Valentine’s Day is not my favorite holiday. There’s so much pressure to give a good gift and create the right mood, and I don’t think romance should feel so forced. That’s why I say instead of spending money on meaningless trinkets or candy, give the gift of an experience. Instead, try taking your sweetie on a secluded hike, or to gaze upon some stars! Finding peace and privacy outside of your city home is an almost impossible task. With privacy being so hard to come by in my LA habitat, I am always looking for day trips and hikes for a reprieve from rush hour. Too bad everyone else has the same thought! Have you ever been to Runyon Trail without seeing at least 30 other hikers, influencers, yogis and tourists, even on a “lousy” day? Definitely a romance killer to watch another couple smooch overlooking the same view. It also certainly makes it hard for me to enjoy myself the way I normally would on a hike in my secluded mountain hometown – by getting my high on. In the spirit of getting some genuine alone time in nature with your significant other, here are my favorite Southern California hikes with enough seclusion for romance and getting high.
At the time of this writing, a few things should be noted. Smoking is forbidden on these dry nature trails, and that should be respected if possible, especially given California’s propensity for brush fires. I recommend vapes and edibles for this romantic excursion, but if you’re in a park that allows campfire and use safe practices, I myself enjoy smoking flower out in the wilderness. Also of note, those fires and the government shutdown has affected whether or not some of these state parks will be open at the time, so make sure to make a backup plan just in case.
For these trails within a state park that allows camping, I also strongly suggest stargazing as an additional or alternative activity to really bump up the romance. Just make sure you dress warmly and don’t forget the good bud!
Rugged, high level difficulty, definitely for fitter hikers, but ends at the lovely and serene Wisdom AKA Lonely AKA Magic AKA Giving tree, perfect smoke and smooch spot. If you hang around Griffith until it gets dark and check out the observatory, you can enjoy some stars with the public.
Definitely more of an effortful adventure, since you’ll have to boat to the Island from Ventura or Oxnard, but if seclusion is your aim, you won’t find better.
Joshua Tree is such a feast for the eyes with its namesake flora and massive rock formations. There are multiple oases throughout, but this one is particularly sweet and shady. Joshua Tree is also a top notch stargazing park, so bring warm gear for after sunset.
Hot springs are pretty much an ace in the hole for romance, and is there a better spot to light a blunt? Methinks not. This hike ending at the springs is about an hour outside Big Bear, so a cabin rental to top off this excursion is a cute idea.
At the time of writing, these hikes are closed, but check for updates because they may be available February 2019:
Excellent ocean view, moderate difficulty level, long grass so pants would be preferred. Easy to vape and walk simultaneously here. May be closed due to Woolsey fire, check updates.
Easy for all fitness levels, usually scenic for wildflowers, features a quiet grotto that is particularly pretty in the wet season. May be closed due to Woolsey fire, check updates.
Technically closed to the public without official reason listed, this is still a cool hike featuring graffitied structures- if you do decide to hop the fence, be wary you could be fined… but the scene might just be worth it to explore.