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Cris Hazzard 4 Mile Trail Yosemite

Hiking Guides For Everyone

Hi, I’m Cris Hazzard, aka Hiking Guy, a professional hiking guide. I created this site to share all the great hikes I do with everyone out there. This site is different in that it gives very detailed directions that even the beginning hiker can follow. I share the hiking tricks and tips that I’ve learned over the years to fast-track you into a hiking pro. And I tell you what hiking gear works and what gear doesn’t so you don’t waste your money. I depend on your support to keep this site ad and promotion free. See ya out on the trails…

Latest Guides – Latest Gear Picks

Most Popular Guides

Best Hiking Gear 2022

Best Hiking Gear 2022

Don’t waste your money on hiking gear that’s no good; I’ve already done that for you! Here’s my trail-tested best hiking gear list, last updated . I only recommend hiking gear that I’ve used over hundreds of miles. I don’t do any paid or sponsored reviews, and I don’t waste your time with gear that doesn’t make the cut. This is only the good stuff.

Garmin Fenix 7 & Epix Review For Hikers and the Outdoors

Garmin Fenix 7 & Epix Review For Hikers and the Outdoors

For hikers and outdoors enthusiasts, the Garmin Fenix 7 and Epix (Gen 2) offer a ton of functionality and tools, all packed into a small piece of metal on your wrist. But does the benefit of having one of these watches justify the steep cost? In this review and guide, I’ll take a look at the Fenix 7 and Epix from an outdoors and hikers’ perspective and make some recommendations on whether this watch is something you should invest in. I won’t cover the 2 billion non-outdoor things that this watch can do because this guide would take 100 days to read. My recommendations are based on my actual usage over hundreds of miles of hiking.

How to Hike the Lost Coast Trail

How to Hike the Lost Coast Trail

Worthy of any hiking bucket list, the Lost Coast Trail offers a challenging adventure along California’s longest stretch of undeveloped coastline. You’ll hike along the boundary where the King Range Wilderness and the Pacific Ocean collide, showcasing nature’s beautiful and powerful forces. This guide will cover everything you need to know to make the Lost Coast Trail a reality, from planning to preparing and then doing the hike. There are several sections of Lost Coast Trail; in this guide, I’ll cover the most popular stretch from Mattole Beach to Shelter Cove’s Black Sands Beach.

Shelter Cove, CA - 25.5 miles, Hard

Mt Whitney Hike

Mt Whitney Hike

The Mt Whitney hike is on every hiker’s bucket list. At 14,505 feet, it’s the highest point in the lower 48 and is one of those rare high peaks that you can hike to without any mountaineering skills. There is some prep work you need to do, like getting your Mt Whitney permit and dealing with the altitude. This hiking guide has everything you need to know to successfully climb Mt Whitney. Keep reading for all the info.

Whitney Portal, CA - 22 miles, Very Hard

How To Hike Half Dome – The Complete Guide

How To Hike Half Dome – The Complete Guide

The hike up to Half Dome, towering over the Yosemite Valley at 8846 feet, is one of the great bucket list hikes. You’ll pass iconic waterfalls, hike through majestic sequoias, and then pull yourself up steel cables to stand at the summit. There’s a lot to know before you start; this isn’t just a hike where you show up at the trailhead and go. There’s a decent amount of anxiety about the cables section of the hike for a lot of folks. In this guide, I will cover everything you need to know in a simple and step-by-step way. I’ll help you prepare, conquer your fears, bag the summit, and have a great time in the process.

Yosemite Village, CA - 17 miles, Very Hard

Rim to Rim Grand Canyon Hike Guide

Rim to Rim Grand Canyon Hike Guide

The rim-to-rim hike in the Grand Canyon is iconic, spectacular, and challenging. Over my years of hiking the rim-to-rim, I’ve seen people of all shapes and sizes hike across the Grand Canyon, and in this guide, I’m going to give you all the information you need to know so that you can hike it too. Your journey will start months before stepping foot on the trail, as planning is critical for this popular bucket list hike. And then, armed with the correct information and preparation, you’ll know what to expect as you leave 99.9% of the other Grand Canyon visitors behind and hit the trail to cross one of the seven wonders of the world. And in case you’re wondering, although you’ll be exhausted at the end, the sense of accomplishment you’ll feel at the end is unparalleled.

