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With Pasadena being so close to the mountains, the adventurous among us should take advantage of all the opportunities that nature affords. Pasadena provides the perfect climate for year-round hiking and with several mountain ranges within close proximity, there’s always a new hiking trail to explore.

Dr. Dave Douglass, associate vice president of strategic planning and innovation and a professor of geology, described hiking as “an underappreciated way to become fit that can be enjoyed by all ages.”

Douglass has been hiking since he was young and continues to trek throughout Pasadena and the surrounding areas. He said some of this favorite places to hike are Chantry Flats in the Santa Anita Canyon and Henninger Flats, all of which allow for beautiful views.

Some people may be intimidated by hiking, but Douglass suggests that there are plenty of guidebooks for hikes in the San Gabriel Mountains. And his advice echoes the Boy Scout motto: be prepared.

“You’ve got to always carry water and some food with you,” Douglass said. “And a flashlight, even if you don’t plan on being out after dark. I even carry a first-aid kit.”

With summertime approaching, there seems to be more rescues on the weekends in the mountains for a variety of reasons, he said.

Ross Selvidge, newly elected to the Board of Trustees representing District 1, is a PCC alumnus and a former member of the Highlanders Hiking Club from 1964 to 1965. Selvidge described himself more as an “outdoors, mountain guy rather than a beach guy” and always loved hiking.

When Selvidge first attended PCC, he discovered the Highlanders and saw it was a very active, organized and well led club. He recalled the hiking trips the Highlanders took with advisor and mentor Russ Mohn and the great satisfaction he felt when completing a hike.

“He knew what he was doing,” Selvidge said. “And when he would lead the highlanders on our overnight trips, he’d give us a talk on some life lessons.”

Although the Highlanders club is long gone, Selvidge wishes the club was still in existence because there’s “no shortage of places for people to hike” in this area and he hopes someone will take on the task but understand the commitment.

PCC student and avid hiker Matthew Moreno said he enjoyed hiking for a variety of reasons and was excited that the days were longer so he can hike longer.

“I love being in nature with the fresh air,” Moreno said. “Plus you get to get away from all your problems for a little.”

Growing up in Temple City, Moreno has always loved to hike and feels lucky to live so close to so many hiking opportunities. He mentioned his favorite places to hike are Switzer Falls, Mount Lowe and Eaton Canyon.

“It’s great to live so close to the mountains with great hiking adventures,” Moreno said. “I love the feeling you get when you reach the top of the mountain or your destination and have beautiful views.”

The Pasadena Hiking Pacers is a club based in Pasadena that offers opportunities for all ages and skill levels to hike in Pasadena and surrounding areas in Los Angeles County while enjoying the company of others.

The club hikes every Sunday at 7 a.m. and offers “an environment of commitment, inspiration and enthusiasm that will lead to a state of ultimate fitness and vitality for members,” , according to the group’s website.

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