Caltech is located just south of the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains, where you can find some beautiful day hikes. Within an hour or two east, find yourself at the base San Bernardino, San Gorgonio, or San Jacinto peaks, the highest mountains in Southern California, or head west toward the Santa Monica mountains for lower elevation and ocean views. Feeling adventurous? Pack the car and head to the Sierras for some breathtaking views and make it a weekend. Here are few of our favorite hikes to get you started.
Go early in the morning during summer as the San Gabes offer little to no shade. You can avoid crowded trailheads on the weekends by checking out lesser known truck trails off Hwy 2.)
Higher elevations out east make for great summer hiking, but watch for snow and ice as temperatures drop. The Santa Monica range stays more temperate year round.
The Sierras offer the most epic views and highest altitudes around. There's a plethora of hiking available in the National Forests and Parks. Trails in the Sierras are usually clear of snow from the mid-elevations around early-mid June, depending on the year. High passes may still have some snow through late summer. Checkout what permits are available if you plan to overnight. Basic backpacking gear can be rented for pretty low cost from the Caltech Y.
This is by no means a comprehensive list. Check out hiking project to see more trail options and build your own route!