Grand Canyon Village, AZ - 21 miles, Very Hard

Timberline Trail Guide (Mt Hood)

Timberline Trail Guide (Mt Hood)

The 41.5 mile Timberline Trail, which circles Oregon’s highest point, Mt Hood, dropping in and out of glacier-carved canyons, is a classic that should be on everyone’s bucket list. There’s a lot to love about the Timberline Trail: a well-worn path above and below the timberline (the altitude where trees stop growing), epic views of Mt Hood and the other peaks of the Cascades, glaciers, waterfalls, volcanic rock, alpine meadows, wildflowers, and rich history (it’s also a National Historic Trail). Numerous tent sites along the trail and an easy permit system make tackling the Timberline in 2-4 days straightforward. In this guide I’ll explain everything you need to know to plan your trip, and then do the hike.

Government Camp, OR - 41.5 miles, Hard

Trans Catalina Trail (TCT) Hike Guide

Trans Catalina Trail (TCT) Hike Guide

The Trans Catalina Trail, a mini, 38.5-mile thru-hike across the rugged island of Catalina, is a very doable adventure for almost every hiker and backpacker. Most people take between two and five days to complete the trail, which winds its way around Catalina. Along the way, you’ll experience expansive ocean views, the unique Channel Islands ecology, challenging terrain, and spectacular beachside campgrounds. In this complete Trans Catalina Trail (TCT) guide, I’ll show you everything you need to know to hike the trail and plan it out so that it’s a perfect fit for your hiking abilities.

Avalon, CA - 38.5 miles, Hard

Mt Baldy Hike

Mt Baldy Hike

This 11 mile Mt Baldy hike brings you to the highest point in LA at 10,064 feet. With almost 4000 feet of climbing, it’s a tough yet popular hike, and well worth the effort. You can see from the Pacific to the Mojave on a clear day. There are a few ways to hike Mt Baldy, and this guide takes you on the most popular route.

Mt Baldy, CA - 11 miles, Hard

Latest Guides

Altra Lone Peak 6 -vs- Topo Athletic Terraventure 3

Altra Lone Peak 6 -vs- Topo Athletic Terraventure 3

I love my Altra Lone Peak 6 shoes while hiking, but they don’t offer much protection and sometimes suffer from durablity issues. Hiking friends recommended trying the Topo Athletic Terraventure 3, so I got a pair and put about 120 miles on them. In this video, I’ll walk through the similarities and differences. I’ll also make recommendations on whether the Lone Peak or Terraventure will be right for you.

Hike the Suicide Rock Trail (Idyllwild)

Hike the Suicide Rock Trail (Idyllwild)

Hiking the Suicide Rock Trail gives you the big mountain feel without climbing the big mountains. You’ll have to hike uphill on the Deer Springs Trail, through the oaks that give way to pines as you get higher. The payoff is a massive slab of granite with views of the mountains surrounding you. Although you are in San Bernardino National Forest, it feels like you could be at Yosemite.

Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA - 7 miles, Moderate

Hike Santiago Peak & Modjeska Peak From Maple Springs

Hike Santiago Peak & Modjeska Peak From Maple Springs

If you want to bag both peaks of Saddleback Mountain, Modjeska and Santiago, the route from Maple Springs is a great option. In this guide I’ll show you how to park at the end of the paved road and then hike through the heart of the Santa Anas to the summits. The first few miles of the hike are on a dirt road, but then we’ll switch onto rugged singletrack. There’s a lot of confusion around hiking this route, and this guide should clear it all up and make it easy.

