Click to return to the Scott's L.A. Audio CD Tours of Los Angeles, Hollywood and Pasadena HOME Page

Scott's L.A.™ Article:
Outdoor  L. A.

To many visitors, the L.A. area is little more than airports, freeways, traffic, and theme parks. The reality is that we have legendary beaches, hundreds of miles of trails in the hills for hiking & mountain biking, winter skiing in the mountains, colorful deserts, and they’re all here for your enjoyment. Remember the rugged mountains of Korea in the TV series M*A*S*H ? That’s actually Malibu Creek State Park just down the freeway:
Click HERE for this website Malibu Creek State Park

Where To Go

L.A. is right across the street from the Pacific Ocean. The Beach is a regular destination for us “locals.” You can go swimming & body surfing, watch the California Gray Whales migrate twice a year, or simply enjoy the sunny beach. I love to go para-sailing down at Newport Beach and I’ve had the joy of watching a pod of wild dolphins leaping out of the water when the parachute was just 30 feet above them.
Click here to check out some of our beach favorites.
Click HERE for this website Scott's L.A.™ Links - Beaches & Whale Watching

If you like hiking or mountain biking, I highly recommend these books for planning ahead.
Click on the links for details:
Click HERE for this website John McKinney's Wild L.A., A Day Hiker's Guide
Click HERE for this website Wild L.A: A Celebration of the Natural Areas in and Around the City

For other outdoor activities, click here:
Click HERE for this website Scott's L.A.™ Links - Outdoor Activities

Safety Precautions

When most of us think of wild outdoors, we think of places like Yosemite, Yellowstone, or the Everglades, not places where you can see buildings or the Hollywood Sign. People commonly assume that because our local trails, hills, and mountains are close to the city that they aren’t the real outdoors, they’re just part of the city.  BIG MISTAKE! As many park rangers and search & rescue teams will attest, we have wild and rugged terrain here, there are real hazards, and people frequently get in trouble.

The first element to consider is the climate: Southern California is a warm, dry, desert ecosystem. Don’t let dehydration or a bad sunburn ruin your vacation. It’s easy to have a safe time outdoors if you take simple precautions.

  • Always have sunscreen, hats, and other sun protection available.
  • Always carry bottled water and re-hydrate often.  All grocery and convenience stores have inexpensive bottled water available.

Second, you should assume that every hillside in Southern California has poison oak and rattlesnakes. Poison Oak can be much more than a nuisance, and the danger from rattlesnakes is obvious. Don’t be afraid of these, be smart. You can protect yourself by reading the information on these sites:
Click HERE for this website Poison Oak Safety
Click HERE for this website Rattlesnake Safety • California Fish & Game
Click HERE for this website Rattlesnake Safety • LLU Medical Center

You’ll probably be surprised and delighted at the variety of hiking that’s available so close by, most notably in the Santa Monica Mountains and the Angeles National Forest. Get information on these locations here:
Click HERE for this website Angeles National Forest
Click HERE for this website Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy
Click HERE for this website Santa Monica Mountains Parks

But you have many more outdoor options. Two excellent sources of information are the outdoor store chains shown below. They have extremely knowledgeable people with personal experience in local trails, current conditions, and proper equipment. Check out these sites for a location near you:
Click HERE for this website Store – R.E.I.
Click HERE for this website Store – Sports Chalet

Finally, wherever you choose to go outdoors, learn about the area you plan to visit. The more remote it is, the more there is to know. Even though this is “L.A.,” the local mountains have coyote, bears, and mountain lions. Follow these common-sense precautions:

  • Get as much information as possible from park rangers and follow their safety recommendations.
  • Always have a map so you won’t get lost.
  • Always tell your friends and park rangers where you’re going and when you expect to return.
  • Always carry bottled water, sun protection, and snacks for long hikes.
  • Always bring a jacket and warm clothing. Southern California’s desert climate is warm during the day, but temperatures plummet at night. An extremely common danger hikers encounter here is cold weather exposure.
  • Silly as it sounds, it couldn’t hurt to take a cell phone with you. They won’t work in most remote areas, but sometimes they’ll surprise you. There have been some amazing rescues due to cell phones and their GPS signals.

Oh yeah, take a camera -- you’ll come home with some great pictures!

Home | Purchase CDs | LISTEN: Updates / Tips | Links/Guides | Articles & Photos | Testimonials | Contact Us | Facebook

  © 2005-2015 by Scott Carter - All Rights Reserved.