This incredible hike in the Southern Sierras looks like something out of Banff, Canada. I also recommend trying to camp on Tomales Bay; the reservable sites are reached by kayak, making this one of the best campsites in California. (You can snowshoe many sections in the winter, most famously the Tahoe Meadow, the area around Incline Village, and trails around Kirkwood!). The next day, make an alpine start to the summit to allow for enough daylight. No permit is required, but there are only two primitive campgrounds here. Once you get to the High Peaks area, the views are nothing but sensational in all directions. Also, keep in mind that much of the Sierra Mountains and northern areas of California are bear country! If you’re visiting San Francisco, drive the Highway 1 north until you reach Sir Francis Drake Boulevard (just before Port Reyes Station), and follow that road to the community of Inverness. By itself, this is one of the best hikes in Kings Canyon, taking visitors to the 100′ waterfall. If you are going to tackle one Yosemite waterfall hike, make it this one. Whitney, a tough climb and endeavor in itself. Below is a series of gear reviews that will put you in touch with everything you need for a fun, enjoyable, and successful hiking trek. Happy Trails! Rose Wilderness, Desolation Wilderness, and Granite Chief Wilderness as well as other state parks and protected lands. “Find out how YOU can support the site. I really hope I can visit them with my dog someday. Follow through Elk Meadow (where you will see plenty of elks, by the way,) until you reach Gold Bluffs Beach, which is a lovely beach to hang out and picnic before or after the hike. Starts at 10,200 ft elevation, so don’t do it on your first day in the mountains, but mostly flat (about 500 ft elevation gain on granite stairs in a few places), and all along a creek and multiple lakes. I would consider setting up camp at Second, Third, or even Fourth Lake, and then taking day trips from there. The trail starts in America’s treasure, Yosemite National Park at the Northern Terminus Happy Isles and continues through the Ansel Adams Wilderness, Sequoia National Park, King’s Canyon National Park until you reach Mt. Reduce (or eliminate!) There’ll be a left-hand (westerly) turn onto Davidson Road. Starting at either of Lake Tahoe’s two bordering cities (Tahoe City or South Lake Tahoe) and using the other city as a site to resupply is the easiest method of hiking the Tahoe Rim Trail. If you’re short on time, I recommend backpacking the Desolation Wilderness and west side, as these are personally my favorite parts of the trail. Don’t trample all over the vegetation, etc. It has served as the inspiration for some of the world’s best photographers, naturalists, and more since its discovery. Once you reach the Pinewood Cove Resort, it’s time to … If you didn’t catch on, the trail is named after the environmentalist/author/naturalist, John Muir, who fell in love with the Sierras and spent much of his life fighting to protect the wilderness among this mountain range. While getting permits on weekends is no small feat (due to the close proximity to San Francisco and San Jose natives taking weekend day trips), this hike is still relatively underrated and unknown amongst Californians for what you get out of it. No matter what your hiking experience or fitness level is, you’ll find the right hike on this list for you. For locals, Mount Baldy is more than just a beautiful day hike, it also serves as one of the most popular training hikes in Southern California due to its steep elevation gain. Orizaba. These hikes are undoubtedly California’s crown jewels and hidden gems. The choice is yours, though you will need to hitchhike back to your car or make it an out-and-back hike in certain sections. You’re closer to the south side of the lake here and South Lake Tahoe. Ever heard of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) – the 2,650-mile thru-hike on the West Coast, made mainstream famous by Cheryl Strayed’s book, Wild? Consider making this a longer hike 9-mile total hike, which my boyfriend decided to casually run like the show-off he is. Before we get to the good stuff – the list of the best long hikes in California – we want to remind you to be a responsible hiker. Whether it be a jaunt through the woods, a day out in the mountains or a morning stroll along the coast, getting out for a hike leads to a wide range of benefits that supports a healthy mind, body and soul. You can make this as long or short of a hike as you want to. You can organize food and supply pick-ups at various towns along the way too. Writer and Editor, Ana Pereira is a California native, inspired by Earth exploration and introspection. As you reach the top, you get a straight-on shot of Yosemite Falls across the valley (see above picture), and views of Sentinel Dome, El Capitan, and Half Dome. At 6 miles round trip, this hike goes up from the very beginning and is a leg workout the entire way. This hike begins on the Mist Trail, a popular route that takes you through the spray of Vernal and Nevada