© Christopher Earls Brennen


The genesis of adventure hikes

In the my early years of hiking, I followed almost all of the 100 hikes in the San Gabriel mountains of California that John Robinson describes in his classic ``Trails of the Angeles''. Later, seeking to explore beyond the established trails, I and a group of students at the California Institute of Technology began a series of explorations that we termed ``adventure hikes''. These revealed such marvellous hidden treasures off the beaten paths of the San Gabriels (and surrounding mountains) that it seemed appropriate to record these adventures for those who may be inclined to follow in our footsteps. That was the genesis of my first book entitled ``Adventure Hikes and Canyoneering in the San Gabriels''. In later years our explorations and adventures spread to some of the other magnificient parks of the American Southwest (plus a few in Mexico). In this second volume we describe a series of marvellous adventure hikes off the maintained trails.

The adventure hikes

Each of the webpages in this collection describes a different adventure hike. I have tried to give as much useful information as possible without spoiling the sense of adventure. In each case, I have provided a map on which prominent features, obstacles or navigational aids have been marked. In addition, I have included some photographs so that the reader can gauge his or her own willingness to tackle some of the challenges described herein. Estimates of the times required for the hikes are also provided though the actual time required will vary considerably depending on the weather, stream conditions and personal agility and fitness. Some readers may be able to go significantly faster than indicated here. Groups larger than three or four will most likely be slower especially when rappelling.

An estimate of the distance covered is also provided though this is much less useful than the elapsed time when discussing adventure hikes since average speeds vary greatly with the terrain. Another guide to the difficulty is the listed elevation gain that, unless otherwise specified, is the sum of all the major ascents experienced on the hike. Specific difficulties (and the equipment needed to overcome them) are also listed for reference at the beginning of each description.

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Last updated 1/1/00.
Christopher E. Brennen