Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Happy Mother's Day Hike!

As you may have noticed, I do lots of physical activities with my mom. This past Mother's Day was no different. She wanted to go on one of her favorite hikes. In Los Angeles (and many other places), hiking offers such an affordable outdoor activity. Depending on the actual hike and your own intensity level, you can get a great workout from this nearly free activity!
Happy Mother's Day, mom! I can't believe you even got Vic out of bed for an 8:30 am hike!
To celebrate Mother's Day, we ventured on the Temescal Canyon Loop located in Temescal Gateway Park. This hike has a special significance in our family because when I went off to UCLA for college as an undergraduate, my mom and brother would drive up many Saturday mornings to pick me up, go on the hike, and treat me to lunch. While that tradition has long passed, my mom still frequents this hike with other friends and family. Over the years, we have changed our route on this hike, but the following website gives a good description of the different trailheads and trail lengths.

Based on my past experience, I recommend going early in the morning before the crowds arrive. I also prefer to hike in slightly cooler weather (less bugs); so this hike is perfect in our Southern California "winters" or super early mornings in the summer before the fog burns off. Since this hike features a waterfall, I would suggest checking it out after we've had some rain! 
Action shot!
Strength Factor
We tend to do the hike in the opposite direction of many others (we pass by the waterfall towards the beginning rather than the end of the hike). So, in the direction we hike, you will definitely feel those leg muscles burning on the way up. Even once you pass the half-way point, you're still going up an incline. 

Stamina Factor
If you're in decent shape, semi-active, or on the younger side of the spectrum, this hike shouldn't pose a threat to you in terms of stamina. We usually take about an hour and a half to do the full loop, which includes some water breaks, an apple/nut snack sesh, and time for my mom to snap some photos. As we tackle the incline, frequent conversations, and keeping a good pace, this hike does take a little bit of endurance!
The fog was making for some interesting snapshots of the views!
Check out those clouds in the background...the ocean is under there, I swear!
Stretch Factor
There is not stretching built into this hike by any means, but I always recommend some pre- and/or post-hiking stretching of the legs. I'm not up on the latest exercise research to know whether you should preference the before or after stretching, but I usually do whatever suits the crowd. If people are using the bathroom before the hike, I'll do my stretching then. If we're standing around the cars chatting at the end of the hike, I'll do some stretching then. I've also tried a "Hiking Yoga" class in Temescal where you do the hike with a group; the instructor then leads stretching before the hike as well as incorporates some basic yoga positions at various points along the hike. You can check out their classes here:

What's the deal?
Well, the hike is technically FREE! The only cost includes $7 to park in the lots closest to the trailhead. For LA $7 parking is pretty typical, and the proceeds go towards upkeep of the park. They accept cash and checks! However, there is lots of free parking available before entering the park on Sunset Blvd. if you need a cheaper option!

No comments:

Post a Comment