UCSD Stuart Art Collection: Exploring the Giesell library, Fallen Star and more

One of the unique things about the University of California San Diego is that the school is highly invested in the arts an has an extensive outdoor gallery with over 18 pieces that you can explore on campus. I only got to see four pieces when I went because I was pressed for time (you need 2-3 hours to see them all), but I plan to go back again soon to see the rest. Here is all the information so you can check it out.

Details

  • Free
  • Park in the visitor’s area of the Gilman Parking Structure
  • Fallen Star is only open Tuesday and Thursday from 11 AM – 2 PM
  • Location: 3100 Gilman Dr, La Jolla, CA 92093

Getting There

From the 5 Freeway, you will want to get off on La Jolla Village Drive and head west. You will turn right on Gilman Dr and take it around the bend until you see a large parking structure. Make sure to only park in the spaces designated for visitors. Once you park, you can look at this map to see which art piece you want to see and where it is at on the campus. Since it is only open for a few hours, I headed to Fallen Star first.

Fallen Star

Fallen Star is an art installation on the top floor of the engineering building, and it looks like a house that is teetering on the edge.

Heading up to the 7th floor, you will see the house hanging there, complete with a beautiful garden that you walk through to get to the home.

The house is on a slant so when you are inside it messes with your mind.

Only six people can come in at a time, so there may be a wait when you get there but just be patient. After exploring the area, you can head back down and see the next piece.

The Bear

The bear is located two buildings down from Fallen Star, and it was one of my favorites.

Basically, it is a giant stone bear in the middle of the quad. Not much more to say about it other then that it’s fun to see and it’s big.

Snake Path

From here I headed up to the library which is where the next piece is, the snake path. This small walkway takes you up to where the library is, and it is designed to look like a snake the entire way, culminating with a snakehead when you get to the top of the hill.

Giesel Library

While this is not part of the Stuart Collection, this library is something you must check out when you are on campus. It was named after Theodor Seuss Geisel, who is also known as Dr. Seuss. There is even a statue of The Cat and the Hat and Mr. Geisel drawing on the west side of the library.

If you go in, you can go to the 7th floor and get a great view of Fallen Star from a far away angle like the above shot before heading on.

Trees

The last piece I went to during this trip was called trees, and it is located in the forest in front of the library. This piece is a tree that looks much like the others in the area, but that has a speaker and talks. There are 6 hours of pre-recorded speeches that the tree goes through, when I went it was a speech by former President Obama.

As you can no doubt see, the Stuart Collection at UCSD is a great place to spend a few hours, and this is just a few of the exhibits. If you are in the area, especially on a Tuesday or Thursday, then be sure to add it to your list.

UCSD Stuart Art Collection: Exploring the Giesell library, Fallen Star and more

One of the unique things about the University of California San Diego is that the school is highly invested in the arts an has an extensive outdoor gallery with over 18 pieces that you can explore on campus. I only got to see four pieces when I went because I was pressed for time (you need 2-3 hours to see them all), but I plan to go back again soon to see the rest. Here is all the information so you can check it out.

Details

  • Free
  • Park in the visitor’s area of the Gilman Parking Structure
  • Fallen Star is only open Tuesday and Thursday from 11 AM – 2 PM
  • Location: 3100 Gilman Dr, La Jolla, CA 92093

Getting There

From the 5 Freeway, you will want to get off on La Jolla Village Drive and head west. You will turn right on Gilman Dr and take it around the bend until you see a large parking structure. Make sure to only park in the spaces designated for visitors. Once you park, you can look at this map to see which art piece you want to see and where it is at on the campus. Since it is only open for a few hours, I headed to Fallen Star first.

Fallen Star

Fallen Star is an art installation on the top floor of the engineering building, and it looks like a house that is teetering on the edge.

Heading up to the 7th floor, you will see the house hanging there, complete with a beautiful garden that you walk through to get to the home.

The house is on a slant so when you are inside it messes with your mind.

Only six people can come in at a time, so there may be a wait when you get there but just be patient. After exploring the area, you can head back down and see the next piece.

The Bear

The bear is located two buildings down from Fallen Star, and it was one of my favorites.

Basically, it is a giant stone bear in the middle of the quad. Not much more to say about it other then that it’s fun to see and it’s big.

Snake Path

From here I headed up to the library which is where the next piece is, the snake path. This small walkway takes you up to where the library is, and it is designed to look like a snake the entire way, culminating with a snakehead when you get to the top of the hill.

