Backcountry Sights

Photos and stories from the outdoors

Inspiration Point and Crystal Cove

This weekend was an off-week between mountain adventures, but don’t worry, because I still found fun things to do near Pasadena.

Inspiration Point

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I may have mentioned this in previous posts, but my summer lodging is near the Sam Merrill trailhead. I didn’t have any plans on Saturday, so I packed some snacks, my camera, and plenty of water into my day pack and headed up into the hills. It was a warm day, but the hike was still very pleasant; I love the crunch of boots on the trail, the smell of the sagebrush (and, higher up, the pines), and the rewarding feeling you get when you look down on the landscape you’ve left below.

Inspiration Point is about 4-5 miles from the Sam Merrill trailhead, so it took me a couple hours to reach the lookout. Due to smog, smoke, and other atmospheric haze, the view wasn’t exactly inspirational, but it was still impressive. There are several other areas nearby I’d like to explore some day. The path up to Mt. Lowe looks exciting, and the currently dry creeks may have water in the spring time!

Crystal Cove State Park

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My friend Alex and I ventured to the Pacific Ocean on Sunday and spend a very relaxing afternoon on the beach. Crystal Cove is less touristy than many of LA’s beaches, which suits my preference; I’d rather spend quality time out in nature, away from massive crowds of people.

Partway through the afternoon, clouds rolled in and obscured the sun. It made swimming in the chilly water a little uncomfortable, but my pictures became a little more dramatic! I tried to capture some shots of the waves breaking on rocks and got myself a little wet. Not to worry: my camera is weather sealed was only splashed by a few drops of salt water.

My favorite shot of the day is the photo below of the waves breaking on a collection of rocks. The tide tables I looked up said the tide was going out, but it seemed to be doing exactly the opposite. Alex and I had some fun running in between rocks and the retreating surf between swells to travel from one end of the beach to the other. All in all, it was a great weekend in Southern California!

ocean crystal cove rocks

High tide at Crystal Cove State Park

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