Even better, National Parks is offering free admission to its parks Saturday through Monday.
So no matter what your experience level, we've got a list of fun adventures, handpicked from our Twitter and Facebook pals. Trek to the Hollywood sign and see a breathtaking view of the Observatory; see panoramic shots of the coast at Point Mugu State Park in Malibu; or travel to Joshua Tree for some free fun.
(Ken K. Liu/flickr Creative Commons)
If you're hoping to avoid mobs of hikers, an evening hike is the way to go. Our Twitter pal Scott Kelley suggests hiking in Griffith Park with the folks from the Sierra Club 7 p.m. every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Bring your flashlight and enjoy the night breeze.
Pro tip: Want to see the Hollywood sign? Take the Hollyridge Trail during the day — and snap a view of the Griffith Observatory amongst smoggy Downtown Los Angeles. Note to self: Don't wear your brand new shoes (horse poop is a common occurrence along these trails).
(Photo: Hal Summers)
Our Facebook friend Hal Summers suggests a hike to the cross in Palm Desert. Thirty feet tall and adorned with dozens of light bulbs, the cross sits on land owned by St. Margaret's Episcopal Church. See the religious exhibit come to life as you hike the Homestead Trail, and enjoy a panoramic view of the Coachella Valley. Click here for a downloadable map with trails to the cross. And here's a complete list of Palm Springs hikes.
3. Joshua Tree
(Bruce Day via National Park Service)
See beautiful rock formations, experience challenging hiking trails and get lost in mesmerizing silhouettes of colorful cacti. Our Facebook friend Wayne Huang writes: "Serious night time hiking, safe, scary, and beautiful under a moonless, starry night." The entrance fee will be waived during President's Day weekend.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Yelper Ruben Y. suggests visiting Skull Rock, a must-see hollow rock formation.
- Catch the perfect sunset with friends at Keys View and take the Hidden Valley Trail.
- See the Salton Sea and explore a old mine on this relatively easy hike called the Mastodon Peak Loop.
Here's a list of walks, hikes, tours and programs.
(Zane Selvans/flickr Creative Commons)
Monrovia Canyon Park is the place to be — especially on a warmer day. Expect plenty of shade and mosaic rock formations followed by a beautiful waterfall, says Esmeé Xavier on Twitter.
If you're looking for a night hike, be on the lookout for future night hikes with this group. And don't forget the insect repellent. "There were, however, plenty of bugs that kept trying to kiss me while on the trail and especially near the falls: DEET recommended," says Yelper Ian L.