Giesel Library

While this is not part of the Stuart Collection, this library is something you must check out when you are on campus. It was named after Theodor Seuss Geisel, who is also known as Dr. Seuss. There is even a statue of The Cat and the Hat and Mr. Geisel drawing on the west side of the library.

If you go in, you can go to the 7th floor and get a great view of Fallen Star from a far away angle like the above shot before heading on.

Trees

The last piece I went to during this trip was called trees, and it is located in the forest in front of the library. This piece is a tree that looks much like the others in the area, but that has a speaker and talks. There are 6 hours of pre-recorded speeches that the tree goes through, when I went it was a speech by former President Obama.

As you can no doubt see, the Stuart Collection at UCSD is a great place to spend a few hours, and this is just a few of the exhibits. If you are in the area, especially on a Tuesday or Thursday, then be sure to add it to your list.

Queen Califia Magical Circle Sculpture Garden in Escondido

Queen Califia Magical Circle is a fun art installation in North San Diego County created by French-American sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle. It is only open to the public two days a week for limited hours, and it is a fantastic spot to explore, the only American sculpture garden from the artist. Here is all the information so you can check it out with your family.

Details

  • Tues and Thurs from 9 AM to Noon
  • Also open the 2nd Saturday of the month
  • Great for the whole family
  • Location: Kit Carson Park, 3333 Bear Valley Parkway, Escondido, CA 92025

Getting There

From the 15 Freeway, you will get off on Via Rancho Parkway and head east. The road bends around till you get to Mary Lane, where you will turn left. From here you can follow the signs through the park to where Queen Califia’s Magical Circle is located.

After parking, you will walk about a tenth of a mile to the large circular art piece surrounded by a large gate. If you go when it’s closed you cannot see much, other then some sculptures peaking up above the entrance.

The Sculptures

When its open, the gate will be open, and you can explore the installation as much as you would like.

The entrance is where the two giant snakes greet you, which the sculptor said were “inspired by California’s mythic and cultural roots.”

Inside there is a small maze you will walk through lined with mirror and tiles to make your way into the center.

The center is where most of the half dozen or so sculptures reside.

These sculptures are full of color and fun to check out. Each is very intricate with lots going on.

I saw many families with their children in awe while they explored here.

I felt like a kid myself walking through the maze and looking at all the mythical creatures.

After you are done, you can head out the main entrance and back to your car.

Queen Califia Magical Circle is a fantastic spot that should be on your list to check out when its open. I have wanted to go for years, and it lived up to my expectations. Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.

Runyon Canyon: Hollywood’s Most Popular Hike

Runyon Canyon is a hike in Central Hollywood that often gets a bad rap from the hiking community due to the trendy outfits and “Instagram celebrities” that often use it. Looking past that though it is actually a great hiking spot in the middle of Los Angeles, and it is excellent for people watching as well (I even saw Gerard Butler last time I was there). Here is all the information so you can experience it for yourself.

Details

  • Hikes range from 1 mile to 3 miles but plan on 3 miles if you want to experience the park fully.
  • 500 – 700 feet of elevation depending on what trail you take.
  • Parking: It can be tough to find it, but the best street parking is on Fuller Ave. and make sure to abide by all signs.

Getting There

If you are in Los Angeles and hiking on the weekend then get there early or consider taking an Uber so that you can avoid having to try and find a parking spot. During the week though you can often find a spot if it is not early in the morning or after work. I recommend parking on Fuller Ave if you can find a spot as that is the best place to enter the park.

The Hike

Here is a map of the park trails, I recommend heading up the right side to clouds rest and if you are tired you can head down the paved road (middle path in the above photo) or if you want to push yourself more you can connect with the West Trail.

From the entrance, you will walk through the gate and continue on a paved road for a tenth of a mile.

From here the road becomes dirt and bends to the right to start the uphill to Inspiration Point.

Along the way, you will pass the old tennis court from when this area was a planned development.

Inspiration Point

As you round the bend, you will be at inspiration point, with a nice bench to sit at and enjoy the view.

If you want to continue on from here, it will be a good amount of uphill to the next stop.

The trail is rugged, and there are not any switchbacks to ease the incline, just rough wooden steps.

I liked this cause it feels like you were really on a hike and not just a walk.

When you reach the top of the stairs, you will be walking along a fence to the right.

At the end of the fence, there is an area where people put locks.

Clouds Rest

From here there is one more section of uphill to get to Clouds Rest.

