Last year Al and I lived in Southern California. We had the bright idea to head to Big Bear Lake on the 4th of July to do some exploring. It seemed as if the entire city of LA had brought their bumper-to-bumper traffic and designer cowboy boots up the mountain. It was ridiculous.
Even in the 49th least populated state holiday trail traffic is inevitable. Here’s a few tips for planning a crowd-free 4th of July hike.
- Choose your trail carefully. Stick to trails that aren’t as popular, trails that are out of the way or off the beaten path. Hit the backcountry. A few of our local recommendations are: Lady Moon (use the Molly Lake or Elkhorn Trailheads to avoid the crowds) or Silver Lake (the campground is closed, but you can get to the trails from the Silver Lake trailhead).
- Get an early start. No one wants to wake up early on a holiday, but why not wake up with the sun and avoid the crowds? An early start will help you beat the heat and get home early enough to marinate steaks and prep those Roman Candles (unless, of course, your area is being ravished by wildfires).
- Avoid trails near campgrounds. (Unless you’re camping or the campground is closed) This one kind of goes with choosing your trail carefully. A congested campground near a trailhead typically makes for busy trails, especially if there are just 1 or 2 trails near the campground rather than an extensive trail network with lots of trails to choose from.
We’ll be out on the trails on July 4th. We think it’s how America would want us to celebrate her birthday. Will you?