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I made this web page of hiking trails in Southern California.  I got a couple 'likes' for it and I don't know how people even found the page so maybe I have something.  I used alltrails.com to make the GPS files (.gpx) of the trails then imported them into Google Maps.  I use a hiking GPS but I think you can use a smart phone and navigate just by clicking on the Google Maps version.  I've got two views on hiking.  It sure seems like the people at the pool appear to be in much better shape but hiking uses muscles that you don't normally use which I believe is why you're sore the next day.  The reason I made the webpage is that I searched the Internet for the .gpx files or hikes I wanted to try.  The few sites that had them were actual .gpx recordings.  Who wants to track a pervious track including each place they went to the bathroom?  Seems like it's impossible to find the information I put on this page.  Even the group hikes I've been on seem to break up between the slower and faster hikers.  Seems like it'd be prudent for the ones bringing up the rear to have that as a backup navigation.  See the following comments for the Tram to Jacinto hike regarding losing the trail.  I've done that when I was already chasing daylight and it was almost a disaster.

Also see alltrails.com.  They imply that they're associated with National Geographic but I'm not sure if that's the case.  Their Pro version runs about $50/year but they sometimes have a special for $30/year.  The Pro allows you to download .gpx files of their trails and print maps and also has a feature to plot your own maps and I assume convert them to .gpx.

How to use the iPhone as the Best Backpacking GPS - I like the $5 MotionX app for my iPhone better than I like the $300 Garmin hiking GPS that I have. You can expand the screen and tell if you're five steps off course. The problem is that I don't know if I'd trust the iPhone GPS chip in places where my life depended on it. That said the iPhone is a good backup. See the bottom of this page for how to import .gpx tracks into MotionX.  Alltrails.com generates the .gpx's but they charge $50 per year for the membership but they usually have a discount for $30 per year. I can whip them out in five minutes if anyone wants one. I also have the Anker portable charger that they show. It will charge your iPhone, headlamp, GPS, etc. It's a life saver.  Regarding the Alltrails .gpx file, you need to convert them to tracks .gpx file with software such as Garmin Basecamp.  See the procedure below.  Also, select the track and right click and rename it.  Then go file > export.

  • Does MotionX-GPS require a cellular network? - "The iPhone 5, 4S, 4, 3GS and 3G use an A-GPS (Assisted-GPS) chipset which uses cell tower triangulation to speed up GPS signal acquisition. Cellular coverage is not needed to acquire a signal, however the signal acquisition will be much quicker if you have data coverage ... Without data services, it can take 15 minutes or longer to acquire a signal. This is simply because it takes longer to determine which satellites to use out of the 31 available around the world. With data services, it typically takes under a minute, but it can take up to 5 minutes" - I've got the 5S.  I think that means I'm OK.
  • MotionX-GPS FAQs

Click on the first link to download the .gpx file.  Click on the miles link for a description of the hike:

Cedar Creek Falls Trail (4.8 miles R/T)

Cedar Creeks Fall Trailhead, 15519 Thornbush Road, Ramona, CA / .pdf map / .gpx r/t download / Channel 7 News / Permit required (760)788-0250 (use this link for online permit)

Three Sisters Falls Trail (4.5 miles R/T)

Three Sisters Waterfalls Trails trailhead, Boulder Creek Rd, Santa Ysabel, CA 92070 / .pdf map / .gpx track out/in / Channel 7 News / Ranger website

Black Mountain (4.0 miles R/T)

Google map to trailhead, 9711 Oviedo Way, San Diego, CA / .pdf map / .gpx download

Granite Mountain Hotshots trail (7.2 miles R/T)

Google map to trailhead, Granite Mountain Hotshots Memorial State Park / .pdf map / .gpx download

Wind Caves and Elephant Knees (12.5 miles R/T unless you can get closer than the campground with a SUV)

Google map to Fish Creek Primitive Campground, Borrego Springs, CA / .pdf map / .gpx out / Google map of the trail

Hot Springs Mountain (9.5 miles R/T)

Google map to trailhead, Los Coyotes Campground / .pdf map / .gpx out / Google map of the trail

Mushroom House (6.26 miles R/T)

Google Map to trailhead (Callan Road and North Torrey Pines Place, San Diego, CA, 92121) / .pdf map / .gpx out download

Boden Canyon and Orosco Ridge Trail

Google map to trailhead / .pdf map / .gpx download

Sitton Peak (9.74 miles R/T.  I added .2 R/T to the .gpx because it starts a tenth mile into the trail)

Google map to trailhead (Ortega Oaks Candy Store, 34040 Ortega Hwy · Lake Elsinore, CA) / .pdf map of the trail / .gpx out / .gpx return

Laguna Meadow Loop (5.88 mile loop)

Google map to trailhead (12031 Sunrise Highway, Mount Laguna, CA, 91948) / .pdf map / .gpx download

San Jacinto Peak via Devil's Slide Trail (Humber Park)