At Clouds Rest there are a few more benches, and the views are pretty epic.

Heading down the backside of the hill, you will connect with the paved road that you can use to get back to where the hike started.

If you want to continue on, then you will want to head up on the paved road instead of down.

From here the road winds around until you eventually see a large power line tower and there is a dirt road that heads off to the left.

Take this and continue uphill till you reach a single track that leads down to the stairs next to the mansion sitting on the hill.

These stairs will help you navigate the uneven trail and pass by the large house.

From here it is more uphill to get to the top of the ridgeline. When you arrive to the top, you will be greeted with the best view in the park.

You have Hollywood and Downtown LA on one side and the Hollywood Sign on the other.

It is also a great spot for sunset, just make sure you have a flashlight for the way down.

After you have taken in the views, you will start the steep trail down. Watch your footing as the loose rock and sand can be tough to navigate (this is why I do the path clockwise, so I don’t have to go up this way).

The trail continues downhill, passes a few more viewpoints then eventually gets back to the paved road that you can follow down to where you entered the park.

I was hesitant about visiting Runyon Canyon because I figured it would be lame but it actually was a great hike that I recommend in the city. If you can find parking, then you should check it out.

Belmont Park: Wooden Roller Coaster & Rides in Mission Beach

Belmont Park, in San Diego’s Mission Beach area, is a beachfront amusement park that opened in the 1920’s. Much like the boardwalk in Santa Cruz, Belmont Park has been entertaining children and adults for almost a century. While it is much more commercial now then it used to be, it is still a great place to explore with family on a summer weekend. Here is all the information on this fun, historic spot.

Details

  • No cost to enter
  • Parking is free
  • Hours: Open Friday – Sunday
  • Location: 3146 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

Getting There

Belmont Park is right near Mission Bay off Mission Bay Dr and Mission Boulevard. There is parking next to the amusement park and more parking across the street. It will still be hard to find parking on the weekends though, especially during the summer. After parking, head into the amusement park.

The Park

The park is located on the boardwalk, with lots of restaurants and bars that face the ocean. It’s a nice place to get a meal or even a coffee as it is hard to beat the views.

You can walk along this path all the way up to the Pacific Beach Pier about 2 miles away.

In Belmont Park, first head into the middle of the park and you will see all of the attractions.

There is a ziplining area, rock wall and many other activities you can pay to go on.

I especially like the roller coaster as it’s a blast to be able to ride a historic wooden coaster like this and look out over the beach.

They also have an arcade with lots of electronic games and things like air hockey.

The park has many restaurants that look out over the beach and fair type food sold from the many vendors.

The amount of time you spend here will be dependent on the age of your kids, but even as an adult, it is a great place to explore for a few hours. Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.

Belmont Park: Wooden Roller Coaster & Rides in Mission Beach

Belmont Park, in San Diego’s Mission Beach area, is a beachfront amusement park that opened in the 1920’s. Much like the boardwalk in Santa Cruz, Belmont Park has been entertaining children and adults for almost a century. While it is much more commercial now then it used to be, it is still a great place to explore with family on a summer weekend. Here is all the information on this fun, historic spot.

Details

  • No cost to enter
  • Parking is free
  • Hours: Open Friday – Sunday
  • Location: 3146 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

Getting There

Belmont Park is right near Mission Bay off Mission Bay Dr and Mission Boulevard. There is parking next to the amusement park and more parking across the street. It will still be hard to find parking on the weekends though, especially during the summer. After parking, head into the amusement park.

The Park

The park is located on the boardwalk, with lots of restaurants and bars that face the ocean. It’s a nice place to get a meal or even a coffee as it is hard to beat the views.

You can walk along this path all the way up to the Pacific Beach Pier about 2 miles away.

In Belmont Park, first head into the middle of the park and you will see all of the attractions.

There is a ziplining area, rock wall and many other activities you can pay to go on.

I especially like the roller coaster as it’s a blast to be able to ride a historic wooden coaster like this and look out over the beach.

They also have an arcade with lots of electronic games and things like air hockey.

The park has many restaurants that look out over the beach and fair type food sold from the many vendors.

The amount of time you spend here will be dependent on the age of your kids, but even as an adult, it is a great place to explore for a few hours. Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.

15 Places to Explore in Joshua Tree National Park

With over 750,000 acres to explore, Joshua Tree National Park can be a daunting park if you don’t know the best spot to see. In this post, I’m going to show you my 15 favorite places in the park. Let me know what I left off in the comments.

