"Will you go out with us?" REI is bringing back #OptOutside to give Americans an alternative to stress and consumerism on Black Friday, November 24th. The outdoor co-op is asking every lover of the outdoors to invite someone else to choose the outdoors over fighting it out in the aisles. “Being outside makes us our best selves – healthier and happier, physically and mentally. We are doing this again to unite people and to find common ground in the outdoors,” said REI CEO Jerry Stritzke. “Right now, I think people are looking for a moment to take a breath, reground themselves and come together.”

For Green Friday, Red Rock Canyon State Park is offering a challenging 7.5 mile guided hike through the unique and beautiful rocky and sandy terrain of Hagen Canyon, Whistler Ridge, Red Rooster and Mushroom Rock Wash, including a short stretch of serious rock scrambling. The route is for moderate to advanced hikers; there will be opportunities along the route to return on your own to the parking area.  Meet hike leader Alice at the Hagen Canyon parking lot at 9 a.m., on Abbott Drive just off of Highway 14 (pay the $6/vehicle parking fee at the visitor center kiosk before meeting up). Lots of water, snacks, lunch, layered clothing, sun protection, and shoes with good traction are necessary. Gloves for rock scrambling areas (gardening gloves are adequate) and trekking poles are recommended. No dogs are allowed on this guided hike, and only heavy rain will cancel.

#OptOutside on Green Friday by taking hikes at other local California State Parks too! At the heart of this year’s effort, a new experiential search engine from REI is designed to inspire millions of people to #OptOutside. It features images pulled entirely from #OptOutside user-generated content (UGC) on Instagram, augmented with real-time information about locations and experiences across the country. For example, users who click on an image of a hiker can see the name of the specific trail featured, the trail’s difficulty rating, directions to the trailhead, recent user reviews of the experience and related expert advice from REI. Beginning today and leading up to Black Friday, the co-op will release 20 films featuring this community-created imagery to connect people through their shared #OptOutside experiences.

For more information about Red Rock Canyon State Park, visit www.parks.ca.gov or www.Facebook.com/RedRockCanyonStatePark. For questions about the #OptOutside hike at Red Rock Canyon State Park, contact hike leader Alice at alicekhteian@hotmail.com, or learn about other hikes at www.REI.com/opt-outside.

Red Rock Canyon SP

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