Spend your Saturday soaking in breathtaking views of the San Fernando valley while getting a glimpse into the incredible processes behind our genetic code with Dr. Chi Mak. We’ll trek ~7 miles from Eaton Saddle, rising from amongst the canyon oak and sycamore trees to panoramic views of Los Angeles from Inspiration Point. History buff? This trip will take us by notable historic landmarks and along the ruins of the former Mt. Lowe scenic railway. Math and science more up your alley? Dr. Mak will join us and share some tales of his work using mathematical models to better understand the amazing chemical and biological mechanisms within our cells and DNA that provide the code behind our growth, reproduction, and everyday life.
Ever wanted to traverse the Backbone Trail, spanning 67 miles through the Santa Monica Mountains? Ever realized that you're a college student and don't have the time for that? If so, this hike is for you! We'll be joined by Professor Justin Wood of the Psychology Department in exploring the first leg of the Backbone Trail at its eastern starting point in Will Rogers State Park, for a round-trip day hike of ~6 miles.
Double the professors, double the fun! Not sure whether you like your math or spanish class better? Join math professor Jesse Levitt and spanish professor Marianna Chodorowska-Pilch for a fun filled overnight to Anacapa Island! As one of the smallest Channel Islands, we'll make sure there's plenty of adventure time, along with hanging out at the beach and watching the sunset off of the cliffs! We should be there at ~peak~ wildflower bloom, so don't forget your cameras! Camping will be primitive (we'll bring our own food, equipment, and water), so get ready for a wild adventure! *Price includes boat ticket, food/water, and campsites*
Dooooooo iittttttt. Join us for an amazing weekend with an amazing professor. We'll be leaving early Friday morning, camping Friday and Saturday nights, and returning early Sunday afternoon. Plan on hiking and sightseeing during the day!
Only 40 minutes outside of the USC bubble, we will be heading to Cave of Munits. Unwind before the week begins with this short, easy hike with only a wee bit more effort required once we actually reach the caves. It is not every day that you can go on a 2.1-mile loop with as much excitement as the hike to the Cave of Munits and Castle Peak. And you get to do it with an awesome professor. Added bonus because Ben Graham, his wife, and three adorable children will be joining us for this hike and chances are you have already seen them scrambling around campus and or eating in a dining hall.
Ever thought Peaks hikes just weren't fun enough in English?? Try and remember some of the Spanish you took in high school by spending your Sunday with Profesora Carolina Castillo Larrea! We'll be exploring this beautiful trail nestled in Malibu on a 3.7 mile path with minimal elevation gains all while layin' down some cultural knowledge with a truly authentic Spaniard!
Join David Albertson and his family of five on a suuuper chill hike in Kenneth Hahn Park. This gem in the middle of the city offers spectacular views of urban downtown Los Angeles contrasted by the majestic San Gabriel Mountains in the background.
P.S. Post-hike picnic included
When you hear the words "Los Angeles," what comes to mind? If your answer included "entertainment" and "mountains," you're right! (Traffic would also be an acceptable answer.) Come spend your Saturday in nature with two USC screenwriting professors firmly embedded in the entertainment capital of the world. With credits on shows like The X-Files, House of Lies, The Simpsons and The Jeffersons, you don't want to miss out on the opportunity to get to know Barbara Nance and David Isaacs. In addition to hiking to the iconic American landmark that is the Hollywood Sign, we'll take a detour to see the original Bat Cave used in the 1960s Batman series and countless other films and shows!
Who's ready for Catalina?! Between breathtaking hiking views, time in the water, morning kayaking excursions, and a possible telescope rendez-vous, what is not to love? With such an adventure lead by our very own Environmental Studies Professor, David Ginsburg, we are sure to have an unforgettable time!
Come meet wildlife biologist Miguel Ordeñana in one of his workspaces, Griffith Park! We will start the day off with his personal account on the infamous LA mountain lion, P-22. We will carry on with an easy hike to one of the camera traps used in capturing mammal movement around Griffith Park. We will trek up Skyline Trail and loop back around down Oak Canyon Trail after checking out the cameras. Don't miss this opportunity if you are interested in meeting a professional in wildlife conservation or in learning about the history of Los Angeles. Fun and informative times will be had by all. See you there!
