7 great hiking spots to enjoy this President's Day weekend (map)

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While the East Coast continues to battle a brutal winter storm, weather in SoCal remains surreal. Temperatures will stay in the low '70s this weekend — perfect for a hike with friends. 

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. 


1. Griffith Park 

(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). 


2. The Cross in Palm Desert 

(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: 

Here's a list of walks, hikes, tours and programs. 


4. Monrovia Canyon Park

(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. 

Trails to hike

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.


5. Echo Mountain

(Photo: LibraryAtNight/flickr Creative Commons)

Make it a date with Mother Nature and hike this 5-mile steady and uphill trail to Echo Mountain, which is a summit on the Angeles National Forest. Be prepared to encounter narrow walkways and plenty of steep hills and rocky terrain on the Sam Merrill Trail. It's an intermediate one, so pace yourself along the way. 


6. Point Mugu State Park in Malibu

(Photo: oxmour/flickr Creative Commons)

This scenic hike was recommended by our Facebook friend Eric Smith. Enjoy a gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean and cast away your doubts as you master a steep hike with friends and family. Rest up and bring food for a casual picnic in between trails. Yelper Carrie L. says: "It's very primitive, not a ton of parking or facilities, just nature. Good views of the Naval Air Station, too. Nice dunes and rocks to see and climb on."


7. Henninger Flats 

(Photo: graham/flickr Creative Commons)

Henninger Flats provides the perfect cardio workout for you and your furry friends — so bring the pups! It's also great for mountain bikers and those who hike on a daily or weekly basis. Our Facebook friend Bell Hsu recommends taking the Mt. Wilson Toll Road for the hike. "Beautiful night scape ONLY IF you plan to camp out overnight. The gate's open hours are sunrise to sunset." Expect plenty of shade, pine trees along with a few critters, spiders and other insects on the trail. 


Where do you love to hike? Let us know in comments below or tag us on Facebook and/or Twitter @KPCC. 

Corrections: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the Sierra Club offers night hikes every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday; Point Mugu was spelled incorrectly. 

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