Silverado, CA - 16 miles, Hard

Peter Skene Ogden Trail Guide

Peter Skene Ogden Trail Guide

The Peter Skene Ogden Trail is a hidden gem. Although it is not widely known among the hiking community, it is designated a National Recreation Trail (NRT) because it “represents its region, supports a diverse community, and is among America’s best trails,” this hike is worth a visit. You’ll hike along Paulina Creek, passing numerous waterfalls, and arrive at Newberry Volcano’s caldera at the end. The volcano is the largest in the Cascades arc, still active, and a smidgen smaller than the size of Rhode Island. This hike has a lot going on!

La Pine, 97739 - 18 miles, Hard

New CalTopo LiDAR Elevation Data (What is LiDAR?)

New CalTopo LiDAR Elevation Data (What is LiDAR?)

For map lovers, CalTopo / SARTopo has added new high-resolution LiDAR elevation data to some of their map coverage. This quick video will show you why the new LiDAR data is excellent, how the elevation data (DEM) has evolved, and what we can expect moving forward with digital maps.

Gregory Zulu 30 (& Jade 28) Hiking Daypack – 6 Month Review

Gregory Zulu 30 (& Jade 28) Hiking Daypack – 6 Month Review

I’ve been using the Gregory Zulu 30 (and the women’s version is the Jade 28) for about six months, and I think it’s an excellent fit for most hikers who want one daypack for all seasons. The comfort and fit are superior; the pack can hold lots of gear and is well thought out; it’s durable and reasonably priced.

Hike Brown Mountain Dam (Arroyo Seco)

Hike Brown Mountain Dam (Arroyo Seco)

Hiking to the Brown Mountain Dam waterfall hike quickly transports you from suburban LA to a natural wonderland. You’ll start in suburban Altadena, then follow the Arroyo Seco, a lifeline watershed, into Angeles National Forest, to the hidden waterfall at the abandoned Brown Mountain Dam. The shaded trail passes ruins, secluded picnic areas, and beautiful willows, oaks, and sycamores. Today it’s a flat and relatively easy hike that’s fun for all levels of hiker.

Altadena, CA - 7.4 miles, Easy

What is Total Ascent and Why Is It Always Different?

What is Total Ascent and Why Is It Always Different?

You might have noticed that the total ascent figures for many of the same hikes have different values for the same route. This video will show you what total ascent is, how it relates to elevation gain, and why it’s always different for consumer GPS units like wearables, handhelds, and smartphones.

Hike Garnet Peak via PCT

Hike Garnet Peak via PCT

Garnet Peak offers commanding views from the Laguna Mountains over the Borrego Desert and surrounding mountains. It’s one of the most spectacular viewpoints in the area. In this hiking guide, we’ll take the PCT to the Garnet Peak Trail, the most scenic route that offers plenty of parking at the trailhead. Don’t let the short distance fool you; the views on this hike are worth it.

Mt Laguna, CA - 4.2 miles, Moderate

Volcan Mountain Trail Guide

Volcan Mountain Trail Guide

This hike visits the namesake of the Volcan Mountain Wilderness Preserve, and it’s a journey filled with natural beauty, history, and breathtaking views. To get to Volcan Mountain, we will take the popular Volcan Mountain Trail and then hop on the Five Oaks Trail, where the beauty is on another level. When we get to the summit, we’ll enjoy views from the Salton Sea to Catalina.

Julian, CA - 5.6 miles, Moderate

Barbara’s Lake Hike (Laguna Beach)

Barbara’s Lake Hike (Laguna Beach)

This easy hike to Barbara’s Lake, one of Orange County’s only naturally occurring lakes, is well worth a go. While close to suburbia, the lake lies within the James Dilley Greenbelt Preserve, an island of natural beauty where the land looks as it did hundreds of years ago. This guide will show you a pleasant loop that takes you to the lake, up a small climb, and then back along a ridge offering expansive views. You can also hike to Barbara’s Lake and turn around for a shorter experience.

