Mary Forgione
Mary Forgione
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Quiet time: 5 little-known nature preserves not far from L.A.

Quiet time: 5 little-known nature preserves not far from L.A.

Copyright © 2021, Los Angeles Times | | | |The COVID-19 pandemic didn’t stop 1 billion of us from streaming into the country’s national parks in 2020. In fact, it increased our desire to take refuge in the outdoors, leading to complaints about overrun trails and picnic spots in some of California’s most popular places. One alternative to the big-park experience: nature preserves, which provide an intimate way to experience nature without the crowds.Why hike in Los Angeles? Lots of reasons. Use our guide to navigate 50 trails in Southern California, plus tips on gear and treats for the...

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April 16, 2021
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All the ways to make a camping reservation in California

All the ways to make a camping reservation in California

Copyright © 2021, Los Angeles Times | | | |AdvertisementKristen Tate camps a lot. The freelance book editor from San Francisco takes car camping trips for two weeks every summer, during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and often on weekends. She knows it’s tricky to make reservations for campgrounds in California, especially when you’re looking for popular sites during the peak summer season.“If I want something for a very desirable weekend, I plan ahead,” Tate said. “I either get that six-month window when [reservations] open, or I just don’t worry and wait for a two-week window...

April 9, 2021
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Come for Echo Mountain's tough terrain. Stay for the rich L.A. history

Come for Echo Mountain's tough terrain. Stay for the rich L.A. history

Copyright © 2021, Los Angeles Times | | | |This story is part of our You can buy a print copy at the .Echo Mountain, amid the 700,000 acres of national forest that is L.A.’s backyard, was once a playground for the well-to-do.More than a century ago, the barren mountaintop above Altadena was transformed into a resort where the wealthy came to party in a civilized manner, breathe fresh air and immerse themselves in nature — all without setting foot on a trail. Some ruins remain, giving modern-day hikers a glimpse of what passed for luxury back in the day.AdvertisementAdvertisementThe...

March 13, 2021
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Newts, tarantulas, ringtails: What you need to know about trail critters

Newts, tarantulas, ringtails: What you need to know about trail critters

Copyright © 2021, Los Angeles Times | | | |AdvertisementThis story is part of our You can buy a print copy at the .Spoiler alert: You probably aren’t going to see P-22 on a hike in Griffith Park. Coming in contact with a mountain lion on a trail in Southern California is beyond rare. But if you take the time to observe, there are other creatures you may encounter. Here are some of our favorites and what we think makes them special. Just don’t ever pick up or handle a wild animal.Dipodomys californicusYour best chance to catch a glimpse of this track and “field” superstar is just before...

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March 13, 2021
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The Wild: If you're hoping for desert wildflowers ...

The Wild: If you're hoping for desert wildflowers ...

Copyright © 2021, Los Angeles Times | | | |AdvertisementBy Mary ForgioneCalifornia’s deserts can be magical during wildflower season. This probably isn’t one of those years, and it has nothing to do with our pandemic cancel culture. The traffic-stopping orange poppies from Lake Elsinore to the Antelope Valley likely will be no-shows because the fall-winter season has been drier than usual.“Nothing is blooming at all,” spokeswoman Abby Wines said in an email. “Usually, bloom on the valley floor is mid-February through early April. Given that nothing is blooming yet, and that we didn’t have...

February 18, 2021
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Mammoth and Tahoe ski resorts reopen lodgings after rollback of state's COVID order

Mammoth and Tahoe ski resorts reopen lodgings after rollback of state's COVID order

Copyright © 2021, Los Angeles Times | | | |AdvertisementMammoth and Lake Tahoe area ski resorts and mountain towns are reopening hotels and lodges to leisure visitors after California’s governor on Monday lifted statewide regional orders that had closed lodging to most travelers. The rollback coincides with fresh snow and good skiing and boarding conditions at Sierra resorts. and the Tahoe area had closed accommodations in early December after Gov. Gavin Newsom imposed regional stay-at-home orders that limited guests to essential travelers. Now that has changed as COVID-19 rules return to...

January 25, 2021
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How a pair of bald eagles became Southern California rock stars

How a pair of bald eagles became Southern California rock stars

Copyright © 2021, Los Angeles Times | | | |AdvertisementThe hottest 24/7 reality show in Southern California right now could be called “The Real Bald Eagles of Big Bear Lake.” As many as 5,000 people at any moment are watching eagles nicknamed Jackie and Shadow on a live-streaming webcam in the mountain town about 100 miles northeast of downtown L.A.It’s highly addictive — and highly adorable. For those who haven’t tuned in to the webcam feed posted on YouTube, the camera offers a startling view into the eagle nest 120 feet above the lake in a Jeffrey pine tree. It’s a crisp close-up no...

January 22, 2020
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Mt. Whitney closed for the season because of smoke, fires

Mt. Whitney closed for the season because of smoke, fires

Copyright © 2020, Los Angeles Times | | | |AdvertisementIt’s been a tough year for hikers hoping to scale , the highest peak in the lower 48 states. Early in the season, the mountain was closed to hikers because of the pandemic. It reopened in early July and closed again at the beginning of September when national forests throughout California shut because of fires and poor air quality.The , which manages traffic on the 14,500-plus-foot peak and surrounding wilderness, recently announced that the area will be closed until Dec. 1 because of nearby fires and smoky air. Popular backcountry...

October 7, 2020
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The Wild: What America's oldest living park ranger wants you to know

The Wild: What America's oldest living park ranger wants you to know

Copyright © 2020, Los Angeles Times | | | |AdvertisementBy Mary ForgioneDesign and illustrations by Micah FluellenSign up to get The Wild sent weekly to your inbox.As we mourn the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice , it got me thinking about a generation of amazing women fading from the American landscape. Happily, Betty Reid Soskin isn’t one of them.AdvertisementSoskin, who turned 99 on Tuesday, is the oldest active ranger in the National Park Service. “I had no idea, not from one day to the next, where life was going to take me,” she told me the day before her birthday. “I didn’t expect...

September 24, 2020
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