Outdoors

Backpacking in the Santa Rosa Wilderness

"It seems as remote as you can get in Southern California."

My boots grate loudly over the gravel as I shuffle onto my crinkly tarp. After manhandling spare clothing into a fussy Sea to Summit stuff sack, I rustle into my Kelty down sleeping bag. With ...

Kauai: a hiker's paradise

On the Maha’ulepu trail, an easy 4-mile trek with stunning ocean views.

Known for its unique geography and natural wonders, Kauai is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful places I've visited. A hiker’s dream. Truth be told, even if you're not an avid hiker, the island's outdoors ...

Art meets nature in Idyllwild

Find mountain-town charm just two hours north of S.D.

Just two hours north of San Diego, nature and art commingle: Idyllwild is a quick mountain getaway for those of us in low-lying Southern California cities, but also a haven for artisans who want to ...

Joshua Tree for the uninitiated

Reasons to make the nearby national park your next weekend adventure.

There are few things as graceless as someone begging for help with pure and unbridled fear in their eyes. Which about sums up my position at Indian Cove Campground during the waning hours of a ...

Indiana Jones in Coachella Valley

Coachella's got a lot to offer besides its namesake music fest.

Horses in the desert? What?? The Coachella Valley already offers a ton of activities – from hiking to the infamous Coachella music fest to epic pool parties to camping locales like Joshua Tree. Growing up ...

Following the devil in Anza-Borrego

Close to home off-roading adventure.

Mud walls towered over us as we twisted and turned down the narrow canyon. Smoke trees scraped the truck where they leaned in over the rutted track, and a couple of times there was a ...

New Zealand’s otherworldly Tongariro Crossing

The 12-mile volcanic trail is heralded as one of the country's best.

I have a mix of fear and respect for volcanoes. They are imposing, difficult to climb, and can erupt with little warning. However, when my husband and I visited New Zealand, our friends strongly recommended ...

Late-season climb on Mount San Jacinto

Two hours from S.D., million-dollar views await.

The 360° vista from Mount San Jacinto's 10,834-foot summit is breathtaking: Southern California’s parched land hopscotches sprawling metropolis in every direction. Palm Springs spreads like a patchwork quilt in the east. Riverside and San Bernardino ...

De-stress in Borrego Springs

Visit for upcoming October fests, to stargaze, hike, camp - or just get away.

Stressed? “Take a big long deep breath in, and then slowly exhale out,” according to my yoga teacher. But for those of us who rush through life in a hyper-busy routine, there’s no time to ...

The bounty of Arizona

From Yuma to Tucson, a handful of must-sees 2-7 hours from San Diego.

Until this year, the only part of Arizona I had ever seen was my grandparents’ retirement abode near Camelback Mountain. I remembered that people would emerge in the cool of the night with headlamps to ...

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