Laguna Beach, CA - 2.9 miles, Easy

Why All Hikers Should Use Strava

Why All Hikers Should Use Strava

In this short video I’ll explain why automatically sharing your hikes and outdoor activity data with Strava helps trail advocates and land planners get the information they need to improve the outdoor experience.

San Juan Trail to Sugarloaf Peaks

San Juan Trail to Sugarloaf Peaks

Yes, more Sugarloaf Peaks. We have a pair of them this time, and they’re in Cleveland National Forest. This challenging route on the popular San Juan Trail, once a native path traversing the Santa Anas, brings you to Old Sugarloaf and (new) Sugarloaf, which you can bag and enjoy some great views in the process. It’s a challenging hike into a remote section of this rugged and underrated area.

Lake Elsinore, CA - 13.9 miles, Hard

Hiking Shoes or Altra Lone Peaks?

Hiking Shoes or Altra Lone Peaks?

I spent 100 miles testing the popular Oboz Sawtooth hiking shoes, and while they were good, they didn’t even compare to the comfort that my Altra Lone Peak 6 trail runners provided. In this video, I’ll briefly cover the differences between a hiking shoe and the Altra Lone Peak so that if you are trying to make a decision, you’ll have some insight from actual experience.

Condor Peak Trail

Condor Peak Trail

The Condor Peak Trail is an underrated gem. Sitting at 5,440 feet above the western section of Angeles National Forest, Condor Peak was once the home to nesting (and now endangered) California Condors. The Condors are long gone, but the trail is still there and well-maintained, offering a challenging hike with breathtaking views. There are a few routes to Condor Peak, and in this guide, I’ll show you what is considered the most popular route up the Condor Peak Trail.

Tujunga, 91042 - 15.2 miles, Hard

How Much Food Fits in a Bear Canister?

How Much Food Fits in a Bear Canister?

If you’re shopping for a bear canister or bear storage bag, knowing how much food fits into one is tough to find out. This video will test the BearVault BV450, BearVault BV500, Ursack AllMitey 10 Liter, and Grubcan to see how much food actually fits in the container and then find out how much room the containers take up in a backpack.

Hike the Bedford Peak Trail (Orange County)

Hike the Bedford Peak Trail (Orange County)

If you’re looking for a hidden gem, the Bedford Peak Trail is for you. You’ll get an excellent workout climbing about 2000 feet in 3 miles, and at the top, you have gorgeous views of the Santa Anas, Angeles National Forest, Catalina, and on a clear day, the higher peaks of SoCal. Overall it’s an underrated gem.

Silverado, CA - 7.2 miles, Hard

Using Courses on the Garmin GPSMAP 66 Series

Using Courses on the Garmin GPSMAP 66 Series

The 9.60 firmware update brings course functionality to the Garmin GPSMAP 66 series. Courses are a bit of a hybrid between tracks and routes. In this video, I’ll show you how to create a course and then navigate it using your GPSMAP 66 series device.

Hike the Boo Hoff Trail Loop

Hike the Boo Hoff Trail Loop

The Boo Hoff Trail, which follows a native path into the foothills of the Santa Rosa Mountains, is filled with desert beauty and panoramic views. This loop is a challenging route that offers a solid climb, a descent into Devil Canyon and around Lake Cahuilla, and a hike back on the Cove to Lake Trail. Overall the Boo Hoff loop is a challenging hike that offers a little of everything.

La Quinta, CA - 12.8 miles, Hard

Is Beidou Safe To Use On My GPS?

Is Beidou Safe To Use On My GPS?

Now that the Chinese satellite positioning system, Beidou, is supported on more GPS and wearables, I’ve been getting asked if it’s safe to use. In this short video, I’ll explain the issues so you can make an educated decision on whether to use Beidou or not.

