New Year's Day hikes

Sunset  – December 29, 2004

ORANGE COUNTY The trail at the end of Silverado Canyon Road climbs to Bedford Peak, with expansive views of the Santa Ana Mountains. 6.6 miles round-trip; strenuous; call for map (no trail signs). $5 per vehicle. From Santiago Canyon Rd. take Silverado Canyon Rd. east to the end; 951/736-1811.

Bedford Peak.

RIVERSIDE This rocky precipice pushes 600 feet above Riverside for great views of the city and the Santa Ana River. 7 miles round-trip; moderate. Take Mission Inn Ave. northwest, go left on Redwood Dr. and right on Ninth St. to park entrance; 951/826-2000.

Mt. Rubidoux.

SAN DIEGO The trip to the top takes you to the highest point in the city (1,591 ft.) for a 360° clear-day view of the Laguna Mountains and downtown San Diego. 3 miles round-trip; strenuous. Trailhead is off Golfcrest Dr. at Navajo Rd.; 619/668-3281.

Cowles Mountain.

SANTA BARBARA Follow Tunnel Trail up lush Mission Creek Canyon toward East Camino Cielo for views of Santa Barbara and nearby islands. 4 miles round-trip; moderate. Take Mission Canyon Rd. toward the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, then go left on Tunnel Rd. and follow it to end; 805/967-3481.

Inspiration Point.

SANTA MONICA MOUNTAINS Sandstone Peak. The trail climbs through chaparral to Sandstone Peak for views from the highest point (3,111 ft.) in the Santa Monicas. 3 miles round-trip; strenuous. Start at trailhead at Circle X Ranch, off Yerba Buena Rd.; 805/370-2301. —MICHAEL TENNESON


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