Video

If you want to see all of these spots in a video, check it out below.

1. Arch Rock

Arch Rock, located in the White Tank Campground, is one of my favorite places in the entire park. This short half-mile trail takes you to the arch so you can explore all around it, and it’s a great place for star photography as well.

2. Cholla Cactus Garden

The Cholla Cactus Garden is a collection of Cholla cactus that spreads out as far as the eye can see in one specific area of the park. There’s a short trail that lets you get up close and personal with the Cholla cactus, but don’t get too close because they’re known as jumping cactus for a reason, and they will stick to you.

3. Ryan Mountain

Ryan Mountain is right in the center of the park and while it’s not the tallest mountain in Joshua Tree, Ryan Mountain is the most prominent with the beautiful 360-degree view from the summit. This hike is short but it’s incredibly steep and goes up the entire way, so don’t take it lightly. Once you get to the summit, you’ll be able to look out over the park and see the rock formations and all the Joshua trees dotting the landscape below you. It’s also a great place for sunset, but make sure you bring a flashlight for the way down.

4. Barker Dam

Barker Dam, which is the most popular trail in the park, is a short easy to access path. It’s one of the only trails in the park that has water you can see and it takes you to a historic dam from the early 1900’s. If you happen to go in the springtime when it’s filled with water, it’s awesome to see the reflections and the rocks behind it. If you only have a short amount of time in the park, this is a great trail as it lets you see some of Joshua Trees’ best features such as the Joshua Trees and all the crazy rock formations.

5. Wall Street Mill

Wall Street Mill is my fifth stop, and it’s accessed from the same parking lot as Barker Dam. The hike to Wall Street Mill is two miles round-trip; on the way, you’ll go by a few abandoned rusted old cars, which are cool for photography. Then when you get to the mill itself, you can walk all around it, and it’s actually pretty well-preserved. You can’t go in it, but you can get some great views walking around the historic structure, and it’s a fun short hike in Joshua Tree.

6. Key’s Ranch

Keys Desert Queen Ranch is an old homestead from the early 1900’s that’s only accessed by a volunteer led tour a few days a week. The tour is generally Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but check the website for details. This tour books up fast, and there’s only one each day. In order to get a ticket for it, you have to go to the visitor center in Twentynine Palms. I recommend getting there early if you really want to see it as the tickets do sell out fast. When you get to Keys Ranch, the guide will take you past the locked gate and then walk you around the property giving you tons of history over the course of about an hour and a half. It’s a great tour, and it’s well worth the $10 to see this well-preserved homestead in the middle of the park.

7. Rock Formations

Recommendation number seven is taking time to explore some of the parks awesome rock formations. Pretty much each one of these could be their own stop, but I’m bundling them all together so this is not a massive list, here are a few that I recommend you check out.

Skull Rock

Heart Rock

Cap Rock

Penguin Rock

 

8. Hidden Valley

Hidden Valley is also one of the most popular hikes in the park, but for good reason. It’s a beautiful place to explore, and it’s a short one and a half miles. Walking up from the parking lot takes you in to a large valley surrounded almost entirely by rocks. It’s one of those places that remind you of a smuggler’s campground from back in the cowboy days. It’s awesome to just walk through the valley, look at the different rocks, and even hang out and watch the sunset.

9. Lost Horse Mine

Lost Horse Mine is one of the longer hikes on this list, but it takes you to the best-preserved stamp mill in the park. At four miles round-trip and a gradual incline most of the way, this is not a hike you want to do in the summer, but it’s a great winter hike, and the payoff is fantastic. The Lost Horse Mine is completely enclosed in a gate so you can’t get too close to it, but you can still get great views of it from all around the different sides. Also, you can walk up the hill right behind the Lost Horse Mine and get a great view of the entire park.

10. Key’s View

Keys Viewpoint is a great vista that looks out over the Coachella Valley and down into Palm Springs. This is a really popular place that fills up fast for sunset as the sun sets right behind the mountain in front of you. There’s a short little path that takes you to a bench in an overlook, and it’s a great 15 to 20-minute stop in the park or longer if you’re there during sunset.

11. Geology Tour Road

Joshua Tree is one of those places that you can only access a small amount of from the main roads. Geology Tour Road requires you to have a four-wheel drive car, but the 18 miles is relatively easy for those not familiar with off-roading. Along the way, you get out into the backcountry of Joshua Tree National Park, away from all the people and can see a lot of unique interesting views plus the way the park looked back in the old days. At the nine mile mark, there’s a small dam that you can look at, and you can get a map from the visitor center to look at all the different points of interest along the way.