What I Use for Hiking Navigation

What I Use for Hiking Navigation

In this short video I’ll walk you through the tools I use to navigate on the trail, including planning, on-trail dashboards and nav check-ins, workout recording, and then post-hike sharing.

Hike Wright Mountain From Inspiration Point

Hike Wright Mountain From Inspiration Point

While there are several ways to summit Wright Mountain in the San Gabriel Mountains, this route from Inspiration Point is my favorite. You’ll follow the spine known as the Blue Ridge, which is packed with views of the surrounding high peaks, and you’ll get to experience the iconic PCT along the way. It’s also one of the rare hikes in the area that traverses Angeles NF and San Bernardino NF on the same trail.

Valyermo, CA - 14 miles, Hard

Osprey Talon 6 Review (After 100 Miles Hiking)

Osprey Talon 6 Review (After 100 Miles Hiking)

In this video I’ll walk you through the Osprey Talon 6 (similar to the women’s Tempest 6), share my experience of hiking 100 miles with it, and make some recommendations on whether the Talon 6 is right for you.

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park Hike

Laguna Coast Wilderness Park is a real gem in Southern California. Its 7000 acres of protected land are one of the last bastions of coastal wilderness. This park is what Orange County coast looked like before man started developing here. You’ll enjoy pristine coastal sage scrub, ridges with panoramic views, wildlife including over 40 endangered species, and some unique ecology. The park has over 40 miles of trails, and this loop of 7.6 miles is what one park ranger once laid out for me as the “best of ” loop, giving you a taste of everything the park has to offer.

Laguna Beach, CA - 7.5 miles, Moderate

What is Return Link Service (RLS) on a PLB?

What is Return Link Service (RLS) on a PLB?

In this quick video I’ll explain what Return Link Service (RLS) is for PLBs and tell you why you’d want to consider it for a new PLB purchase.

Backpacking For Beginners: Hiker → Backpacker

Backpacking For Beginners: Hiker → Backpacker

Backpacking for beginners doesn’t have to be as intimidating as it is. Unfortunately, the massive amount of information online, coupled with pundits’ strong opinions, can be overwhelming for many day hikers looking to make the switch. The good news is that backpacking is much simpler than you probably think, and in this guide, I’ll give you some simple steps to make your first backpacking trip easy.

Altra Lone Peak 6 – 200 Mile Review

Altra Lone Peak 6 – 200 Mile Review

I’ve been hiking with my Altra Lone Peak 6 trail runners for over 200 miles now, and they’ve been great. In this video I’ll show what makes them great and how they compare to the Altra Lone Peak 5.

How to Hike the Lost Coast Trail

How to Hike the Lost Coast Trail

Worthy of any hiking bucket list, the Lost Coast Trail offers a challenging adventure along California’s longest stretch of undeveloped coastline. You’ll hike along the boundary where the King Range Wilderness and the Pacific Ocean collide, showcasing nature’s beautiful and powerful forces. This guide will cover everything you need to know to make the Lost Coast Trail a reality, from planning to preparing and then doing the hike. There are several sections of Lost Coast Trail; in this guide, I’ll cover the most popular stretch from Mattole Beach to Shelter Cove’s Black Sands Beach.

Shelter Cove, CA - 25.5 miles, Hard

Solstice Canyon Hike

Solstice Canyon Hike

The Solstice Canyon hike in Malibu is one of the most beautiful (and popular) hikes you can find. Within the short distance of 3 miles, you get a bit of everything, ocean views from coastal hillsides, a shaded canyon along only one of two perennial water sources in the Santa Monica Mountains, a waterfall, and a solid dose of architecture and local history. In this guide, I’ll take you on the popular loop hike to enjoy all the sights along Solstice Canyon.

Malibu, CA - 3.2 miles, Moderate

Why Are GPS Distances Always Different?

Why Are GPS Distances Always Different?

In this short and simple video I’ll explain why GPS distances are always different, and what you can do to improve the accuracy of your GPS distance reading.