Dear Hiking Friends,

The 2011 LATH Hiking Season has come to a close, but not the hiking spirit in each one of you. You remain the same nature-bound souls who thrive on the discovery of a Los Angeles that is lesser known by many who live in it. Or as we like to say “Rediscover Los Angeles!” Each smile, laugh, and awe experienced at each hike and group social shows the positive effect this wonderful group can have on individuals. It’s because of you that the LA Trail Hikers continue to hike, grow, and develop. It seems that this group can turn a typical suburbanite into someone who can appreciate the beauty and benefits of nature that surrounds them. Each one of you hiked with us with such enthusiasm this season, not because you had to, but because you had a passion for it. And, that energy is the very fuel that makes the group stronger every year.

This season created some amazing memories for many hikers. Each smiling group picture tells a story of the places explored, the people who were there, and the significance of the group. Every new hiker was able to explore more of Los Angeles than they may have originally anticipated. And those who have continued with the group, each hike meant getting to meet new friends and exploring new trails along with the old. We hope this hiking season was just as exciting for you as it was for us.

When the group was first formed, the group was intended to encourage people to get outdoors to find local natural treasures around their home cities or within a short drive. It was also hoped that those same people would become part of a more active lifestyle to promote a better quality of life for themselves and those around them. We found that many believed the act of hiking could only be achieved through long road trips up to high mountains afar only after packing hiking equipment deemed fit for Mt. Kilimanjaro. This type of misunderstanding hindered many people from actually going out to a local, state or national parks for a simple walk. And because of this, the group does try to educate new hikers with information that is better understood for those who have only experienced street adventures rather than those on trails. It seems that the group hasn’t changed much since then. In fact, it seems that the little-hiking-group-that-could continues to do just what it was set to do without much effort. Of course, it has evolved into much more, but still follows the same founding ideas.

With time we introduced hike leads to move and inspire the group to progress along each trail. And now, the LATH Hike Leads are the backbone of the group and deserve special recoginition for putting their time, commitment and heart into the group. Each one of the following individuals has contributed to the success of the 2011 LATH Hiking Season and their efforts should be rightly recognized with special thanks. Each hike this season would not have been realized had it not been for them:

Effin Gentry
Elizabeth Brienza
Irma Padilla
Jason Bazalar
Lorena Rodriguez
Luis Salazar
Mona Ibrahim
Patricia De Leon
Pattie Soltero
Tony Ramos

On behalf of the Leadership Team (named above), I thank you for being part of the LA Trail Hikers and hope you have enjoyed 2011 with us just as much as we have with you. A joyous holiday season to you and your family. We go off on our winter break, but we’re looking forward to hiking with you all again come 2012!


Jason Bazalar
Founder/Organizer/Hike Lead
LA Trail Hikers

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