Posts tagged camping
Cozy High Desert Cabin Getaway in Joshua Tree

Man, we have a lot of catching up to do! With traveling and wedding planning being the main source of the blog neglect - I can't really complain. 

With all the hype surrounding the current super bloom, desert music festivals and art installations it seems like a good time to fill y'all in on this gem of a property out in Joshua Tree. 

Mark and I ventured off to Joshua Tree to check this place out in Mid December. We were a little worried the weather would be too chilly - but it turned out to be a beautiful day! We met our hosts outside of the Joshua Tree Saloon and followed them to the property, where they gave us a great little tour of the space and some background on themselves and the land. 

There are three "sites" on the property that surround a main building (that is currently unfinished) resembling a sort of amphitheater. It's a great space for entertaining, retreats or group camping. 

The site we were staying at was the Pensione site. At this site, there is a tiny little cabin - which is GREAT at night for sheltering you from the wind. The cabin has electrical outlets, a mirror and the windows are arranged perfectly so it doesn't get too hot, but lets in beautiful natural light. We set up a queen size air mattress inside - it was just perfect! The Pensione site also has a big fire pit made from an old washing machine drum, a water tower (with shower and sink) a picnic table and more outlets along the perimeter! 

The other two sites were created for tent camping. They each offer lots of privacy from the other sites and have a picnic table, campfire ring and a solid wooden fence surrounding them, so again, there is plenty of shelter from the wind. I would love to come back in the warmer months to tent-camp at these spots!

The great thing about this property is it's proximity to bars, restaurants and shopping, but it still manages to feel "off the grid". I was happy we were able to grab groceries (and wine, of course) on the way in, and we never felt stranded so that if we happened to forget anything we weren't out of luck. 

After Cheryl and Jimbo showed us around, we set up our bed, did some exploring and got to cheersin' and cooking! The early sunset during the winter months always manages to sneak up on me when camping - so we had to do some of our cooking in the dark - but lucky for us, the Pensione has plenty of lights and our roaring fire made it easy to navigate. 

The fire pit in the Pensione has a built in removable grill, so we grilled up some burgers and veggies and had ourselves a feast! 

We also found JUMBO mallows at the store that we couldn't resist, so we made ourselves some giant s'mores to close out the night. 

When the sun fully set, the stars came out in full force - it was simply breathtaking. Even with the full moon, we could see millions of stars, and it made for some pretty epic photo ops. We constantly found our selves in complete silence, just staring up at the stars in awe. 

When it came to head to bed, I was actually too excited to sleep! I don't know if it was the altitude, the excitement of the day, or just my star gazing FOMO - I felt like I couldn't go to sleep or else I'd miss some epic shooting stars.

The cabin was SO cozy and when I finally did fall asleep, I slept fairly well. We awoke bright and early to the sun shining in through the windows - it was another beautiful day! We decided we wanted to head into town to grab breakfast and explore a bit. So we made some coffee, packed up our things, brushed our teeth under the cute little water tower and headed off!

We grabbed some breakfast sandwiches at Frontier Cafe on the main drag and sat out on their front patio reflecting about the great time we had the night before. Our sandwiches were SO GOOD. I definitely recommend popping in here for some coffees and breakfast. They also had great live music! 

Our entire Joshua Tree trip was such a treat! I can't wait to go back for my bachelorette 💁🏼 

If you want to find out even more about this property head to hipcamp and book your stay here ASAP! 

Girl's Night Outside in The Intrepid Wild - Wolf. Feather. Honey. Farm.

Wow. It really shouldn't have taken me this long to write about our stay at Wolf. Feather. Honey. Farm. Somehow, every time I sat down to begin a draft I just couldn't find the right words. It's hard to craft a sentence worthy enough to describe the magic and energy of that place. But now, it's been nearly 3 months since our stay, and my guilt for not sharing our special experience has finally overcome me. 

Mid June of 2016 I was lucky enough to snag a Field Scout trip through HipCamp for WFHF. HipCamp only had two photos up on the listing at that point, and neither did the place any real justice, but I was eager to go on a new adventure and take pictures!

Almost every year, my girlfriends and I take a camping trip. Usually, we head up North to Sequoia National Park, but this year we didn't manage to make it. We'd been itching for a girl's only adventure, but this last year we've all been swamped with work, social events and making our way through the wedding circuit. Heading 5 hours North has just been too much of a commitment. WFHF, on the other hand, is located just 2 hours south of us in Temecula and seemed to be the perfect opportunity to unplug for 24 hours. So I grabbed my two friends, Jillian and Shannon, we packed up my car and headed off in a direction we'd never been. 

