Study days who??? We don’t know her! If you’re not quite ready to hit the books before finals, hit the trails with Dr. Shannon Gibson (and her dogs, pictured above!) instead for moderate, 4.5 mile loop through Switzer Falls. There will be trees, leaves, and lots of falling water with some great views of the San Gabriel Mountains along the way. Did I mention dogs?
Breakfast, trampolines, and a with views of all of Los Angeles!
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 us for a moderate morning trek up to one of LA’s defining icons with Robin Romans, USC’s Vice Provost of Academic Affairs! The moderate hike up to the top of Mt. Lee is filled with beautiful views of LA and we will end up right above the famous letters. Romans earned his doctorate in political science, teaches courses on political thought and gender studies, serves as a faculty adviser for the Polymathic Academy, and used to direct the Thematic Option Honors Program… best of all, he’s eager to join us for his first Peaks and Professors hike!
Come join us on one of Malibu’s staple hikes to Sandstone Peak via the Mishe Mokwa Trail! Although this 5.6 mile trail’s foliage suffered from the Woolsley Fire at the end of last year, the views from inspiration point are still awe-inspiring.
Ready for a weekend trip to the forest to break up the mid-semester grind? Then this is the trip for you! Join us for two days filled with hiking, exploring and taking in the early season views in one of the most beautiful places in SoCal. Plus, get a crash course in first-aid/wilderness medicine from USC professor Dr. Dan Dworkis—what more could you ask for?
Join Dr. Karlin for a hike around the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve, a picnic somewhere along the trial, and great conversation! The trail is a 5.5 mile heavily-trafficked loop in Antelope Valley with 593ft of elevation and rewarding wildflower views.
Join us for a moderate 6 mile hike at the beautiful Bear Canyon, complete with scenic views of Switzer Falls, one of L.A.’s most famous waterfalls.
We will be hiking with Eric Junker, a Design professor here at Roski, with a possible guest appearance from Professor Junker’s son, Rye, who is just as talented an artist as his dad!
Truly one of California’s best kept secrets, the Carrizo Plain National Monument is home to glorious wildlife (BIRDS, antelope), wildflowers (ones that will be in bloom while we are there), and geologic and cultural history. Prominent features on the monument include the white alkali flats of Soda Lake, Painted Rock, vast open grasslands, and a broad plain rimmed by mountains.
Join yoga professor Stephanie Eggert for a truly once in a lifetime opportunity - an island meditation and yoga retreat! Professor Eggert is a kundalini yogi, a school of yoga that incorporates movement, dynamic breathing techniques, meditation, and the chanting of mantras. Beginners are welcome to join, no yoga or meditation experience necessary!
Come kick off the weekend with an awesome hike in the Devil’s Punchbowl Natural Area! Located right on the San Andreas Fault, this is one of the most seismic regions in the world. Don’t worry though— this just means it is a popular climbing spot and there are plenty of awesome rock formations! We will be hiking along the Burkhart trail, through a manzanita forest, to Devil’s Chair, our final destination. The trail overlooks the desert on one side and Angeles National Forest on the other— a perfect combo!
Join on us on this beautiful day hike close to campus! Scenery will include views looking West over the Pacific Ocean and Pacific Palisades. Should be a great way to get out and enjoy some sunshine as it finally warms up again!
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.
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.
While it took 23 million years for the Pinnacles to travel 200 miles along the San Andreas fault from L.A. to Central California, we’ll be making a weekend out of the journey. We’ll do everything Pinnacles National Park has to offer, from exploring unique talus caves and tall rock spires to watching massive California Condors in one of their few natural habitats.
Join expert neuroscientist, Andrew Hires, on the rescheduled 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.
Take a break from midterm szn and come out on the trail for a day of great hiking, great views, and even better company! The Bridge to Nowhere was originally built as part of a highway that would lead from LA to the Mojave Desert, but after a flood wiped out part of the road, the bridge became abandoned. Now, it‘s a fun destination for hikers and bungee jumpers! This iconic bridge is a must-see, so get excited for a really rewarding day!
Get excited for some backpacking right in our own backyard! We will be heading up North to Ojai to backpack the Sespe River Trail to the Willett Hot Springs, about 7.5 miles out and back each way. Despite the distance, we will not have much elevation gain, so this will be a wonderful backpacking trip for both those new to backpacking and those who have been backpacking for years. Professor Harris is very excited for the trip, and may even bring his dog, Benbow!
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.
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!