USC is located in the heart of one of the liveliest and most dynamic cities in the world. Los Angeles is known for its weather, traffic, and celebrity culture; most people don’t see this big city as a place where you can adventure into the great outdoors. Most people also don’t know that USC is less than hour away from some of the most beautiful beaches, deserts, and mountains, where you can get your nature fix. One of the best resources you can take advantage of at USC is the outdoor activity club SC Outfitters. Not only is SC Outfitters a great way to adventure out of the city and into nature, but it’s also a great way to connect with people with the same interests as you. This year I’ve been on some awesome trips through SC Outfitters: a sunrise hike at Sandstone Peak, stand up paddle boarding in Dana Point, a hike to the highest point in San Clemente, and most recently, a 16 mile hike to the summit of Mt. Wilson. All of these were day trips, but SC Outfitters also offers overnight trips, weekend trips, kayaking, hiking, camping, and lots of other fun, outdoorsy activities. I’ve had so much fun on these trips and met some really cool people. Now that I know about all of the hiking and camping opportunities in SoCal, I’m definitely going to be taking a lot of day and weekend trips this summer during my internship!
But you don’t have to join SC Outfitters to get your nature fix. Here are some lists of hikes in southern California, campgrounds in the desert, activity-filled public beaches, and national parks in California that are all great ways to adventure out of the city. USC might not be directly located on a beach or in the mountains, but it’s still in close enough proximity to the great outdoors that you can get your nature on for the day, for the night, or even for the weekend. We’re living in the 2nd biggest city in the nation, where it’s sunny year round and you can find a celebrity around every corner, but we’re also surrounded by mountains, close to national parks, and 20 minutes away from the nearest beach. Getting nature-y when you live in LA is easy, and USC has the resources to help you get out there!