The property is located just past all of the wineries of Temecula, up a country road that winds past horse farms and pistachio groves. When we pulled up to our camp sight, we were in absolute awe. Now, if you know me, you know I am an excellent Internet sleuth. I managed to hunt down WFHF's Instagram, so I had some idea before we got there what we were in for, but I assure you, photos do not do this place justice. Chari, the matriarch of WFHF, and I had been in touch before our arrival. She gave us some lovely tips for before and after our stay. Not only that, she had the sweetest note waiting for us when we arrived and she and her husband Craig stocked the vintage cooler on site full of Moscow Mule ingredients! They truly are a couple after three late-twenty-something's hearts, I'll tell ya what!

Chari and Craig really take glamping to a whole new level. We were so pleasantly surprised to find that not only did they provide all the fixings for Moscow Mules, but the site is fully stocked with lighter fluid, coals, a grill, a trash bin, a hand washing station and more! As the girls and I explored the grounds, we caught ourselves (embarrassingly) repeating the phrase "so cute!" whenever we encountered something new. But it was true - everything was SO CUTE.

The icing on the cake of the entire experience is hands down the Pioneer's Penthouse tent. The tent sleeps 3 comfortably and is equipped with sleeping pads, tons of comfy blankets and pillows and a plush day bed - it is seriously a glamper's dream!   

After "oohing" and "aahing" for about an hour, the sun began to set, and we noticed the hum of an engine growing nearer and nearer to the campsite. As the sound grew louder, we realized it was Chari and Craig coming to greet us on their adorable vintage buggy! We piled into the back, Mules in hand, and our hosts escorted us to the top of one of the hills on their property that offers the most amazing views of Temecula. It was such a treat to be able to watch the sunset, surrounded by friends new and old and this positive energy that was truly palpable.  

As the sun dipped behind the horizon, we hopped back into the buggy and had an exciting ride back down the hill to our campsite. Chari and Craig helped us get settled in for dinner under a chandelier that hung from a tree branch. We grilled up chicken kabobs and veggies - my camp dinner go-to these days - and sipped (a bottle or two) of rosé under a massive blanket of stars. I'm pretty sure we stayed up until about 4am, laying on our backs, simply staring up at the stars. It was hard to pull ourselves away, but when we finally retreated back to the tent, we all crashed immediately, and I have to say, while it was not a long sleep, it was a good sleep. 

Unfortunately, our trip took place during one of the hottest weekends in June to date. We awoke around 7am to temperatures in the mid 80º's, which wasn't doing our rosé hangovers any favors! We sipped some instant coffee and nibbled on granola bars - attempting to linger as long as possible, but eventually the heat got to us. We sadly gathered our gear, packed up the car, and said goodbye to Wolf. Feather. Honey. Farm. 

Since our time in the Intrepid Wild I have raved on and on about this trip. I've even considered it as one of my wedding venues... that is how special this property is! My only regret is that we couldn't stay longer! 

If you're looking for an amazing place to unplug, with beautiful views, excellent hosts and magical vibes, you should book your stay through HipCamp right now! 

Glamping at Magical Topanga Oasis

Those of us who live in Los Angeles have it pretty good; the amicable weather, the endless entertainment and gastronomy options, the healthy lifestyles - it doesn’t get much better. Still, if you send a girl out in LA traffic twice a day five times a week, she’s bound to get pretty burnt out.

For a quick fix, you can hop over to Runyon for a hike or head to the yoga studio to get a few chaturangas out of your system. But sometimes you need more than an hour long sweat sesh. Sometimes you need to go somewhere your snapchats won’t load, where you can see more than a few stars, where cooking your food requires an open flame.

Typically, to find such serenity, most of us would pack our cars full of camping gear and head 5 hours north to the Sierras. But I’m going to let you in on a little secret - there is a place less than an hour away where you can fully decompress with so much less hassle, and it lives up to its name: Magical Topanga Oasis.


Topanga Canyon is cozily tucked away in the Santa Monica Mountains surrounded on three sides by State Park or conservancy lands with the beaches of Malibu just to the southwest. Famously known by most as the place where Charles Manson took residence in the 60s, it’s also widely known as an area where many musicians, artists and actors choose to live - a place for people who want to enjoy a more simple way of life, off the grid and away from the buzz of Los Angeles.

When I was assigned to Magical Topanga Oasis on Hipcamp as my first Field Scout assignment I wasn't quite sure what to expect. I’ve always been a bit of a purist when it comes to camping - this would be my first “glamping” experience. But I’m currently in the middle of launching a company and mobile app, so some time spent away from the city without having to lug tents and coolers and sleeping bags was very much welcomed.

