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Hiking Lady’s Workout Routine

Many of you have asked about the best hiking workout routine to increase and maintain trail fitness. How do you keep up your stamina on a tough hike? How do you train when you only have 30 minutes and not enough time to take a hike?

What is Hiking Lady’s Workout Routine?

I have 3 pieces of equipment I use regularly so that on the weekends I’m ready to hit the trail.

Hiking Lady's Workout Routine

Hiking Lady’s Workout Routine

3 days a week I do a BOSU workout, which is an amazing way to develop balance, coordination, and strength. Your core and legs will feel the difference and enable you to power through your weekend hikes.

The other 2 weekdays I do yoga. A new favorite of mine is Gaiam’s yoga DVD: Belly, Butt, & Thighs. It will help keep you limber and release tension in your muscles. Yoga is something I recommend to everyone of all ages and abilities.

Happy workouts and happy trails!

Hiking Mount Rubidoux, Riverside, California

This past weekend I went hiking at Mount Rubidoux, a hill with some easy hiking trails in Riverside, California.

Mount Rubidoux hiking

Mount Rubidoux has paved and dirt paths for walking and hiking. The views of Riverside, California are gorgeous!

Mount Rubidoux is considered to be a very important landmark in Riverside, California, and at an elevation of 1,329 feet, the views of the surrounding area are beautiful. In the winter, you can see the snow capped San Gabriel Mountains to the north, and the rocky hills of Riverside to the south and east.

Friendship Tower and Peace Bridge at Mt. Rubidoux

Friendship Tower and Peace Bridge at Mt. Rubidoux

The hikes are pretty straightfoward. It is 3.5 miles round trip, and there are paved roads that lead to the top of the hill. Pace yourself because the elevation gains quickly, but you’ll be rewarded with stupendous views at the top, as well as a huge cross dedicated to Father Junipero Serra and iconic Friendship Tower and Peace Bridge.

Junipero Serra Cross at Mt. Rubidoux

Junipero Serra Cross at Mt. Rubidoux

Parking is free and available in a dedicated lot at: 5000 Tequesquite Ave, Riverside, CA 92506.

Winter Hiking on Vail Trail: Vail, Colorado

I love winter hiking, and I just love hiking in the snow and snowshoeing. This year I headed to Vail, Colorado, for a few days of hiking, snowshoeing, and skiing!

Vail, Colorado, February 2015

Vail, Colorado, February 2015

The snow was a welcome change from the 70 degree temperatures in Southern California this winter, and I loved hearing the crunch of snow beneath my feet.

Vail Trail!

Vail Trail!

I found a lovely packed trail called Vail Trail, and strapped on my Hillsound FreeSteps6 stainless steel boot chains.

Hillsound FreeSteps6 Traction Device on my Kamik Boots

Hillsound FreeSteps6 Traction Device on my Kamik Boots

Hiking Lady Gear Tip:

On a well packed trail, snowshoes are not always necessary. As you can see in the photo above, I wore stainless steel boot chains instead of full snowshoes. When blazing a new trail through the snow (which I love to do as well!), then snowshoes are necessary. Otherwise you’ll sink knee deep or more into soft snow, making for an unpleasantly wet winter hiking experience.

The Hillsound FreeSteps6 are a lightweight crampon, and are ideal for walking on very well packed snow or ice. Check out the Hiking Lady gear review of the FreeStep6 Crampons.

Hiking Lady Snack Tip:

On my hike I took along a pack of Setton Farm’s Pistachio Chewy Bites. I love pistachios, and these little bars are a mix of pistachios and cranberries with agave nectar. They are yummy, healthy, gluten free, and store well even in cold weather.

Pistachio Chewy Bites

A yummy heart healthy snack: Pistachio Chewy Bites

How to Get to Vail Trail

Vail has an excellent free bus system. There are in-town buses throughout Vail Village and Lionshead Village, and from Vail Village you can transfer to an “out of town bus”. You can jump on this free bus and head to the Vail Nordic Center, where you can rent equipment. Behind the parking lot is the trailhead for Vail Trail!

Layering with Icebreaker

Icebreaker Oasis baselayer

Icebreaker Oasis baselayer

Knowing that I was headed out on my adventure to the Channel Islands, Icebreaker provided me with some free samples of their high quality merino wool clothing layers to take with me!

As we have discussed here on, the most crucial way to stay comfortable on your hikes and outdoor adventures is by layering your apparel.

Icebreaker has developed a fantastic infographic to help all of us understand how three layers, a Base Layer, Mid Layer, and an Outer Layer, can keep us warm and comfortable when we hike! Check it out below:

What is this brand, “Icebreaker”?

For those of you who haven’t read my reviews of Icebreaker products (my first one several years ago of the Women’s Icebreaker Atlas Tee and the more recent review of the Icebreaker Tech T Lite t-shirt), you may not be aware of the soft and odor resistant fabrics from Icebreaker.

Icebreaker products are made of Merino Wool, sourced from New Zealand. They are machine washable, and the best part is that their apparel does an excellent job of reducing odor. So after a sweaty hike or a multiple day backpacking trip, you will be the least smelly of all your friends! Wohoo!

How Icebreaker’s apparel works for Hiking Lady

Technical hiking apparel tends to be much more comfortable and more practical than our everyday clothing. That’s because companies like Icebreaker get it right. They understand that bulky layers don’t keep us warm, but rather the right layers.

