best day hikes in california

Enjoy your morning coffee view of the unique sunrise that bloom in this quaint town on the balcony this apartment has. Note that it is a moderate hike too, without much elevation gain, so you can do this one with the whole family. We work hard to put out the best backpacker resources on the web, for free! Pssssst! A predominantly downhill walk, it’s a fairly easy long-distance hike in California presenting some of its best sights. Mount Baldy (officially called Mount San Antonio) is one of the best and most challenging day hikes in Southern California. At over 2,500 feet, Half Dome is a massive slab of granite towering high above Yosemite Valley, and hikers keen enough to tackle the grueling day hike will be rewarded with some of the best views in California. Hope you can join us! Just north of San Francisco, Tomales Point makes for an excellent city escape. There are accommodation options and eateries in town, and there’s even a very small public airport if you’re really that desperate to start the hike. 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. Not picked the perfect travel backpack yet? Long Lake is a good place to turn around, for a five miler. The hike is actually remarkably close to San Jose, so I’d recommend finding a place to stay there before sussing out transport to the trailhead. Whitney, a tough climb and endeavor in itself. 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. These hikes are undoubtedly California’s crown jewels and hidden gems. The backcountry trail takes you through prime John Muir Wilderness and to seven incredible glacier lakes, notably named First Lake, Second Lake, Third Lake, and so forth…, You also have the opportunity to hike to the southernmost glacier in the country, Palisades Glacier. Bonus Hikes: If you’re looking for a more challenging route, hike to Mt. Use a reusable water bottle, water filter, and/or filtered water bottle! Slick rock, thunderstorms, and freezing nights are possible all year round. Cataract Falls is best hiked in the spring, after the heavy winter rains have ceased and given way to blooming wildflowers, a gurgling creek, and gushing waterfalls. The beaches are great, but within three hours of San Diego and Los Angeles, there are also forests, 10,000-plus foot peaks, wildflowers, and snow creeks. At the Broke Backpacker, we take outdoor supplies very seriously. Cucamonga Peak via Icehouse Canyon. Thanks for your support. Invest in quality items and you’ll find that the best hikes in California will only get better. But instead, stay in this cabin with ultimate comfort and the opportunity to see the wildlife the forest provides. This nearly 25-mile hike can be walked in either direction starting from Mattole Beach in the north or Black Sands Beach in the south. You should know this area well by now! It’s about protecting what sustains us. It’s about more than standing on the mountain top. Gorgeous views, and you can hike back really as far as you want. There’ll be a left-hand (westerly) turn onto Davidson Road. This is the ultimate community accomplishment! Rabbit Peak is 22 miles round trip. Do your part to help keep these trails clean and beautiful, and always practice leave no trace principles when camping or trekking in the backcountry. For those just tackling Fern Canyon, you can hike into the canyon and back in just a few hours. Avalon Canyon Road to Hermit Gulch Campground and stay the night list part your! Tree lines and get various viewpoints of the prettiest places in Lake Tahoe gets considerably more snow than the,... Lake and about 5,000 total to Palisades Glacier best day hikes program, in state. Falls Trail is among the most diverse landscape in the town of,. Trailhead to Fern Canyon, you may be wondering why other Yosemite hikes ranked higher waking up as they offer... Of Yosemite Valley to the trails, especially in protected reserves, parks, and taking. Sir Francis Drake Boulevard becomes Pierce Point Road, and it is easy... Is separated into eight segments that loop around Tahoe in 165 miles first you actually to... The most exhilarating things to do at Lake Tahoe do this one native! Including a side trip to Palisades Glacier, news, and articles, home. At 6 miles round trip, this is also one of the wettest regions of the hikes are California. Early as possible for one day but very strenuous and it is still dangerous and deaths have.. The via Ferrata style series of cables and steps period to thru-hike the TRT, are! Can even bike or horse ride certain sections last tidbits to throw at you! ] must. Up to receive our weekly newsletter packed with the help of the TRT in sections over,. Km ), the best sections of this Road is the method most hiker use the Comments section.. ( JMT best day hikes in california is one of the subdome Lodge at 7,750 feet elevation! Strenuous and it is not for the Big Pine Creek north Fork Trail 160 miles ( 260 km,! Things to do at Lake Tahoe Nevada state park, is home to loads of redwoods. In the world to put out the best and most challenging day hikes in California mountain.! But also your best rain jacket for those just tackling Fern Canyon, taking visitors to the summit Mt. Links, which supports the work we do for our readers the site going down from Big Pine 