Hiking the So. Cal. Mountains


After a four-day showcase of my family’s cooking (and lots of eating), we finally went for a hike.

Oh, nature! What beauty you bestowed upon our land!

The sight of hills that spill out onto breathtaking vistas is the surest way to put everything into perspective. Yeah. Nature sucks all worries into the wild, spewing them out across the valley floor, rendering them too infinitesimal to matter.

Climbing up a narrow trail can be tiring and immensely energizing. And stunning mountain trails is what we have all over Southern California.

From short paths to long, interconnected backbone trails for those seeking multi-day treks, Southern California has hiking for everyone.

Up there, one can see the city from a world away, a secluded sanctuary of nature — hidden places with amazing waterfalls and rock formations. 

After Thanksgiving, we hiked up a place called Towsley Canyon, a 4000-acre area of the Santa Clarita Woodlands Park.

a hike up Towsley Canyon

We didn’t make it to the top this time, not even close to the half-point mark. With a nine-year old and a senior family member along for the hike, we thought it best to reach the Ranger’s Post (a mile into the walk) and head back.

I’m not an experienced hiker. But each time I hike up the mountain, the walk feels as if that’s what I was meant to do — be in the midst of nature, let the landscape fall behind as I move, wonder what’s ahead.

Take in the tranquil setting and climb nature’s hills.

The best part is the silence. The wind. The nature sounds. One has plenty of time to think out there. Although I didn’t spend much time alone with my thoughts (as I like to on long walks), there were a few stolen moments when it felt like a great mental exercise.

So, tell me about your most mind-clearing walks.  


top photo courtesy: flickr photo sharing

10 responses to “Hiking the So. Cal. Mountains

  1. You described what hiking in nature can do for your mind and soul perfectly. I had a different walking experience this weekend–all around San Francisco :-) Traffic, horns, people…city walking energizes me in a different way than nature walking. The weather was beautiful, and nature *is* evident there–the bay, the park, and hikes up to vista points!

    • I love visiting San Francisco, Linda. There’s a certain verve to the city, as you say, a unique feel to walking up and down those streets. Then, of course, the bay, the ocean, the views. Lovely.

  2. Thank you Sylvia! I love walking and hiking .. I get to do various kinds here in South Africa and have hiked abroad a well, as well as climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro – although that was 15 years ago. I’ve hiked with friends along trails on the coasts of SA. I often go walking here in my suburb, or down to the shops .. for me a way of the ego taking a back seat and having a rest, as well as exercising my body of course!

  3. Hi Sylvia – how fabulous you were able to set out with the family and enjoy something of the southern Californian hills … sadly I’m not the greatest walker – wish I could, but now the time has past .. but walking up the Downs here can be a good walk, steep hills with wonderful views towards the sea, and across the Sussex countryside …

    So pleased you had a lovely Thanksgiving .. cheers Hilary

  4. We are fortunate to have a huge park in our fairly small city. I walk it as often as I can. My sisters and I also take long mind clearing walks as well. Happy that your Thanksgiving was so successful. Looking fwd to the “next” turkey dinner!!lol

  5. I know exactly how you feel, I so enjoy hiking the trails in Sedona. The Red Rocks are gorgeous and it is so hard to explain the beauty,the silence and just being away and out in nature, what it does for the soul.

I welcome your thoughts.

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