12. Mastodon Peak

Mastodon Peak, in the southern part of Joshua Tree National Park, is a four mile round trip hike that takes you to the top of a small hill, and gives you great view over the park. I like this hike because it’s not too long, and there’s a great payoff at the end of the peak. Plus on the way back, there’s also an old mine that you can see with the mineshaft and some of the remnants of the other structures that used to be there. If you’re coming from the Palm Springs area, this is a great first stop. If you’re coming from the northern part though, you might not want to go all the way down here just to do this hike down.

13. Desert Queen Mine

There are lots of mines in Joshua Tree that you can explore, especially if you have some of the other maps, but Desert Queen Mine is on the park map, and it’s a relatively easy one to find. From the dirt parking lot, it’s about a quarter mile walk to an overlook that lets you look down on the mine and all of the mine shafts that scatter the hill. Or you can add an extra half mile and walk down through the valley to go see the mine shafts and some of the old mining tools in person. While, it doesn’t have this stamp mill that Lost Horse Mine has; it’s still a cool place to explore in the park.

14. Samuelson Rocks

For my last two recommendations, I would consider checking out a book like “On Foot in Joshua Tree National Park” as it’s a great guide to a lot of the hidden spots that you might not see on the park map. The first of these is Samuelson Rocks. This hike has no signs and no official trail so you’re going to want to do some research if you want to find this spot. But once you get there, the small hill holds seven rocks with quotes that a man wrote on them in the 1920s. It’s a fun place to walk around, explore, and see all of the old quotes, some of which are pretty hilarious.

15. Eagle Cliff Mine

My last recommendation is the Eagle Cliff mine, and this is another one of those spots you’re going to have to do a lot of additional research in order to find. The Eagle Cliff Mine is one of the better preserved mines in the park, and it has an awesome old home that’s made of three boulders and bricks laid in between. The little home has been well preserved with some old jars and even a full window that’s still there. If you go, be respectful to the area so that others have a chance to explore as well. Make sure you have a map and a GPS track so that you do not get lost.

That’s it, my 15 recommendations for Joshua Tree National Park. Do remember that Joshua Tree is a desert park so you don’t want to do a lot of these hikes during the summertime. The best time to explore the park is in the winter and the spring because the weather is a lot better. If you do go in the summer, only do short hikes, take tons of water, make sure people know where you’re going, and all of the normal things for hiking in the desert. Let me know if there’s anything that I left off that you like doing in Joshua Tree National Park in the comments.

Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles

The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles is one of those places that is hard to write about as it creates many raw emotions when you walk through the exhibits related to the Holocaust and other horrors we have inflicted on each other throughout the course of history. It is an incredibly well-done museum though, culminating with a 70-minute experience that walks you through life under the Nazi reign. Here is all the information if you want to check it out.

Details

  • Cost: $15.50
  • Parking was free when I went
  • Closed Saturdays
  • Location: 9786 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

Getting There

The museum is located on Pico Blvd and parking was free when I went, it was located under the museum. You will take the elevators up to the lobby after you park.

The Museum

The museum has three floors, but only two had exhibits when I went. We started at the top and worked our way down.

The top floor had exhibits relating to the diversity of our families, primarily compared to how our heritage affects our lives.

It also spotlights some famous actors, writers and sports stars and their family history as well.

Heading on to the second floor, there is an exhibit on Anne Frank, one of the most well-known people during this period. It was an additional cost to visit this exhibit.

Heading down from here, there was an exterior portion that featured a piece of art and an eternal flame.

The bottom floor is where most of the exhibits are though.

The first we went to was an interactive quiz show where you learned about the struggles refugees faced and voted on your answers to the questions asked.

It was an excellent way to connect with people and encourage the learning.

There was also an old diner you could sit down at and interact with as well. The information here focused on bullying and hate speech.

From there you will head to the main exhibit which is the interactive walkthrough of what life was like in Nazi Germany.

You are given a card which represents the person you are pretending to be as you walk through the exhibit and learn about life.

Along the way you discover more about the person you were given, culminating in what happened to them during the Nazi reign. It is a sobering exhibit that does a fantastic job of capturing the horrors experienced and making you genuinely feel them.

It is hard to explain but something that you will surely remember when you leave.

