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).
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.
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.
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?!
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.
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! 😨
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.
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.
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 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
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?
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!
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!
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!
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
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!
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.
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!
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*
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.
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.
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.
Love the outdoors but want to keep it chill? Join Professor Tucker and Peaks and start your Sunday morning productively with an awesome 3-mile summit! Summit a mountain in a morning while keeping it chill?? How is that possible?? Join us and find out!
Take advantage of the long weekend and come enjoy an inspiring hike over the Pacific with an equally inspiring USC professor! Los Liones Trail winds through Topanga State Park before reaching the iconic Parker Mesa Overlook that delivers spectacular views of Santa Monica and the coast. Be prepared to find yourself intrigued and moved by Adlai Wertman's stories of social entrepeneurship and leadership. Rumor has it there may even be post-hike doughnuts at Professor Wertman's house!
Short excerpt description.Get ready to explore this delightfully diverse trail with experienced hiker and history professor Richard Fox! The trail rises up through four different plant communities and traverses across mountain ridges with beautiful ocean views and grasslands (hopefully!) filled with wildflowers! After our hike, we can descend to the beach and take a much-needed dip in the ocean.
Join Peaks for our second ever Peaks & Pondering event!
Peaks & Pondering is a new biweekly discussion series where a fun/intellectual/interesting mix of trip leads and participants get together to talk about meaningful topics and share our different perspectives. Details are on our Facebook.
We'll start the trip by all having breakfast at Kim's house and then head over to the extremely nearby Angeles National Forest to hike to Switzer Falls. This will be an easy 3.5~ mile hike to a waterfall, where we'll hopefully find actual water and we'll definitely have amazing discussions. Kim is one of the most interesting, enthusiastic people you'll ever have the privilege of talking to and hey, who can say no to having a professor make you breakfast?
Join us for a moderately difficult hike full of ocean overlooks and scintillating sandstone structures! We'll traverse up and down a ridge and explore some rock formations before stopping for lunch at Mesa peak. We'll return along the same route, and depending on time we might explore a rock labyrinth or go hunting for Jim Morrison's cave. During the whole trip, we'll have the opportunity to ask professor Bickers about his work teaching physics and researching condensed matter theory at USC.
Looking for a chance to escape the USC bubble before midterms begin?? Join us for a hike to Switzer Falls, a classic ~3.5 mile hike in the San Gabriel Mountains. Accompanied by IR professor Jonathan Markowitz you can hear all about his briefing of the state department on security in the Arctic and more in his upcoming book project. You also may or may not have the opportunity to see running water that isn't one of the bajillion fountains on campus! Don't miss out!!
Come spend a chill day on the trail with Professor Thomas Habinek, longtime chair of the Classics department at USC. Recognize him from on stage or on the big screen? Professor Habinek has opened USC commencement by reading the traditional charge in Latin and Greek for several years. Join us as we experience the Hollywood sign from a new angle!
Trail Canyon Falls is a 30 foot waterfall located in the Angeles National Forest. It is not frequently trafficked and less than an hour from campus making it a nice getaway from the city. It is about 4.3 miles roundtrip with 743 feet of elevation gain. It has a few river crossings, mainly across logs, culminating to a 2 out of 5 in difficulty. Hopefully the waterfall will be active because of the recent rain. The canyon itself is beautiful and we will get a peak of Mount Mckinley on our way to the falls.
It's only the start of the semester, but do feel like you're already falling into a pool of cloudiness and uncertainty of how the semester is going to go? Well luckily, there's nothing but crystal clear water, a cool waterfall, an awesome redwoods. Join us for this an escape from campus to the San Gabriel Mountains with Professor Jesse Levitt, a Peaks and Professors Favorite! The hike will be an easy 3.5 miles round trip and will even include some light rock scrambling!
Peaks & Pondering is a new biweekly discussion series where a fun/intellectual/interesting mix of trip leads and participants get together to talk about meaningful topics and share our different perspectives. Details on our Facebook.
Was your New Years resolution to avoid dessert? Replace it with a healthy dose of desert! Join Peaks & Professors as we embark on an amazing trip to Mojave National Preserve and Kelso Dunes with biokinesiology whiz Jason Kutch. Commonly mixed up with the after-dinner treat (yikes, I know that was bad pls still come on a trip with me), deserts are one of California's hidden wonders and our weekend will be legendary. Join us as spend the night at Sunrise Rocks, hike Tetunia and watch the sun set from Kelso Dunes before we run full-speed down the sand mountains.
Peaks is proud to present our first OUT OF STATE trip through the red rocks and canyons of Utah, Nevada, and Arizona. Making the most of the long weekend, join us as we traverse some of the most iconic scenery of the American Southwest--Zion National Park, Buckskin Gulch, Valley of Fire ~it's lit~ State Park, and Black Canyon of the Colorado. Itinerary will be flexible based on weather conditions, but we'll be seeing some sick scenery. Additionally, the moon will be waning during this time, so get ready to see the darkest skies / most stars ever.
Ready to tackle Jospehine Peak with International Relations Professor Steven Lamy? Enjoy the hike in the deep San Gabriels as you ask Dr. Lamy for his famous career advice and begin to understand why he's won over 20 teaching awards. This is one professor you don't want to miss out on!
We disagree with TLC, come chase waterfalls with USC's newest, coolest, best-dressed Roski professor. The rivers and lakes can wait, you'll be having too good of a time on this easy hike through a shady creek-side trail. There may or may not be a waterfall, but there will definitely be ~deep~ discussions and a constant snack supply. Maybe if you're lucky Andy will call you a unicorn like he called this trip lead a unicorn. She passed away right then & there. RIP in peace.