Southern California weather essentially provides a year of endless summer, making the actual season of summer just another time to check out all the adventures at your fingertips. The major bonus is that the ocean warms up significantly. So dive in, bask in the idyllic summertime sunshine, and check out these 5 tentree summer adventure spots!
1) 1000 Steps Beach, Laguna, CA
Park at the intersection of Highway 1 and 9th Ave in Laguna Beach. Walk down the steps—there are more like 300 than 1000—and once you hit the beach, head south.
When the tide is low, you can walk through a cave and on the other side you will find a couple of shallow pools where you can swim and check out the sea life.
2) La Jolla Shores, San Diego, CA
The surf is often good by Scripps Pier, check out the tide pools just north of the pier, and snorkel with leopard sharks south of the pier. There are so many awesome things to see and do in the area, grab some goggles and explore!
3) Sea Caves at Sunset Cliffs, San Diego, CA
Head out to sunset cliffs during low tide to search for all kinds of sea life, but make sure to keep a close eye on the tide when exploring the caves along the cliff. When the tide comes back up, often the only way back is a dangerous swim.
4) Rattlesnake Canyon, Joshua Tree National Park
Joshua Tree is unbearably hot during the summer months, but if you want a cooler adventure in J Tree check out Rattlesnake Canyon. The water in the canyon can be cold even in the dead of summer. The trailhead is located at the end of Indian Cove road. From Indian Cove Campground, take the road to the east about a mile to a picnic area where there is parking at the mouth of the canyon.
From the picnic area hike up the Canyon in a south to southeast direction. After a few hundred yards a deceiving canyon heads almost due west, stay to the southeast or the left and continue up the canyon. About a 1/4 to 1/2 mile up you run into what some books describe as a slot canyon. This is a pretty waterfall in the winter or spring after rains. From the top of this waterfall area, drop into the canyon and you might want to build a natural anchor to get down the first significant drop. If there are any anchors at all they will be “nuts” left by rock climbers, not likely to be there after a flood. Polished granite the whole way, so be prepared to build choke knot anchors. About 4 rappels total, but the last one can be avoided by hiking around. The hike to this canyon is really cool by itself. If you don’t have technical rope experience you can hike to the slot canyon and peer in from the top.
5) Star gazing in the Cleveland National Forest, outside Julian, CA
Most of the Cleveland National Forest is far enough from light pollution to see great views of the stars. I recommend heading out just before sunset, so temps are cooler and you get to experience the beautiful sunset. Go during a new moon, or when the moonrise happens late in the evening to have an unobstructed view of the stars. This location is just outside of Julian, CA. If you want to learn how to take great starry night shots, click here.