We took our time heading out Saturday afternoon. The beauty in this particular trip was that we had less than an hour drive to our destination. We arrived at the property around 4pm and were happily greeted by two of the sweetest pups, Blue and Bastian. Following our new furry friends we had an equally friendly introduction to our hosts Colleen and Mathew. We found them tidying up their garden boxes that are home to the likes of arugula, cucumbers, zucchini, tomatoes and beets. After a brief tour and rundown of their lovely property, Mark and I were free to explore on our own.

Things are much simpler in the canyon. You would never guess that the city is just a stone’s throw away. We spotted lizards, gnarly spiders, snakes and even mice scattering about the property. Back in the city, those critters would leave us feeling a bit uncomfortable running free so close to our bed, but here, in Topanga Canyon, those little guys just felt like home.

We took our time exploring and familiarizing ourselves with the area and then decided to post up on the second-floor patio where there is a lovely view of the property and a comfy hammock to swing in.

From the second-floor there is a great view of the hills and trees that lie just past the property. It’s hard not to notice the abundance of birds fluttering about, in particular the feral parakeets that have also made Topanga Canyon their home. It can be a challenge to spot them, but you can certainly hear them. Occasionally you might just catch a flash of their bright green wings camouflaged in the Sycamore trees.

Mark and I sat sipping wine, eating chocolate and listening to the birds while watching the sun dip quietly behind the hills. Eventually we made our way back to our cozy little Lotus Belle tent to finish getting settled in before dinner.


Mathew helped us fire up the amazing wood burning grill and Blue watched patiently as we threw our kebabs and veggies on the fire. The grill gives everything a delicious mesquite taste, and of course we popped open another bottle of wine to loosen up just a bit more. In that moment, as we ate our dinner under the stars, listening to the crickets chirp, I was so very calm and relaxed - I didn’t even mind that a moth nearly drowned in my wine glass.

Finally, after a delicious dinner, we decided to turn in. The air had grown surprisingly cold, but the Lotus Belle was warm and comfy. Normally, when I camp, I have a hard time falling asleep on my first night. This night was different. Mark and I laid in the darkness for a bit listening to the hoots of owls and the chirps of crickets, and before I knew it, I was drifting off to sleep.

We were awoken in the morning by the sound of a rooster in the distance and the excited paws of Blue and Bastian pattering across the yard. I was expecting to wake groggy and a bit sore, as I usually do after camping in an unfamiliar place, but instead I found my head felt so clear and refreshed. Because of this, I assumed it must be late in the morning, only to find out it was just 6am. I can’t tell you the last time I happily awoke at 6am on a Sunday morning (the answer is: never.) 

As clear and refreshed as we felt, coffee was still a priority. Mark and I slowly made our way from the tent with our percolator and coffee grounds and headed for the kitchen. After brewing a couple cups, we took a seat at the table on the front patio and quietly sat embracing the hazy morning air.

Eventually, Mathew joined us, where we had some nice conversation and he suggested a couple different trails for us to hike in Red Rock Canyon Park. The entrance to the park lies just a few hundred yards from their property, so it was a given we’d be spending the rest of our morning hiking (I'll get into the details of our hike in a later post).

After a couple miles meandering and taking in the views of Red Rock Canyon, we headed back to the property and sadly began packing up our belongings.

That following Monday morning was a tough pill to swallow, but knowing we can always retreat to Topanga Canyon for some R&R makes it just a little bit easier.

If you want to experience Magical Topanga Oasis for yourself, you can book your stay (and many other great camp spots) through HipCamp

Holiday Hunting for your Favorite Camper?

Alright, so maybe you're looking for something for the person in your life who is more than just a day-hiker... if you're in search of some inspiration for your favorite camper check out the below items and let them lead you to the perfect gift!

01.  Happy Camper Loose T-Shirt  by Camp Brand Goods  02.  Enlightenment Water Bottle  by Poler X MIZU  03.  Campfire Cuisine Book  by Robin Donovan  04.  Road Trip Series Pencils  by Earmark  05.  Brodeo  by Patagonia 06.  Guide to State Parks of the United States  by National Geographic 07.  Fire Lighting Kit  by Light My Fire  08.  Game Kit  by Bush Smarts

01. Happy Camper Loose T-Shirt by Camp Brand Goods  02. Enlightenment Water Bottle by Poler X MIZU  03. Campfire Cuisine Book by Robin Donovan  04. Road Trip Series Pencils by Earmark  05. Brodeo by Patagonia 06. Guide to State Parks of the United States by National Geographic 07. Fire Lighting Kit by Light My Fire  08. Game Kit by Bush Smarts

Camping Sequoia National Park
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Every September, for the last few years, my girlfriends and I have trekked up to the Sierra Nevadas for a special camping trip in Sequoia National Park. Local hiking in Los Angeles is great and all, but I can't even begin to explain how refreshing it is to spend just one night under the stars in the Sierras. 

