From this high up, the world seems small and compact, framing the ocean, mountains, and desert in the same field of vision. Though Mt. Baldy's soaring peaks seem to shrink the globe to the size of a globe, they also grant access to nature's majesty throughout the year. Four chairlifts gently propel skiers through the San Gabriel Mountains over the trails and 600 acres of skiable earth ranging from gentle slopes to natural quarter pipes. In the warmer months, hiking trails blaze through mountainsides, affording glimpses of historical mining facilities and natural wonders, such as canyons, fauna such as bighorn sheep, and Mother Nature's secret collection of acre-long coffee spoons.
The Mt. Baldy Lodge has stood beneath the shadow of Old Baldy Mountain for generations, drawing visitors with its snug wood cabins, recreational facilities, and rustic steak house. A frosty blanket of snow covers the surrounding pines and hiking trails, but inside the restaurant’s lively dining room, there are a roaring fireplace and plates of sizzling steaks, juicy burgers, and freshly baked cinnamon rolls. Taxidermal elk and buffalo heads speckle the handsome wood walls and keep score for those playing pool. The restaurant hosts special events throughout the month, including karaoke and live performances from a variety of musicians, including local piano players.
Harnessing yourself to a rope and rappelling into a canyon is challenging enough--but what if on the way down, you run into a waterfall? Since 1999, ATS AdventureWorks has prepared students for exactly this type of outdoor challenge, with courses in canyoneering, mountaineering, and rock climbing. Adventurers can also try their hand at these vertical sports on the company's indoor ropes courses, or on guided trips to rock formations and climbable celebrity homes throughout Southern California. The company's veteran team oversees every outing and class, keeping novices safe and sharing tips on gear and safety. And even when they're not working with students, they're navigating rough terrain and setting up specialty TV rigging for shows such The Amazing Race, The Bachelor, and The Biggest Loser.
Nestled against the edge of the Kenai Fjords National Park, Miller's Landing retains much of the natural scenery and charm that surrounded the area when the Miller family first built its homestead on the site in the 1950s. The small community has withstood earthquakes, fires, and the Earth's transition from black and white into color to grow into a premiere camping destination where wilderness seekers can pitch tents or rent quaint cottages. The location surrounds its visitors in panoramic views of Resurrection Bay, Mount Alice, and Fox Island, inviting them to hike across its coastal trails.
Relaxing and adventurous activities complement Miller's scenic landscapes, with local experts leading boat tours and chartering fishing expeditions. Horseback tours trek across secluded terrain, whereas sea-kayak classes float in the shadow of snow and whipped-cream-capped mountains.
If you wanted to skip a stone from one end of Lake Gregory to another, you'd have to have quite an arm. Nestled in the San Bernadino Mountains, the lake sprawls across 84 acres?that's 60 football fields?which means it's vast enough for every type of aquatic entertainment. An inflatable play structure dubbed Splash Island floats on its surface, welcoming youngsters to swim, climb, and zoom down a waterslide. Fishermen tour the lake to bait its trophy-sized trout, which are stocked twice monthly. Other visitors explore the waves on rental kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, and aqua cycles, which are much more useful than a regular bike wearing water wings.