Musch Trail in Topanga, California
Saturday morning adventure started with a hike in Topanga. There are quite a few trail options from the state park and some of these end up at Eagle Rock. I chose Musch Trail because I have been wanting to hike on trails with narrow paths and more shade.
More information: http://alltrails.com/trail/us/california/musch-trail
You can make this trail a loop by starting on Musch, going up to Eagle Rock and then take the fire-road (or the other way around).
I stopped here and turned back because of the heat (spring is here!). Eagle Rock is 1.5 miles further and it offers some wonderful views. And yes, its definitely on my to-blog-about list :)
Mishe Mokwa Trail in Malibu, California
Started off my weekend with a 6 mile hike on a sunny and clear day. The hike starts on the trailhead for Backbone Trail (conspicuos board after 6 miles on Yerba Buena road from PCH). After ~0.3 miles on backbone, you will see the sign indicating the start of Mishe Mokwa Trail.
The trail is not shaded for the most part and offers a good 360 view of the valley.
Mishe Mokwa Trail merges on to the trail leading to Sandstone peak. Its the highest point in Santa Monica Mountains. The path to the peak is way steeper, a bit rocky and short. I was hiking with a bad back already; so I decided to play it safe and skip it. I feel like my back got better with the hike, sooo keep hiking! :)
Still caught some pretty gorgeous views of the hills.
I liked this trail mainly for the views it offered but would prefer to go really early to avoid the scorching sun. It’s great for a sweaty workout. But the terrain is more rugged & dry and not as green as I would like.
Solstice Canyon Trail in Malibu, California
Hiked this trail on Saturday morning. Perfect weather for a refreshing walk – slight fog and not sunny (this trail is not shaded for the most part). Gets decently crowded so get there early for parking.
There is an old house now in ruins after a mile, with a (small) waterfall next to it. We turned back after exploring and resting on the rocks.
The trail is actually a loop but I have gotten lost few times trying to find the path forward after the ruins and since I was with a friend, we decided we would head back. So it turned out to be a short 2 mile hike. I am definitely going to make an attempt to find that loop.. soooon!
Ernie Maxwell Trail in Idyllwild, California
Do consider going to Idyllwild if all you want is to escape from the city, go to a low-key place and hike. Its almost 2 hours drive east from Los Angeles. We stayed here for the weekend and this one was our closing hike.
Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala, South India
In December 2012, during my visit to India, mom and I hiked inside the Periyar forest in Thekkady, famous for its wild-life especially tigers and elephants.
The guide mentioned that bears were the most dangerous since they tend to charge at you as part of their defense mechanism; whereas elephants and tigers keep distance. Well (un)fortunately we only spotted bisons, tiger scratch marks and elephant poop. And I am not kidding, that was fun too!
Day 2 was a trek+bamboo-rafting group adventure deeper into the forest with some forest guides and a gunman.
I finally got to see the beautiful Periyar lake – a man-made lake with a dam, built during the British colonial rule.
And yay! We spotted an elephant :)
Tigers are the most difficult animal to spot within the forest. There are cameras inside to track them and the estimated number as of now is around 45. Well, we did manage to see their footprints.
Finally, I found the spirit of the forest-rangers, naturalists, locals very touching and inspiring. Over the years they have overcome the problem of poaching and now they actively take part in it’s conservation.