Echo Mountain Sunset

There’s something special about living in a place where you can hike comfortably in the winter. Having lived in Duluth, Minnesota for a few years, I know the hardships people go through to spend time outdoors in areas that are frequently blanketed in snow. I remember having to get ready to go outside, donning a ridiculous amount of clothing to keep warm and dry while still making it possible for me to move my extremities. And a snowy hike itself is no walk in the park (or maybe it is), where post-holing could happen with every step (and usually it does).

We have none of these problems in Los Angeles. Sure, we get bad weather from time to time, bringing sheets of rain which lead to walls of mud rushing down canyons and through kitchens and family rooms of houses in the foothills, but nothing that requires me to grab anything more than a rain jacket or an umbrella before entering the maelstrom. Hikers in Los Angeles love heavy rains because they know that when the storm blows out of town, so goes the smog, leaving the air crisp and clean. In the winter months, the distant mountains seem to be within arm’s reach, capped with an icing of snow beckoning¬† snowboarders and skiers. Trails below the snowline are bustling with hikers (or rather, city folk who have escaped the asphalt jungle).

Some of the best views of Southern California have been witnessed after these heavy storms and this weekend was one of those special opportunities. We had heavy rains on Friday and Saturday, bringing spectacular weather on Sunday and Monday. I had missed out on hiking on Sunday, but luckily Monday was President’s Day and I made sure I was on a trail for the holiday.

For my hike up to Echo Mountain, I packed heavy camera gear in anticipation of a stunning sunset… and Mother Nature didn’t let me down. Check out the video and photos below!

Sunday's crisp post-storm air was replaced by a heavier sort. I was worried that it would hinder a good sunset, but I was wrong....

The light from the setting sun lit up the thick marine layer and burned it off.

Two hikers enjoy the light show from Echo Mountain.

These three were geniuses: they packed beer for the sunset viewing.

I was the last up at Echo Mountain. Although it isn't a tall mountain (3,207 ft), it did get cold quickly as the sun set. There were still patches of snow on the summit from Sunday's storm.

Last shot before heading home.

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