San Jacinto via Devil's Slide (Humber Park) r/t / Devil's Slide to Jacinto .pdf map / Humber Park to Jacinto .gpx / Jacinto to Humber Park .gpx / Google Maps (http://bit.ly/2eh6zj5) / Google Maps .pdf / Map to Idyllwild Ranger Station / Map to Humber Park, 24400 Fern Valley Rd, Idyllwild-Pine Cove, CA 92549  / Requires pass for this trail (.pdf) / San Jacinto Peak Weather

San Jacinto Peak via Tram

San Jacinto via tram r/t map link / Tram Jacinto .pdf map / Tram to Jacinto .gpx / Jacinto to Tram .gpx / MotionX Tram to Jacinto / MotionX Jacinto to Tram / Google maps (http://bit.ly/2ehSMFh) / Google .pdf / Long Valley webcam / You have to fill out a pass at the ranger station about 0.4 miles from the top of the tram.  It's along the trail / San Jacinto Peak Weather /SoCal Hiker summary

San Jacinto Peak via Marion

San Jacinto via Marion r/t map link / Marion to Jacinto .pdf map / Marion to Jacinto .gpx / Jacinto to Marion .gpx / Map to Idyllwild Ranger Station, 54270 Pine Crest Ave, Idyllwild, CA 92549 (need to fill out a pass, has after hour counter)Map to Marion Campground / Google maps Marion to Jacinto / Google .pdf map of Marion to Jacinto / San Jacinto Peak Weather

Suicide Rock

Map to Idyllwild Ranger Station, 54270 Pine Crest Ave, Idyllwild, CA 92549 (need to fill out a pass, has after hour counter)Google map to Deer Spring Trailhead / .pdf map trailhead to Suicide Rock / .gpx out / .gpx back

Mt San Jacinto via Fuller Ridge Trail

Map to Idyllwild Ranger Station, 54270 Pine Crest Ave, Idyllwild, CA 92549 (need to fill out a pass, has after hour counter) / Google maps ranger station to Fuller Ridge Trailhead (Black Mountain Truck Trail) / AllTrails.com link / AllTrails.com info link / Fuller to Jacinto .gpx / Jacinto to Fuller .gpx / AllTrails.com .pdf map / Google maps Fuller to Jacinto trail / San Jacinto Peak Weather

Mt. Baldy

Trailhead Google map / All Trails Map Link / All Trails .pdf map / Mt. Baldy Loop .gpx / Mt. Baldy loop on Google Maps in satellite view

Borrego Springs - Palm Canyon to South Fork Falls (2.8 miles R/T)

Google Map to the trail head / Borrego Springs R/T / Borrego Springs .pdf / Borrego Springs out .gpx / Borrego Springs return .gpx / All Trails Hike description / All Trails out/in .gpx

Borrego Springs - Maidenhair Falls via Hellhole Canyon Trail (5.1 miles R/T)

Google Map to Hellhole Creek Trail Head / All Trails .pdf map / .gpx download / All Trails trail description

Borrego Springs - Villager Peak (6.99 out + 7.29 back = 14.28 miles R/T)

Google map to trailhead / .gpx out download / .gpx return download / AllTrails .pdf map / AllTrails map link for Villager Peak Loop

San Gorgonio via Vivian Creek Trail

Google map to Vivian Creek Trailhead, Forest Falls Rd., San Bernardino, CA / AllTrails map link / AllTrails .pdf map / Vivian trailhead to Gorgonio .gpx download / Gorgonio to Vivian .gpx downloadSan Gorgonio Wilderness Association website / Mill Creek Ranger Station, 34701 Mill Creek Rd, Mentone, CA 92359 (909) 382-2882 / Vivian to Gorgonio on Google maps / Forecast / Permit required, min. 5 business days to process

Los Penasquitos Canyon map:

Los Penasquitos Canyon map (.pdf) / .gpx / link

Torrey Pines

Google Map to parking / .gpx download / .pdf map / All Trails map link / .gpx from parking to trail to beach (download) / Link map from parking to trail to beach / .pdf map from parking to trail to beach / AllTrails link to Parking to trail to Del Mar Loop (5.3 miles) / .gpx download for Parking to trail to Del Mar loop / .pdf for Parking to Trail to Del Mar loop / Torrey Pines tide schedule

Kelly Ditch Trail To Lake Cuyamaca (10.6 miles R/T)

Google Map to parking / AllTrails map link / .pdf link / .gpx download

Mt. Woodson then Potato Chip Rock (another quarter mile) from Highway 67 (4.12 miles RT, 1175 elevation gain)

Google Map to parking / AllTrails map link for AllTrails members / .pdf map / .gpx Hwy 67 to Potato Chip Rock download / .gpx Potato Chip Rock to Hwy 67 download / Alltrails link for non-members / Google Map from Parking to Potato Chip Rock

Bridge to Nowhere (9.28 miles R/T)

Google map to trailhead / Alltrails map for members / .pdf map / .gpx out / .gpx return /

Stonewall Peak Loop, Cuyamacs (3.82 miles R/T)

Google map to trailhead / Paso Picacho to Stonewall Peak.gpx / Stonewall Peak to Paso Picacho.gpx / Stonewall Peak loop .pdf map / Paso Picacho to Stonewall Peak on Google Maps

Others (Some of my earlier work but may not be accurate):

The San Clemente Beach Trail by SoCall Hiker

Chiquito Falls .pdf .gpx Every Trails take SoCal Hiker's take - I put those last two because they don't look like what I came up with.