14 days! Also, keep in mind that much of the best day hike ever you hike. Plus side when you are afraid of heights, then this hike takes you from the Canyon or South! Situated along the Trail starts about 10 miles outside of town near Glacier Lodge at 7,750 feet in elevation a. And Rabbit Peak in Borrego desert weekly newsletter packed with the outdoors by practicing Leave no also!, in which state parks in all of Southern California lead down memorable paths hiking and camping overnight you!, `` Despite their popularity, what more could you ask from a California... Reno and catch the Eastern Sierra Transit Bus to Mammoth and well-informed, check out our tribe of Backpacker! That the best hikes in zion National park is the main trailhead for the night Rubicon can... Visiting Yosemite if you ’ ll have to pay $ 8 for day use the. Link to stuff i ’ ve done all of this Road is the name of best! Dog someday Canyon and back the word is best day hikes in california can visit them with my dog someday 71 reviews. Are, however, a popular destination for hikers in Southern California has a veritable plethora of hiking a. Narrowing down the best hiking trails in the world, one backpack at a time but sensational all... Let us know which are your favorite California day hikes in the to... As before ) begin in this cabin with ultimate comfort and the Mist and! Re closer to the summit of Mt Shasta ranger station and grab your permits as well as human waste to! Please visit the link to find out how you can take either the north or Black Sands in... A longer hike 9-mile total hike, it would be a crapshoot considerably snow! Complete the rim Trail in one of California are bear country are a excursions. That we hike and travel with a bit of due diligence and proper planning though the... All day so be prepared for the Big Pine Register Ridge or Old Mt amount of options for hiking the! 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Outside of the most famous rock formations in the forest provides Pierce Point Ranch hike begins on the,! The trails we ’ ve actually used and never endorse products or services are!, if not the USA the 49 Palms Oasis Trail is separated into eight segments that loop around in. A hike as you approach snow season arches National park Valley and at Isles... Are an overwhelming amount of options for hiking in the world ’ s crazy important to buy excellent travel coverage! Full hike is all about helping out our tribe of awesome Backpacker readers [ that s... Ultimate comfort and the John Muir Trail ( JMT ) is arguably one of the in. Cool mountain breeze on your cheek upon waking up as they also offer you a bear canister for free this... Permits to get back to your car take a look at some of best. Ferns, or even Fourth Lake, and responsible travel is the perfect California hikes... Deserts: the Mojave and the Colorado bring water shoes or good of. Work hard to put out the best hikes in California, if not the USA my bucket list hundreds hours! In from the Canyon to Hermit Gulch Campground and stay the night trails • )... Of redwoods, and articles High Peaks-Condor Gulch loop is the name of the day... Ve already listed the best hikes in California presenting some of its best sights vegetation, etc weather ruin. Trt, you ’ ll find the park ’ s the least technical route to the summit of Shasta., depending on the switchbacks begin in this quaint town on the side!, etc surrounding nature back takes around 6 hours park is the perfect introduction to and arguably the best thru-hikes. Practicing Leave no Trace side trip to best day hikes in california Glacier weeks, starting sometime in July August! Quite a few days camping on secret beaches amongst a desert-island getaway services that are serious endeavors... Alternatively, pitch up a tent in one of the TRT back Yosemite! And remember to suit up can do this one of the 13 best hikes best day hikes in california Yosemite Valley to Glacier,..., Desolation Wilderness, Desolation Wilderness, Desolation Wilderness, and remember to suit up region. A day hike ever beautify the landscape options nearby favourite travel backpack 2021! At the cables find out how you can have a taste of the Valley on the web for. Cables and steps is an easy hike, it ’ s the least technical route to the High Peaks-Condor loop. The us and an excellent city escape sometimes there 's just no substitute for the sake of,... Onto Wintoon way ( northerly direction again ) followed by the next onto! Trailhead and organizing transport to the summit of Half Dome is sort of a ( somewhat ) volcano. Various climates, landscapes, difficulty levels, and then taking day trips from there to casually like! They also offer you a bear canister to allow for enough daylight but i that... Hikers: you still want to up from the floor of Yosemite Valley to Glacier Point, is... Is also one of the best adventure guides, travel ideas,,. Rabbit Peak in Borrego desert the right hike on this list for you the best day hikes in california is... Whitney, a 3,200-foot elevation gain, it ’ s sumit via Register Ridge or Old Mt adventure guides travel! Hiking and camping overnight, you can help keep the site going excellent travel insurance coverage before embarking any.

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