Interested in walking through a lush valley with canyon views and rock pools? Join us for a beautiful hike through Malibu Creek State Park. We’ll be hiking Crags Rd to the M * A * S * H * TV show set and then finishing it off with some rock scrambling around a rock pool!
Join us for an afternoon hike in the glorious Red Rock Canyon Park! We’ll be exploring some small caves and hiking through giant red rock formations, all the way up to Calabasas Peak. We will have some sweeping views of the Santa Monica mountains— and what better way to soak it all in than with Reverend Jim Burklo, senior associate of Religious Life at USC. He’s an avid hiker, an avid meditator, and one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. We’ll be meeting on campus at noon, so we can all sleep in AND can catch the sunset in Topanga on the way back from the hike.
**Please note this hike is on a FRIDAY**
Join on us on this beautiful day hike close to campus! Scenery will include views looking West over LA and OC, as well as North toward the San Gabriel Mountains. We will plan eating a picnic dinner/snack at the summit around sunset, returning to the trailhead just after dark. This means you will likely need a flashlight! Chino Hills are relatively open and close to the city, thought so don’t anticipate anything too spooky. Dr. Autry is an expert on all thing space, so we may even learn something about the cosmos as they appear for the night!
Come hike with Professor Richard Leahy along ruins of the “engineering marvel” devised by Thaddeus Lowe (and engineered by David Macpherson) in 1893. The Mt. Lowe Railway was known as the only scenic electric traction railroad ever built in the United States as it scaled the mountains close to Los Angeles.
Join Prof. Bickers from the Physics department on a relaxing upside-down hike in the San Gabriel Mountains. We will walk five miles (and down 650 feet) on the way in to get to the 50-ft tall falls where we’ll cool off, relax, and refuel ourselves for the ascent back to the trailhead.
Is this semester going too fast for you? Are you already drowning in work, even though the semester just started? Take a break from your responsibilities and plan on hiking with us in February! The Los Robles Trail to Angel Vista Point is a 7.2 mile out and back hike. The hike starts in Thousand Oaks and goes through an Oak Grove before entering into the Hope Nature preserve. With all this rain, there is bound to be some visible greenery! There is a picnic table at the vista point, where we can sit and enjoy lunch with Dr. Haas.
Join us for relaxing afternoon hike with a beautiful view of the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other! You get to take a break from the stress of life AND spend a few hours exploring the beach and enjoying the gorgeous SoCal scenery? What’s not to like?!
Join Dean Varun Soni for a hike around Temescal Canyon, a post-hike lunch in the Palisades, and tour of Lake Shrine guided by Dean Soni! The trail is a 3 mile moderately-trafficked shaded loop in the Palisades with 875ft of elevation and rewarding ocean views.
Are you ready to travel back in time to the 1890s?? Back in the day, Echo Mountain was the site of a resort that drew tourists from all over the world to take in the views of Southern California. It was destroyed in a wildfire, but now we get to hike the trail up to the summit in the company of a brilliant historian, who can tell you about 19th century California and all you need to know about modern Germany, Central Europe, and the Ancient Greek belief in wandering wombs. Paul Lerner will join us on this 5 mile hike to the ruins of the resort!
Join Dr. Andrew Simpson on an exciting adventure through the San Gabriel mountains! As he puts it, “This is a real wilderness hike, about 8 hours, most of which time you don't see anyone else. It's along a creek, often with little path in sight, a lot of boulder-hopping or wading through the river if the water is high. The group needs to be a little hard-core for this, as it's a tough hike, but really special.”
Midterms season got you down? Slacking on your New Years Resolution to get #fit? Join Dr. Polidori on a 5 mile scenic hike along Musch Trail to Eagle Rock with some pretty ~rad~ rock formations and sweeping views of Topanga Canyon, LA’s largest state park, at the top. (There may even be baked goods involved!)
This hike will have you sweating just enough to count as your workout for the day without leaving you too exhausted to hit the books when you get back.
Waterfalls in LA?? Groundbreaking. Join us for an easy 4 mile hike through the beautiful Angeles National Forest, complete with a relaxing lunch immersed in Sturtevant Falls’ majesty. We’ll be hiking with Jennifer Cool of the Anthropology department — believe us, she lives up to her name.
Join Peaks overnight icon Karin Huebner for a 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, rugged mountains, and night skies full of stars. We'll be taking many moderate day hikes, with the longest one being about eight miles.
Join Peaks and Professor’s Faculty Advisor and East Asian Studies Professor Brett Sheehan on this beautiful springtime hike to Mt. Zion! After a winter of healthy rains (and snows in the San Gabriel Mountains) we will be hiking a 10 mile loop through the lush Santa Anita Canyon on our way to Mt. Zion. The trail will pass several San Gabriel landmarks, including the 1920s era Santa Anita Canyon dam, the 50-foot Sturtevant Falls, and the old retreat center/cabins at Sturtevant Camp.
