Hike to Jim Morrison Cave

Happy 2016 friends!!

I hope you all had a fabulous and eventful New Years!

Mine was spent with friends and champagne 😉 But that being said, I am so ready for a brand new year. I am currently unemployed (sad face) but I already have so many plans for 2016. One of which includes my own business but we’ll keep that our little secret for now hehe

In between applying for jobs and countless Netflix binges, I’ve found some time for some pretty cool adventures! So I am proud to present my first post of the new year…the Jim Morrison Cave!

jim morrison cave malibu hike

Located in the hills of Malibu, the Jim Morrison cave is well hidden at the top of a mountain. I actually found out about this hike through Instagram so I packed up my bag, grabbed a friend and trekked my way up to Malibu.

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Hawaiian Adventure // MAUI

This summer, I had the best week of my entire life. IN MAUI!! This was my very first time to the islands and to say I was excited would be a bit of an understatement. I spent two weeks packing and getting my gear together. The morning of our flight finally arrived and the nerves set in (flying in a suspended aircraft over miles of ocean is not my idea of a good time guys). 6 and a half hours later, we landed on Maui and I was immediately stunned by the palm trees that lined literally every single street. Even the airport was an open building, with the warm Hawaiian breeze flowing through baggage claim. Although it took awhile to grab our bags, pick up our rental car and get to the hotel, we were able to drive along the coast for our 45 min journey to the hotel.

I’m pretty sure I was in shock the whole first day we were there because everything around me was so beautiful. The water was the clearest shade of blue I’ve seen in my whole life and there were pineapples everywhere weeeeee! Our hotel, Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa, was gorgeous. I noticed that most buildings on the island had similar architecture and were very open with fresh air flowing from everywhere. Located right on the water, we were steps from the beach and even had an ocean view – does it get any better?! Fast forward 30 minutes from getting to our room and my sister and I practically ran downstairs to jump in the 80 degree water.

Day 1 in Maui jumping for joy. Source: Instagram @mmaaddzz

Day 1 in Maui jumping for joy. Source: Instagram @mmaaddzz

I’ve decided to break up our daily activities because we did SO MUCH in just one week. Follow along below 🙂

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1000 Steps Beach Day // Laguna

Clear waters, caves, rock climbing, natural pools…1000 Steps Beach has it all! After hearing so many of my friends gush about Laguna’s most famous beaches, I had to check it out for myself. I had seen pictures of the beautiful pools all across Instagram and yet they still seemed unreal. The stairs were totally worth it and I can now say this beach is definitely my favorite.

I decided to go on a Sunday with my friend Tiffani. We were able to find parking pretty quick, and all street parking is free too! (yay!) Luckily there isn’t really 1,000 steps; there’s actually only 250. And they were a heck of a lot steeper/small than I thought they would be. As soon as we got to the stairs, we were met with groups of people in yoga pants and nikes climbing up and down the narrow staircase. The beach was beautiful and the sand was so soft. We headed down the beach all the way to the left where the cave was and set up camp on the side of some smooth rocks that were out of the waves’ reach.

Our spot on the rocks!

Our spot on the rocks!

To actually get to the pools at the “private beach”, the tide has to be low enough so you can climb over the rocks. I highly recommend checking the tide report before you go if you want to get to the pools! Flip flops are also extremely helpful because the climb will tear your feet up if you go barefoot! Ouch!

When the tide went finally went down enough, we started our climb over the rocks. Tide pools were everywhere and there were so many crabs in between the rocks! Once we finally got to the secluded rocks, we noticed how crowded the pools were so we decided to tan on the beach for a while to wait for the groups to leave.

One of the beautiful, amazing pools!

One of the beautiful, amazing pools!

We finally made our way over to the pools and it was the most awesome, crazy, beautiful thing ever! The first pool was a giant rectangle and actually looked like a real pool since it was out of reach of the waves. The second pool was on the edge of a cliff almost. Since the waves were particularly big that day, they would crash against the rocks and create a huge spray over the end of the pool.

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I decided I absolutely had to jump in since nobody else was (and for the sake of an artsy Instagram picture hehe). The water was freezing, but it was TOTALLY WORTH IT! There were even steps into the pool and you could walk around the edge and watch the waves crash.

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We even met some people from Huntington that were swimming the pools with us. Shows what a small world it is! Once it was time to head home, we made the climb back over all of the rocks and through the cave again. We finally got to the part I had been dreading: the stairs! After hearing people who were working out saying things like “Alright, this is our fourth and final time up these steps” I figured I would be totally fine. Hey if they can do it four times, I can do it once right? So, so wrong. We stopped twice on the way up the 250 stairs and finally made it to the top! It wasn’t until the next day that my calves started burning. Yowzaaaa.

I am absolutely coming back to this amazing beach! Even though summer is around the corner, I’ll be going back on a weekday just to hopefully skip the crowds that were there when we went. So make sure you pick a good day, watch the tides, bring flip flops and explore everything!