Icebreaker makes it really simple. All of their layers are numbered, the smaller the number, the lighter the weight. The Oasis is a 200 weight, which was perfect for my adventure on Santa Cruz Island.

Icebreaker makes it simple! Lower the number, lighter the baselayer.

Icebreaker makes it simple! Lower the number, lighter the baselayer.

Crossing the channel from Ventura to Santa Cruz Island, windy conditions made the otherwise warm day quite chilly. Therefore, I simply put on a hardshell jacket over my Icebreaker Oasis Long Sleeve top.
Crossing the channel to Santa Cruz Island; put on an outer shell over my Icebreaker Oasis baselayer

Crossing the channel to Santa Cruz Island

As I began hiking in a wind protected canyon, the shell came off and the baselayer was just enough to keep me warm as I enjoyed the beautiful views!
Layered up in the Icebreaker Oasis Long Sleeve Half Zip Hood

Layered up in the Icebreaker Oasis Long Sleeve Half Zip

Enjoying beautiful views on Santa Cruz Island wearing only my Icebreaker Oasis baselayer

Enjoying beautiful views on Santa Cruz Island wearing only my Icebreaker Oasis baselayer

The weather on day two of my Santa Cruz Island hiking adventure was similar – hot in the sun, very cool in the shade (low 50s), and windy along ridges. I knew that called for another base layer that would hug my skin and keep me warm, but not too hot. It was a simple decision to wear the Icebreaker Dart Long Sleeve Half Zip.
Exploring Santa Cruz Island wearing Icebreaker Dart Long Sleeve

Exploring Santa Cruz Island wearing Icebreaker Dart Long Sleeve

At the top of El Montanan Ridge; windy conditions but the Icebreaker Dart baselayer kept me warm

At the top of El Montanon Ridge; conditions were windy but the Icebreaker Dart baselayer kept me warm!

Bottom line: layering with Icebreaker is simple, comfortable, and a great way to dress for hiking.

Thanks Icebreaker!

Hiking Lady’s Hawaiian Adventure: Part 2, Volcanoes National Park

After hiking Kauai’s NaPali Coast, the adventure continued! I headed to the island of Hawaii (the Big Island) and explored Hawaii’s Volcanoes National Park!

Kilauea Caldera, Volcanoes National Park

Kilauea Caldera, Volcanoes National Park

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park incorporates two of the five volcanoes on the island of Hawaii – Mauna Loa and Kilauea. This national park is unlike any others I have visited, and rightly so. Where else on earth do you find active volcanoes and one that has been in constant eruption since 1983?

What to do at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park?

First step – I checked in with the Visitor’s Center to find out current conditions. Lava flows have buried roads (i.e., the main road through the park, the Chain of Craters Road, dead ends where lava has buried it). Additionally, the level of lava movement varies dramatically, as does its location. When I was there, there were not any visible lava flows, however, Kilauea put on quite the night show!

Thurston Lava Tube

The hike to the lava tube is less than a mile, and it is a beautiful walk through a Hawaiian rainforest. You’ll know you’ve arrived at the lava tube when you see the cave like entrance ahead…

Entrance to Thurston Lava Tube, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Entrance to Thurston Lava Tube, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Imagine walking through a cave like structure, knowing that boiling lava rushed through there over 500 years ago. Molten lava flows like a river, and just like water, it “freezes”, or creates a crusty surface at the top while the lava still flows beneath. Eventually, the lava finishes flowing, and a cave like empty cavity below the surface called a “lava tube” is all that remains.

Inside Thurston Lava Tube

Inside Thurston Lava Tube

I was surprised by the size of the Thurston Lava Tube – it was quite massive…no need to watch my head or squeeze in this cave! I had to put on my rain jacket since quite a bit of water was dripping from the ceiling. I even had to stash my camera to keep it dry. Nonetheless, this lava tube is a must see if you head to Volcanoes National Park!

Kilauea Volcano

Kilauea is an impressive sight, and it is well worth staying past sunset to see the ominous glow of the orange and yellow volcanic gases. It is a shield volcano, not a conical volcano, so you can literally drive to the top and look down to see the 400 foot wide depression, the caldera. Within the Kilauea Caldera is the Halema’uma’u Crater, which is the main vent (and where you can see gases from the boiling lava glowing at night!).

Pu’u Huluhulu Cinder Cone Hike

Perhaps it was the misty weather, or the race against sunset, but the hike to Pu’u Huluhulu Cinder was desolate. It was a surreal experience, with most of the three mile journey marked only by “ducks”, or stacks of rocks placed by other hikers or rangers to designate the direction of the trail over the crusty lava flows.

The hike begins by crossing lava fields, and lots of evidence of destruction from the 1969-1974 Mauna Ulu eruption. There are many steam vents visible in the distance. I really had to pay attention to my footing in order to avoid stepping into large cracks in the crusty lava.

Pu'u Huluhulu Hike

Pu’u Huluhulu Hike

After crossing the lava fields, an actual trail becomes visible. It is narrow and slightly overgrown, and leads up 150 feet to the summit the Pu’u Huluhulu. From there, the views are magnificent! Even though it was overcast when I was there, I could still look out and see steaming vents and get a sense of the vastness of the national park. It was not clear enough to see the Pacific Ocean, so perhaps I’ll need to book another trip to Hawaii! ;)

Pu'u Huluhulu Lava Fields

Pu’u Huluhulu Lava Fields

Happy trails, and happy Hawaiian hiking!