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California Trails

Meet Brad Stapleton, Backpacker's Los Angeles Trail Scout

Brad Stapleton is a publicist during the workday, and your guide to the best trails and events of Southern California.

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Follow Brad’s adventures on Twitter @iseeovercrowds and Instagram @bradleystapleton

Age: 31

Hometown: Redondo Beach, CA

Day job: Publicist

All Time favorite dayhike: Mt. Baldy

Favorite local overnight hike: The Backbone Trail, which was finally completed last year, is easily accessible and showcases the best the Los Angeles coast has to offer.

Best prehike breakfast spot: I’m a sucker for Starbucks’ breakfast sandwiches, with a Venti Red Eye. Otherwise, Louis Burgers on Artesia in Redondo Beach. The breakfast burrito is a fresh tortilla crammed with two fistsful of hash browns, eggs, cheese, and bacon—all for far less than 10 bucks.

Posthike dinner: The Congregation Ale House in downtown Pasadena. Excellent beers, excellent food, and easy seating—all must-haves after a long day in the Angeles National Forest.

Favorite thing about hiking around Los Angeles: The variability is immense. Feeling like a hike near the ocean? Palos Verdes and the Santa Monica Mountains check those boxes. Want some alpine? Mt. Baldy and San Gorgonio are a few hours away. There are few places where hikes with elevations ranging from sea level to over 10,000 feet are within hours of each other.

Top tip: Even if you’re hiking locally on well-established trails, bring a map. Though you may know where you’re headed, it’s likely someone else doesn’t. A map will enable you to point out exactly where someone needs to go.