from the trail.

Ojai Valley

Ojai Valley

More information: http://alltrails.com/trail/us/california/shelf-road (It says 3.4 miles out and back but it felt more than that)