California boasts some of the most diverse landscapes around. From going along the coast, to spending the day in the forest or going up a mountain California has it all. Within California there is the high summit and longest waterfall for the continent of the United States and the tallest trees in the world can be found here.
Here are 10 great spots to go hiking and experience all California has to offer:
- Yosemite Falls – With North America’s tallest waterfall, this is a must see when choosing were to hike in California. On top of the waterfall there is an amazing view of the valley floor and this hike can be broken down into 2 parts. The first part is the easier of the two, being 1-mile-long each way and takes you to Columbia Rock. The second part leads to Yosemite falls and it is a 7-mile round trip going up rugged terrain and step hillsides but offers some amazing views.
- Mount Whitney trail – One of the more challenging hikes in California this one is 21 miles long and gains 6,000 feet of elevation. This is generally a multiday trip but will lead you to the highest mountain in the United States. Only the most experienced should take this hike, but if you can do it, it is absolutely worth the time.
- Redwood national park – This old growth redwood forest offers a 5.6-mile round trip on boy scout tree trail is one of the best paths in the national park. Redwood trees are the tallest in the world and a sight to see. This is considered an easy trail with a few switchbacks turns and steep grades. For anyone looking to escape into the woods this is a great option.
- Lost Palm Oasis – Located in Joshua national park, this hike will let you feel the heat of the desert. The rugged and barren Mojave Desert offers a distinct hiking location to experience. This trail is 7.2-miles long round trip that goes through a canyon filled with leafy palms and pools of water. The trail ends at a camping ground for those who want to spend the night after their journey.
- Runyon Canyon Park – Located in Los Angeles, this is one of the lesser known hikes. This park is 130 acres is just a couple of blocks from Hollywood boulevard and offers many different trails. This hike offers great views of Log Angeles City and on a clear day you can see the Pacific Ocean in the distance.
- McWay waterfall trail – This trail is in Julia Pfeiffer burns state park, this park is along the Big Spur coastline. This park has a 3,000-foot ridge that drops right into the Pacific Ocean. The trail itself is short with it only being .6 miles round trip is it an easy walk to the look out point. You will get amazing views of the 80-foot waterfall which drops from a cliff to the sandy beach. You can also see whales during migration season as they pass by.
- Pomo Canyon to Shell beach – Located in Sonoma county, this trail offers amazing views of the coastline. This trail will take to a redwood forest to a wooded ridge with views of the Pacific Ocean. It will turn inland to a grassland while crossing over several small creeks. After that it heads down an old road that goes to highway 1 and from here you can get to the sandy shoreline of Shell beach. This hike is around 7-miles round trip and can be done in reverse starting at Shell beach.
- Lost coast trail – Located in northern California, this offers a rugged and remote experience of the coastline wilderness. This trail is 34-miles-long the coast and is nestled in an ancient redwood forest. This trail typically takes 3 to 4 days and is only for the most adventurous backpackers. One thing to note is parts of the trail are covered during high tide, so planning is important. Your hiking will involve beaches, crossing streams, tidal pools, and rocky bluffs in the northern part of the trail. The southern part consists of meadows, old growth forests, and mountain ridges. With many beautiful views its another great bucket list hike.
- Sea lion point trail – This hike is short and easy but offers views of marine life and the ocean. While watched the waves crashes into land keep your eyes out for sea lions barking off the shore rocks. This trail also passes by 2 coves were seals and sea otters will swim in the protected waters. If you are looking to relax and take in the sights this is a great trail to go on.
- James Irvine trail – Located in Prairie creek redwoods state park, you can see some of the oldest and tallest trees around. These trees come from a time when dinosaurs roamed the earth giving you a glimpse into the far past. This trail is a 10-mile-long round trip and the trees alone are with the trip. With the dense vegetation you can get a peacefulness that can be hard to find. For those who are Jurassic park fans this area was used as backdrops for the fill which is fitting as relatives of the trees would have been around during the Jurassic period.
California has many more hiking trails with many more unique experiences for all level of hikers. Go out and find your adventure.
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