Join expert neuroscientist, Andrew Hires, on a scenic loop trail with a slight detour to the cranial shaped, appropriately named Skull Rock! Enjoy 5 miles of shaded trail, waterfalls, and ocean views in Temescal Canyon as we ascend 1,100 feet to a panoramic view of Pacific Palisades.
Are you ready to travel back in time to the 1890s?? Back in the day, Echo Mountain was the site of a resort that drew tourists from all over the world to take in the views of Southern California. It was destroyed in a wildfire, but now we get to hike the trail up to the summit with the company of two professors who might not be able to tell you about 19th century California but can tell you all you need to know about African and Chinese politics! Erin Baggott Carter and Brett Carter will join us on this hike to the ruins of the resort!
Come join Peaks and Professors for a two day/one night Halloweekend adventure in the Mojave desert where we’ll be visiting a ghost town (#spooky)! We’ll also be checking out a towering volcanic crater, climbing through some swiss cheese-looking rock formations, checkin’ out some petroglyphs, and catching the sunset from the top of some 700-foot sand dunes. Come have mo’fun in the Mojave with us!
Why not spend part of your Halloweekend in the great outdoors being inspired to change the world? If you’ve ever been curious about social entrepreneurship, leadership or just want some good life advice, here’s your chance to hike with Professor Adlai Wertman.
Join us on a quick but mighty one night backpacking trip as we summit Southern California’s highest peak, Mt. San Gorgonio! Although relatively unknown to Southern Californians, Mt. San Gorgonio towers over the entire southland at an elevation of 11500 feet, with views of the San Gabriels, inland empire, San Jacinto, and Joshua Tree.
Do you like sand? A lot of it? In a pile? Well boy do we have the trip for you!!! Join Peaks & Professors as we embark on an amazing trip to Mojave National Preserve and Kelso Dunes with IR legend Nina Rathbun (and rumor has it she’ll bring along her husband, Prof. Brian Rathbun!)
Join us on a journey to a little known Dutch town — Solvang! Established in 1911, this little town is home to a number of restaurants, bakeries, and merchants offering a taste of Denmark in California! After some daytime exploring, we’ll head on to Los Padres National Forest for a beautiful camping night! We’ll wake up early Sunday morning to hike Figueroa Mountain before heading back to campus! You should be in for a weekend of history, nature, and yummy treats!
Join us on a kinda’ early, pretty challenging but EXTREMELY rewarding hike to the top of Mt. San Jacinto. We’ll be taking the less-travelled Marion Mountain Trail route from the west. Enjoy a stunning panorama with a clear view of Joshua Tree and the San Gorgonio Mountains.
BONUS: Bragging rights for having one of the six-packs under your belt.
Join us for a nice easy and relaxing hike up in Malibu Creek State Park. 11/10 chance to escape the USC bubble for a few hours for some sweet views and a cool lake. Karen Perez is a Spanish Professor with a rare 5.0 rating on Rate My Professor. Come learn some Spanish or just hear about her awesome stories - including some from her summer spent in Peru!
Who needs Peaks & Professors when you have Playas & Professors?
Ever been outside and seen some weird rock structures and wondered how they formed? Have any pressing geology questions? Join us on a hike in Red Rock Canyon Park with our very own in-house Geology expert, Doug Hammond! We'll start by exploring some small caves. Then we'll hike through some giant Red Rock formations, all the way up to the top of Calabasas Peak, which offers sweeping views of the Santa Monica Mountains. There's lots of geology to see in Red rock canyon park & we'll even get to see some fossils!
Sunset hike. Star photography workshop. Outdoor art installations. Get ready for Peaks and Professors's most ~artsy~ overnight ever!! We will be car camping close to Joshua Tree, doing some short, scenic hikes, checking out art and learning how to capture the beautiful night sky with artist and professor, Jeff Cain.
Come join us on a hike to one of the most popular waterfalls in Angeles National Forest! And as one of LA's few dog friendly hikes, you may seem some particularly good views along the way. The hike meanders back and across the stream running down the spectacular Arroyo Seco Canyon. The stream is lined with trees, with the water cascading over granite into mirror-like pools. We may also make a burrito stop because it is Professor Bunn's favorite food!
Join us for a Saturday morning of beautiful oceanside views and captivating conversation with one of USC's outdoors-loving psychology professors!
No better way to return to campus from your superb summer 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. However, successful peakers will be rewarded with breathtaking views, bragging rights, and maybe even some burritos (?!?)