(UPDATE: Since the time of this issue’s publication on 3/19/20, many parks and beaches have closed. Our recommendation is that if you want a breath of fresh air, stay local in your community, and stay in accordance with the Shelter-in-Place guidelines from the state.)
1) Message from Weekend Sherpa’s Founder
2) Glow Up
Tucked in the southeast corner of Griffith Park, Beacon Hill is an example of how you don’t have to travel far or aim high to reach one of the best panoramas of LA’s skyline.
3) Garden of the Gods (CLOSED)
(UPDATE: Due to COVID-19, Garden of the Gods is closed. This is a dynamic situation. Please check Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority for updates.) When a film location is known as “the most shot-up location in movie history” you know you’re in for an adventure. A 1-mile out-and-back trail in 23-acre Garden of the Gods threads through sandstone boulders that were natural icons of Hollywood’s Golden Age, back when this site was known as the Iverson Movie Ranch.
4) Bike the Back Bay (PARKING CLOSED)
(UPDATE: Due to COVID-19, the parking lot for Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve is closed. The trails remain open. This is a dynamic situation. Please check OCParks for updates.) Biking the 10-mile Newport Beach Back Bay Loop Trail is a great way to see the quiet side of Newport Beach—the side that isn’t beach. Instead you’ll ride through 1,000 acres of coastal wetlands known as the Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve and Ecological Reserve.
5) Bounty of Bonelli
The 6.3-mile Bonelli Park Loop Trail is proof you don’t have to go far to escape the city. In San Dimas, the park’s nearly 2,000 acres of rolling hills surround 250-acre Puddingstone Lake with views of the towering San Gabriel Mountains just to the north.
6) Ride Open Spaces (CLOSED)
(UPDATE: Due to COVID-19, Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space is closed. This is a dynamic situation. Please check Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority for updates.) This five-mile fat-tire cruise in the Upper Las Virgenes Canyon Open Space Preserve is what mountain bikers call a middle-chainring ride—no extremes, nothing technical, but rather a gentle climb into the Simi Hills and a gentle descent on the return through an oak-studded landscape. More about nature than rad biking.
7) Sonny & Share!
The Sonny Bono National Wildlife Refuge doesn’t get many human visitors, but more than 30,000 birds make it a point to visit this hidden gem every year. It consists of 2,200 acres of wetland, farm fields, and desert across two separate units on the Salton Sea’s sparsely populated south shore.
8) Fountain to the Falls
There are three ways to reach the lovely Monrovia Canyon Falls, but only one of them is a solid hike. Start right in Monrovia’s Old Town and make your way to the 30-foot waterfall on a 6.5-mile (round-trip) hike.