Camping in the Sequoias is perfect for just about any level of camper. You're secluded enough that you feel like you're in the wilderness, yet if you absolutely need to stock up on more firewood or you need to use a "real" toilet, you have the option.

Sequoia National Park is home to the giant sequoia trees, which includes one of the largest trees on Earth, General Sherman. General Sherman grows within the Giant Forest, which includes five of the ten largest trees in the world! It really is a site to be seen! There are a number of heavily used trails within the Giant Forest that will weave you in and out of these beautiful trees - even some that you can walk and drive through! 


Of all the campsites throughout the park we've always stuck to Lodgepole. I like these campgrounds as the occupants are pretty mild mannered - it's a good mix of young families, happy groups of friends and experienced campers. This campsite is in close proximity to a few of my favorite trails as well and there is also a shuttle that occasionally picks up around the visitor center that will take you all throughout the park (just be aware of service dates - the shuttles were NOT in service the weekend we were up here so we had to rearrange our hiking schedule a bit). 

Two of the trails accessible through Lodgepole:

Tokopah Falls Trail
Distance: 3.4 miles
Time: 2 to 3 hours, round-trip
Trailhead: Log Bridge in Lodgepole Campground
Elevation Gain: 500 feet


Tokopah Falls Trail is an easy trek along the Marble Fork of the Kaweah River.  The falls are 1,200 feet high and are most impressive in the spring and early summer months - unfortunately, the last few times we've been up here, they've been pretty dry - still beautiful to look at nonetheless!

Twin Lakes Trail
Distance: 7 miles (14 miles out and back)
Time: 6 -7 hours, round-trip
Trailhead: Log Bridge in Lodgepole Campground
Elevation Gain: 2800 feet


Twin Lakes Trail is a rigorous, and somewhat monotonous (and still beautiful) hike through the Sierra pine forest until it reaches it's namesake glacial lakes. The trail begins just past the Tokopah Falls trail head. The trail is clearly outlined with rocks and immediately winds it's way up into the dense forest. I've never had the time to make the climb all the way to the Lakes - it's definitely a goal of mine. 

Every year - about halfway through our drive from LA to the Sequoias we find ourselves at a grocery store in Bakersfield stocking up on food supplies. Every year I say that there is no way we need to purchase as much grub as we have in our carts, it's only one day of camping after all, and still every year I am SO very glad we did stock up, because after a long day of hiking there is nothing in the world like a campfire cooked meal! 

The fire pits at Lodgepole come with metal grates over the top of them, making it super easy to grill up your food. We always make the juiciest burgers with delicious sides of veggies steamed in foil packets. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. 

Anyway - one activity that never gets old in the Sequoias is the hike to the top of Moro Rock. You simply cannot come to Sequoia National Park and NOT visit Moro Rock. Moro Rock is a massive granite dome rock formation that is located just between the Giant Forest and Crescent Meadow. This "hike" is less of a hike and more of a "climb up a narrow stairwell" that meanders it's way to the very top of the formation. The thigh burn is worth it - as you ascend the rock the views just keep getting better and better... 


Standing at 6,725 feet above sea level, you get some seriously beautiful views of the Great Western Divide.

From the base of Moro Rock you will find another woodsy trail that will lead you out to Crescent Meadow.

Sugar Pine Trail
Distance: 1.5 miles (3 miles out and back)
Time: 1.5 hours, round trip
Trailhead: Base of Moro Rock
Elevation Gain: 250 feet

This is a moderate trail with much less foot traffic than many of the other trails you will find throughout the main park. Sugar Pine Trail is a rocky (and buggy) single track that connects Moro Rock to Crescent Meadow. 

Crescent Meadow is described by John Muir as the "Gem of The Sierras" and I have to agree with him. We decided at the very last minute to hike this trail, and I am so glad we did - it offers an entirely different atmosphere than most of the other trails we have done in throughout the park. It takes you from dense forest, to granite vista points, over small falls all the way to flat bright open meadows. 

I cannot say enough good things about all of my experiences camping up in Sequoia National Park. If you have the opportunity to spend time here, I highly recommend it. Booking a campsite is so simple and straight forward on the National Park Service website - just be sure to book in advance, as dates throughout the spring and summer fill up very quickly! 

This post only shows the tip of the iceberg of what Sequoia National Park has to offer - if you have more insight or tips, please share them! I love it up there, and I hope you will too.