November 10, 2014

Hiking up Mt. Baldy

One thing I miss about living in New York is seeing the trees change color. While most people travel outside of New York to see the color change, as someone who grew up in LA, the fact that the trees change colors all together like that amazes me. Even in the city.

So over the weekend, my dad took me for a hike in Mt. Baldy. We went up to the Ice Saddle in the Angeles National Forest. Having gone a little bit further, the round-trip was a little over 8 miles long -- almost five hours of strenuous hiking. And boy, I was definitely greeted by those yellow and red leaves!

This place is beautiful.

There's a river than runs alongside the pathway, leading the first bit of the hike with a soft babbling of water. Along the way there are a few houses with trees in the middle of them (I think there's a photo somewhere), and random old areas of rubble around the way.

I did this same pose when I did a hike through the Angeles National Forest last time, so I thought it was only appropriate that I did it again. I'm going to make this a thing!

Did I mention the hike was not easy? It's definitely not the most difficult, but it's also fair to say that it isn't a breeze in the park. It's long, steep, and really rocky. Most people had walking sticks and legit hiking boots (I got mine at an REI Garage Sale!).

Look at these leaves! How gorgeous are they? Although it's been really hot here in LA, seeing these colors make me want to throw on my coat and have a romp in the leaves.

At this point in the hike is when things get rough. It's a lot more rocky, and after this little bit, the trail becomes more narrow and you enter the land of the switchbacks. A long, steep path that seems like it's never-ending. 

It's killer. I barely took any photos because I was dying.

Eventually though, after a while you get to the top. It's so worth it to go on a little bit further -- most people stop at the Ice Saddle, but if you trek just 15 minutes more, you get these amazing views. It's on the other side of the mountain so there isn't as much sun, and it's like stepping into a cooler.

On our trip, we even saw a teeny bit of snow still sitting atop the rocks.

Heh. Of course, a quick snap of our reward. Jumeokbap, or rice balls filled with kalbi and kimchi.

And all of the pinecones! They're so ridiculously large and sappy. I loved seeing them dangle from the trees and scattered around in fields.

The trip back down is much easier, but reminds you of how steep the trail actually is. And how rocky! It's a bit dangerous as you can easily slip, so if you're there, please be careful. Also, always be mindful of how much sun you have left. It started getting dark on our trek down, and we made it to our car right before 4:30pm.

Always up for a little bit of a splash. If there's water, you can be sure that I'm going to find a way to dip my hands into it.

On our way home, we were greeted with a brilliant sunset. I barely edited the photo above (don't mind the dark bit at the top as I snapped this from the car) and the colors are so amazing.

A dazzling California sunset. 

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