After leaving the exhibit, there is more to read and see around this floor if you want to see more. Let me know what you think about this spot if you go, and don’t forget to explore some more of the museums in this area such as the Peterson Auto Museum and LACMA if you have time.

Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles

The Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles is one of those places that is hard to write about as it creates many raw emotions when you walk through the exhibits related to the Holocaust and other horrors we have inflicted on each other throughout the course of history. It is an incredibly well-done museum though, culminating with a 70-minute experience that walks you through life under the Nazi reign. Here is all the information if you want to check it out.

Details

  • Cost: $15.50
  • Parking was free when I went
  • Closed Saturdays
  • Location: 9786 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035

Getting There

The museum is located on Pico Blvd and parking was free when I went, it was located under the museum. You will take the elevators up to the lobby after you park.

The Museum

The museum has three floors, but only two had exhibits when I went. We started at the top and worked our way down.

The top floor had exhibits relating to the diversity of our families, primarily compared to how our heritage affects our lives.

It also spotlights some famous actors, writers and sports stars and their family history as well.

Heading on to the second floor, there is an exhibit on Anne Frank, one of the most well-known people during this period. It was an additional cost to visit this exhibit.

Heading down from here, there was an exterior portion that featured a piece of art and an eternal flame.

The bottom floor is where most of the exhibits are though.

The first we went to was an interactive quiz show where you learned about the struggles refugees faced and voted on your answers to the questions asked.

It was an excellent way to connect with people and encourage the learning.

There was also an old diner you could sit down at and interact with as well. The information here focused on bullying and hate speech.

From there you will head to the main exhibit which is the interactive walkthrough of what life was like in Nazi Germany.

You are given a card which represents the person you are pretending to be as you walk through the exhibit and learn about life.

Along the way you discover more about the person you were given, culminating in what happened to them during the Nazi reign. It is a sobering exhibit that does a fantastic job of capturing the horrors experienced and making you genuinely feel them.

It is hard to explain but something that you will surely remember when you leave.

After leaving the exhibit, there is more to read and see around this floor if you want to see more. Let me know what you think about this spot if you go, and don’t forget to explore some more of the museums in this area such as the Peterson Auto Museum and LACMA if you have time.

Annie’s Canyon Trail in Solana Beach

Annie’s Canyon is a short hike in Solano Beach, San Diego County, with some fun scrambling in a small sandstone canyon. It was off limits for a long time and had become a graffiti-ridden location until some residents took up the cause to make it pleasant again. The trail opened a few years ago, and it still looked much better then I anticipated it looking. Plus, it was a great short hike that older kids would enjoy as well, here is all the information.

Details

  • 1.5 miles round trip, only .25 in the canyon
  • 100 feet of elevation gain

Getting There

From San Diego, you will take the 5 Freeway North and then get off on exit 37 (Lomas Santa Fe Dr). Turn left and then proceed to N Rios Ave where you will turn right. The trailhead is right at the end of the street, and you can park on the street (observe any posted signs).

The Trail

After parking in the small cul-de-sac, you will head to the end and see a trail that goes off to the right.

This trail has numerous signs pointing you to Annie’s Canyon which is about a half mile away.

The trail is beautiful as it goes along the ecological preserve and has some wetlands to look over.

There are multiple benches you can take a break at while on the hike as well, but it is mostly flat in this section.

Eventually, you will reach a split in the trail with one way heading up the viewpoint and the other heading into Annie’s Canyon.

This area forms a small loop so you will end at the top of the viewpoint when you come out of the canyon.

The canyon starts off wide, but after the first bend, it begins to narrow quickly.

The path is pretty easy to follow as there are signs that mark the places you are not supposed to go.

On the trail, you will be squeezing along the rocks and using your hands to help get yourself to the next area. It is not that difficult, but it does take a little time.

On one of the uphill portions, there is a split that takes you to a small cave and shows you what the area looked like before it got cleaned up.

Continuing on you will make it to the metal stairs that will take you the rest of the way out of the canyon.

When you get out and are at the viewpoint, you will have an excellent view back down where you just came up.

The terrain here reminds me a lot of Torrey Pines with the rough eroding stone making up the hillside.

This is also a great view out over the preserve and all the way to the ocean in the distance.

From here you will head down the switchbacks to where you headed onto the Annie’s Canyon trail and can make your way back to where you started the hike.

While this hike doesn’t take very long, it is still an impressive escape in the city and a fun family hike with older kids. Check it out and let me know what you think in the comments.