Best Hiking Trails in California


California is the golden coast of the Southwest. Therefore, it’s expected to find breathtaking mountains, serene lakes, and tranquil forests. That’s why hiking in California is a must for any outdoor adventurer.

It’s easy to get lost with so many hiking options. The last thing you want is to get the worst CA driving advice or discovering that beautiful meadow you found online is really a 10-acre goat ranch. To make it simple for you to choose, we’ve narrowed down the best California places to hike.

Sentinel Dome, Yosemite Valley  

Sentinel Dome lives in the heart of Yosemite National Park. Watching the sunset here is the perfect reward for an extraneous hike. Moreover, you will have a 360-degree view of Yosemite Valley. You don’t have to use your dome to know this is a great hike.

Salmon Creek Trail, Big Sur

The Salmon Creek Trail is a 4 to 6.5-mile-long hike alongside a snaky river running through Big Sur. With expansive meadows and oak forests, Salmon Creek Trail is the most popular trail in the park. You’ll want to be Sur to take this hike, when you get the chance.

General Grant Tree Trail, Sequoia

Sequoia National Park is home to the world’s largest trees. General Grant Tree Trail will take you on a tour of these gargantuan forests. This mild hike is a great way to spend an afternoon exploring. You even have a chance of encountering a grizzly bear.

Fortynine Palms Oasis, Joshua Tree

If you’re trying to build up a sweat during your hike, then consider adventuring through Fortynine Palms Oasis. This desert environment is arid enough to make your body perspire. Plan on packing enough water for this 3-hour long hike through a rocky canyon.

Balconies Cave, Pinnacles National Park

The Balconies Cave hiking trail will take you on an excavation through the Pinnacles’ most popular cave. During high precipitation days, the cave is known to flood, so pack a life jacket. This experience is the Pinnacle of cave hikes.

Rae Lakes Loop, Kings Canyon National Park

The Rae Lakes Loop is so popular, you may have to make a reservation in advance. You’ll find breathtaking views of the Kings Canyon National Park as well as its serene lake. Even though you’re treading through steep mountains, you’ll feel like royalty.   

Damnation Creek Trail, Redwood National and State Park

Damnation Creek Trail may sound like a horrible experience, but this 4-mile long hike presents the Redwoods of Northern California. After the thick forests, you’ll arrive near a narrow beach. Hiking this trail is easier than passing your online traffic school. Despite the name, this hike is heavenly.

Paradise Meadows Trail, Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park is home to its very own volcano. Paradise Meadows is an expansive field of flowers, luscious grass, and fresh air. Where you would expect to find scorched land and flowing lava is a little piece of paradise.

Powell Lake, Stanislaus National Forest

Powell Lake is only for the serious hiker. You’ll travel close to 14 miles through a day long trip in the mountains. Nested in the Stanislaus National Forest, if you want to catch a glimpse of the deep blue lake, you’ll have to exert enough Powell. To help you find a good hiking backpack for you click here

Rainbow Falls, Devils Postpile National Monument

Devils Postpile National Monument has roughly 8-miles worth of hiking trails. One, specific, trail is the Rainbow Falls hike, which takes you to a majestic waterfall snuggled into the forest. The only devil here is containing your excitement.