Espola Woodson out in map topo All Trail generated .gpx Actual .gpx

Mount Woodson Koegel Loop .gpx download (generated via alltrails.com software) (actual) - Mount Woodson Koegel Loop on Google Maps (actual) - Mount Woodson Koegel Loop on AllTrails.com - map (.pdf)

Black Mountain Trail .gpx  - 3.6 miles

Ontario - Bighorn .gpx file - Ontario - Bighorn Trail Map - Map to Trailhead Parking (7650 Ice House Canyon Road, Mt Baldy, CA) - Mt Baldy, CA 91759 weather Ontario Peak Weather

Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon .gpx - 11.6 miles (map to get to Icehouse Canyon Trailhead, Ice House Canyon Road, Mount Baldy, CA 91759)

Etiwanda Peak .gpx - 10 miles for route 2 (map to get to Icehouse Canyon Trailhead, Ice House Canyon Road, Mount Baldy, CA 91759)

Los Penasquitos Canyon Trail .gpx - 6.1 miles

Mt. San Antonio (Mt Baldy) Loop .gpx - 10.2 miles

Potato Chip Rock Mt. Woodson Trail .gpx - 8 miles

San Clemente Canyon Trail .gpx (Marian Bear Natural Memorial Park) - 6 miles

San Gorgonio via Vivian Creek .gpx - 17.3 miles

San Gorgonio via Fish Creek .gpx - 18.4 miles

San Jacinto Peak (the easy way) .gpx

San Jacinto Peak from The Tramway .gpx - 9.94 miles - View via Google Earth - View in Google Maps

Mt San Jacinto via the Palm Springs Aerial Tram .gpx - 11 miles

Marion Trailhead to Jacinto Peak .gpx - Jacinto Peak to Marion Trailhead .gpx - Marion Trailhead to Jacinto Peak round trip .gpx - 11.4 miles - Marion to Jacinto Peak on Google Maps - Marion to Jacinto map (.pdf) - Marion to Jacinto .kmz (for Google Earth)Map to ranger station (54270 Pine Crest, Idyllwild, CA 92549) - Ranger station to Marion Mountain Campground Road, Idyllwild, CA - 92549 wxSan Jacinto Peak Weather

Garmin Basecamp software
BirdsEye TOPO, U.S. and Canada

Import .gpx to Google maps


Los Angeles Hiking Trails website

Procedure to import into the MotionX iPhone app:

  1. Click on the file such as "Black Mountain".  Save that file on your computer.  It should have the .gpx extension.
  2. Send an email to gpsimport@motionx.com with {name}.gpx attached. They will automatically generate an email back with a link. Click on that link with your iPhone and it will import it into MotionX. See http://support.motionx.com/motionx-gps/importing-waypoints-or-tracks/.  Note that in MotionX it will assign a name such as "Track*".  It really makes it confusing.  Plus I'm not sure where it gets the date from so don't get confused if it's out of order.

Hiking Supplies (I read a lot of reviews to find these):

The best portable USB battery pack for daily use - engadget.com, 6/26/15 - "The Anker 2nd Gen Astro 6400 ($20) is the best pocket-size USB battery for most people, because it comes closest to hitting the sweet spot for price, charging speed, capacity, and portability. Thanks to its smart-charging circuitry, it works well with any current smartphone, and it should be able to handle new models that come out in the next couple of years, too. It's sturdy enough for the daily grind and small enough for a pair of relaxed-fit jeans"

GPS Visualizer: Convert GPS files to plain text or GPX - Neat website to convert Google Maps into .gpx files for things like hiking with MotionX on your iPhone or iPad. Cut and paste the Google Maps URL into this website (the URL field) and it will generate the gpx file. To import a .gpx file into MotionX on your iPhone, cut and paste the code into notepad. Save the file to {name}.txt. Using File Explorer, rename the file to {name}.gpx. Send an email to gpsimport@motionx.com with {name}.gpx attached. They will automatically generate an email back with a link. Click on that link with your iPhone and it will import it into MotionX. See http://support.motionx.com/motionx-gps/importing-waypoints-or-tracks/


  • Here's an example to a hill near my home. Google Maps plotted the trial (you have to select "Hiking"). You also need to select "Google Hybrid" for the maps in MotionX.

Creating a .gpx file from a Google map:

Creating a Google map form a .gpx file:

How To Make The Business Bucket - YouTube

Converting an Alltrails.com .gpx to a track .gpx using Garmin Basecamp software:


Right click the track and rename it then go "File > Export".

Acetaminophen: A viable alternative for preventing acute mountain sickness - Science Daily, 6/19/17 - "They found almost no difference in the performance of both drugs, suggesting that acetaminophen may be another effective prophylactic treatment for AMS"

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