If you're looking for a hike that will not only get you outdoors but also provide optimal stress relief from everyday worries, look no further! We will be hiking through Topanga State Park with USC's very own Professor of Yoga and Stress Management, Andre Haralyi, to reach the top of Eagle Rock-- what better way to unwind on a Saturday?
Join Peaks & Professors in our second edition of Peaks & Professionals, where we invite a successful professional who has made a passion for nature and outdoors an integral part of his or her career. This Peaks & Professionals adventure will include surfing lessons & life guidance in one fantastic trip
This is a beautiful, rugged part of the coast that calls to mind areas like Big Sur and Carmel’s Point Lobos State Reserve – you’ll likely feel miles away from the urban sprawl. While seagulls swoop overhead, carefully pick your way around the exposed tidepools, marveling at their colorful inhabitants.
Join us on an excursion with Professor Stephanie Eggert to Tuttle Creek Ashram: a mountaintop stone building nestled high in the Eastern Sierra. Here we will practice meditation, learn about yoga technologies, and witness the beauty of the Sierras, foothills, and Ashram alike.
Join Peaks All-Star Professor Rebecca Broyer on a challenging 10 mile summit of Tri-Peaks, the gem of the Santa Monica Mountains. The challenging and winding trail features some steep ascents, rock scrambles, and wonderful sweeping views over Malibu, the Pacific Ocean, the valley below, and Los Padres National Forest.
Did you know March 25, 2018 is Waffle Day in Denmark? That's pretty cool... But do you know what's even cooler?!? Learning about bees and marine biology from Dr. Jed Fuhrman while feeling the cool breeze under the warm Los Angeles sun as you hike up Eagle Rock! After the hike and if time permits, we may take a quick stop at Dr. Fuhrman's house to check out his very own beehives 🐝🐝🐝 But whatever you do, make sure you don't bring bananas or eat some before or during the hike because bananas will make the bees go bananas and sting you because bananas contain chemical signals for them to attack! 😨
Kick off the home stretch of the spring semester with a leg workout with a father/daughter-professor/trip lead duo! We're taking on Castro Crest via Bulldog road: a ~7.6 mile out-and-back hike in Malibu Creek State Park. We'll see rock pinnacles, wind caves, and dynamic views of the Pacific Ocean.
You're about to embark on a breathtaking hike with the one and only Julie Van Dam, a professor of French with a focus in Francophone studies in Dakar, Senegal, as well as Illness and Disability. We will traverse the Mishe Mokwa trail to reach Sandstone Peak, where we will literally be able to climb to the top of one of the highest peaks in Santa Monica-- what could be cooler than that?!
Spectacular vistas of mountains, desert, and dramatic river canyon. The semi-arduous climb to the top of the trail does bring up some risk/reward questions. There are points alongside the creek where you can almost swim and definitely splash around in, as well as rocks to scramble up! Hopefully we will see some wild flowers in bloom this time of year.
Coming back to campus after Spring Break got you feeling down? Get outside and enjoy the fresh air on this easy hike of the Arroyo Seco trail in Pasadena with Computer Science Lecturer Michael Shindler! Professor Shindler is famous for making difficult concepts easy through his jokes about that school on the other side of LA. More importantly, he also appreciates a good meme, especially featuring the USC Computer Science department.
We will start out near the NASA Jet Propulsion laboratory, just outside Pasadena. Our hike will take us away from the highway into the thick of the Angeles National Forest. We'll stop about halfway to ponder the applications of discrete math and eat a snack, and head back the same way.
No better way to return to campus from Spring Break than with a Saturday Summit! Join Professor Kammas in a discussion of political thought and philosophy as we peak one of LA's most infamous mountains. We will take the Devil's Backbone up and Baldy Bowl down, stopping at the summit to relish our conquer. This is a challenging 9.5 mile, 3800ft elevation gain hike that is not for the faint-hearted, but successful peakers will be rewarded with breathtaking views (and bragging rights).
Join us for the final Pondering event of this wave!
This week, we'll be discussing how we can lead more intentional lives.
Details are on our Facebook, invite your friends and Think Outside!
Join Peaks & Professors on our first overnight trip to the Channel Islands! We'll be heading to Santa Cruz Island about 20 miles offshore in the Santa Barbara Channel. Although close to the mainland, the island is a different world with beautiful views, endemic species, isolated beaches and night skies full of stars. We'll be taking many moderate dayhikes with the longest one about eight miles.