We took a ton of pictures when we went, so I’ve posted my favorites below. Enjoy!! 🙂

xoxo,
Maddy

Climbing Waterfalls

I’ve noticed in the past year that hiking has become a huge trend. It’s now a fun activity that friends do for both the physical and adventurous aspect of it. And with so many different places to hike, you’re bound to find a trail you like.

I have recently embraced the hiking trend in the past couple months and the next on my list was a waterfall hike. I had a lot of friends who had already hiked Escondido Trail in Malibu and had heard the waterfall was a hit or miss. But since the “storm of the century” hit a couple weeks ago, I figured I would try my luck and crossed my fingers that the waterfalls weren’t dry.

Climbing some crazy trees halfway through our hike!

Climbing some crazy trees halfway through our hike!

Heading out with a group of six friends, we drove an hour up to Malibu to begin our hike. The sprawling, luxurious houses were somewhat intimidating during the first couple of miles, but once we actually got into the valley, the whole trail became more beautiful. The first waterfall wasn’t really as big as I had imagined it, but it was so darn cute. It reminded me of a little grotto, with water dropping from its extensive moss. There was even a small place to stand at the top once you climbed up.

The top of the first waterfall!

The top of the first waterfall!

We got somewhat turned around after the first waterfall since it was all our first time’s on that trail. After literally climbing the side of a small mountain for a while, we were greeted by a barbed wire and “NO TRESPASSING” sign. Unfortunately, that also meant we had to climb down the side without slipping, but we were able to find some fellow hikers who pointed us toward the second waterfall.

And it was A W E S O M E.

The second waterfall was exactly as I had pictured it. With three different heights and a small pool at the bottom, there was a heavy drizzle falling between the rocky layers. And when I say heavy drizzle, I mean enough water to soak us while we climbed to the top of the first opening. In case you’re having trouble imagining what this waterfall looks like, I’ve slipped in quite a few pictures below 🙂

Climbing the waterfall was definitely the sketchiest part of the hike. Moss was everywhere and everything was slippery. With the help of a long rope and a couple sturdy tree branches, we were all able to climb to the top and experience the wonder of the waterfall. It was truly one of the most awesome experiences I’ve ever had.

The whole hike only took about two hours to finish. It was one roundabout trail so once you reached the second waterfall, you were hiking back on the same trail you came from. There weren’t very many trail markers after the first waterfall either so it was pretty hard to know which way you should take to get to the second waterfall. But it was definitely in my top three favorite hikes! Make sure you check the weather before you go and check if the waterfalls will be dry because that was the main attraction of the whole hike.

We also saw this snazzy “Rasta Bus” on the way up! I’m not really sure what it is or what it does, but it just looked too awesome to NOT take a picture haha enjoy!

rasta bus

The Hidden Hike

The gym.

It’s not a very likeable or enjoyable place for most people. If I had my way, I’d be able to get in shape just by sitting on my couch, watching Netflix and eating pizza. But unfortunately, this just doesn’t happen – so I like finding every possible alternate to going to the gym. Hiking is a great way to stay fit and also lets me avoid the gym altogether. Ocean hikes are definitely at the top of my list because the breathtaking views generally help take my mind off the horrible burning in my legs while hiking giant hills.

We decided to cross Palos Verdes off our list first, and we were not disappointed! Abalone Cove Shoreline Park had everything we were looking for: ocean views, a great workout, tide pools, hidden caves and a variety of paths. And it only took us 20 minutes to drive there which made it even better. We had no idea such an awesome and beautiful hike was hidden right in our backyard. Even the rocks along the beaches were perfect! Unfortunately, we got there right at high tide so some of the tide pools were impossible to get to. We did, however, manage to find some higher up with all kinds of sea critters in them.

Sea critters hanging out in the tide pools.

Sea critters hanging out in the tide pools.

There were so many different paths to take up in the hills, but we generally took the ones that were right along the ocean. After hiking up a narrow, steep path, we finally arrived at the top of a cliff right as the sun was setting. It was the most peaceful, gorgeous sunset I think I’ve ever seen. All of my problems and stress just seemed to slip away as we watched the ocean gobble up the sun.

Watching the sunset from the top of a cliff...doesn't get much better than that!

Watching the sunset from the top of a cliff…doesn’t get much better than that!

Simply put, the hike was perfect; there wasn’t one bad thing about it. You get a front row seat to a beautiful California sunset from almost any trail you take, even at high tide we were able to check out the awesome tide pools, it had everything from flat to steep trails depending on your preference or badass level and the trails were practically empty! If you’re looking for an ocean trail hike, then be sure to check this place out.

Enjoying the sunset at the end of our awesome hike!

Enjoying the sunset at the end of our awesome hike!

*Note: Be sure to check their hours before you go! They generally want you off the trails by 4 p.m. or dusk. For more information, take a peek at their website HERE.