Falls. Pssssst! Sometimes there's just no substitute for the therapy gained from a nature walk. This strenuous and demanding climb is well worth the effort, not just for one, but two close-up views Yosemite’s most beautiful waterfalls: Vernal Fall and Nevada Falls. Hope you can join us! A maximum of 300 hikers are allowed each day on the Half Dome Trail beyond the base of the subdome. Keep in mind that many of the best hikes in California are located in the elements, where rain and snow-storms, wind, cold, and heat can all be potential factors, sometimes all in one hike. (Yep, California has glaciers too.). There are buses that run from Yosemite Valley to Glacier Point. The first third of the trail tracks are along the highway, however, so try to just start at Castle Rock State Park instead if you can. Camping is allowed along the entirety of the trail except in section 7, Desolation Wilderness, where you must obtain an overnight permit at the Tahoe Basin National Forest Information Center. Share your photos with us on our social media accounts – Facebook and Twitter – and hashtag your hiking pictures with #FirstDayHike, #HikeInto2020 and #CAStateParks. Malibu has a lot of great hikes, but a local favorite is the Solstice Canyon Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. You can’t help but want to relax on the swing this home has while setting your eyes on the wonders of nature, colorful trees, as you listen to our feathered friends make noise. About a mile into the hike, you climb above the tree lines and get various viewpoints of the valley on the switchbacks. 25 best hikes in the world to put on your bucket list. It’s the least technical route to the summit of Mt Shasta, but it is still dangerous and deaths have occurred. Failing that, it would be a pretty simple road to hitch a ride on coming down from Big Pine. The list below is a compilation of what we consider some of the best day hikes in California, broken down by region. Hiking in California: For a look at all the state has to offer, our guide to the top-rated hiking trails in California presents all the different environments to explore. About four miles in and you’ll find the park’s entrance station. Wherever your hiking path leads you, please be respectful to the environment along the way. July through September are generally sunny, warm, and marvelous long days. (See the John Muir Trail above.). I only link to stuff I’ve actually used and never endorse products or services that are not up to scratch. 99.9% of hikers are firmly in the day-hike only camp, and usually it’s just a matter of not knowing how to start and where to go to gain some backpacking experience. You will most likely be visiting Yosemite if you are taking a road trip through California. Grab some supplies (as this is the last major town on the route) before transferring to the Yosemite Area Regional Transit (YARTS) HWY 120/395 bus which will take you to the Yosemite Valley (close to Curry Village and the trailhead). California’s oldest state park, Big Basin Redwoods State Park, is home to loads of old-growth redwoods that beautify the landscape. Well, first you actually have to get to Catalina Island. You do not want to get stuck behind a bunch of hikers at the cables. I have yet to hike the entire thing personally – only sections – but the full hike is high on my bucket list. Make sure to book your permit online far in advance if you are hiking in summer or on a weekend. Ethical, sustainable, and responsible travel is the name of the game! You can continue your hike to the top of the valley and explore some of Yosemite’s other trails for as many nights as you’d like before looping back down to the valley. 11 scenic hikes in yosemite national park. Bonus Hikes: If you’re looking for a more challenging route, hike to Mt. Please visit the link to find out how you can help keep the site going . What doesn’t California have!? The Best Day Hikes on the Pacific Crest Trail From Washington to California, here are nine of our favorite short treks along the famous route. It’s all about helping out our tribe of awesome backpacker readers [that’s you!]. Monte Bello Open Space Preserve, California. Our favourite travel backpack is the Aer Travel Pack 2. The High Peaks-Condor Gulch Loop is the perfect introduction to and arguably the best day hike in Pinnacles National Park. Roughly another two miles north (now driving Gold Bluffs Beach Road) and at the end of the road, you’ll find the Fern Canyon Trailhead. Plus, there’s a big screen. What to Pack for the Best Hikes in California, Ethical, sustainable, and responsible travel, Want to learn how to travel the world on $10 a day? Hiking to Nevada Falls and back takes around 6 hours. Baldy Trial. The hike itself takes you through wild forests and empty stretches of beach. What sets the Tahoe Rim Trail apart from other Sierra Mountain hikes is the infamous lake that the entire trail encircles: Lake Tahoe, an enormous, deep blue, subalpine lake surrounded by snowcapped peaks, green forests, and granite faces. 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