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.
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.
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.
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!
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 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.
**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!
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.
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!
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!
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.
Join us for a Saturday morning of beautiful oceanside views and captivating conversation with one of USC's outdoors-loving psychology professors!
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 Sunday?
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*