last month, we hopped on the 5 and headed up to los angeles for a meet up with our friend alyx schwarz and took a wednesday night hike on the los liones trail. quite honestly, there wasn’t too much hesitation in this. she asked if we wanted to partner up for a taco night hike. response: uh, yeah. eating tacos and hiking separately are two of our favorite things. combining these two sounded like a dream come true.
we learned a thing or three about hitting the trail at night. if you haven’t done it before or if you’re looking for something new to spice up your usual routine, here’s a few takeaways we scored from our taco night hike with shoestring adventures.
we’ve been on a good share of solo hikes or hiking with a partner or maybe two, but never have we ever tagged along with fifteen other trail blazers and marched up the side of a mountain. the rsvp said to arrive fashionable early (and they did) so we could hit the trail at 7:10pm. with everyone trickling in at different times, it allowed us to meet + greet each person and get a quickie intro in. we had the next mile or so to deep dive into the get to know yous with some pretty rad people. hiking partners changed along the trail giving us the opportunity to get to chat with different people and butt into different conversations along the way. there was time + space to reconnect with people you’d chatted up along the way and deep dive into a topic that sparked your interest most.
pro tip: hikers (and in general anyone who dedicates a chunk of their time to getting outside) aren’t for small talk so bring your big guns with the conversation skills. if you’re new to or curious about an area, sport or specific trail, this is the place to ask all the q’s, guaranteed, there will be someone there with more answers than you’d have imagined. seize the moment, swap digits + plan your next hiking trip with the one’s you connected to most.
up until this hike, most of our trips have been short stints and during daylight hours. putting one foot in front of the other all the way to the top while counting the minutes until the sun tucked behind the horizon was an experience that we’d happily repeat any day of the week. since we were in such large (and skilled) company, there was nothing forgotten from cameras + tripods, headlamps + lanterns, first aid kits, tacos, cerveza and good company. typically, we light to pack light but what we learned is that there’s a few essentials you shouldn’t leave behind in order to take a night hike from ordinary to top notch.
we were fortunate to have fourteen others on this trip, but most of the time this isn’t the case. solo hiking is liberating, but when it comes to safety, you’re always better in numbers. if you’re planning on heading out and staying on the trail after dark, we extra recommend going out with a friend (or a few). not only does it make for better company, but you have extra eyes + light sources to make sure you make it back home, just the way you left.
to illuminate your path on way back down. not only will this keep you safe (we’ve got a pattern going here, safety = key), but you’ll get to see all the critters that come out at night doing their thing, in their element.
layers for weather changes, a good pair of hiking shoes, water for hydration, simple first aid kit. it’s always best to be prepared, just in case the unfortunate arises, you’re on top of your game. you can scan over our get outside guide here for a quickie checklist.
there’s so much to be seen along the trail, from the changing plant life to the views from the top. the best part of a night hike is the sunset and what you see after dark. we learned the hard way that the only way to get anywhere close to capturing the magic that you’re eyes are able to see is to bring your own camera and tripod. if you’re more of an in the moment kind of betty, disregard and soak it all in for yourself.
we planned ahead and snagged tacos from tacos por favor santa monica for all. this was one of the best decisions ever made. we can verify, nothing beats sharing some good food at the top of the trail as you take in the views with a group of friends. if you’re so inclined, bringing a cold beverage to split with said new friends is a solid way to any hiker’s heart. we were busy stuffing our face so you’ll have to take our word for it, photos not included.
pro tip: even when you’re going on a short hike or if the weather is cooler, don’t forget the h20. pair up with your buddy on the way down so you have two sets of eyes and extra light to guide the way.
sunsets are great anywhere but even better from the top of a mountain. looking down on all the world below and watching the light slowly fade is indescribable. if for nothing else but watching the sunset over the city and the elements of mother nature, taking a night hike is bucketlist worthy. you’ll never feel peace or the smallness of the world like you have here. this is a sure fire way to eliminate some weekday stress and go back to your day to day life rejuvenated.
pro tip: plan your timing accordingly so you reach the top with time to spare to find a good spot, prop up with your food + beverage in hand and keep your camera close by.
thanks to alyx + shoestring adventures for inviting us out + showing us how to night hike like a boss. we’ll see you out on the trail again soon, guaranteed. until then, we’ll be practicing improving our trailblazing after dark skills and taste testing tacos to see if there’s any better in the game.
Stranded on Land