Home>United States>California>Top 10 Hiking Trails in California
Yosemite Falls Trail
California Hiking United States

Top 10 Hiking Trails in California

10. Mount Shasta

Mount Shasta

Mount Shasta is one of the highest mountain peaks in America. It is actually a glacier and remains covered with snow throughout the year. The climate remains chilly even during summer months. The best time to hike Mount Shasta is between the months of July and August. During this period, the climate remains suitable for hiking. However, even then you will need to pack warm clothing.  Many hikers describe hiking to Mount Shasta as a spiritual experience for its serenity and oneness with nature. Some others describe it as inspiring. The best thing is that the mountain has several trails which are suitable for new and intermediate hikers. The most popular trail is the Gray Butte Trail.


9. McWay Waterfall Trail

McWay Waterfall Trail

The McWay Waterfall is an 80 foot waterfall located inside the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. The park is a protected area named after a Big Sur ranch owner who lived in the 1900s. The park stretches across the Big Sur coastline. The trail itself is a marvelous one, leading you to a breathtaking view of the waterfall. It runs for just over a mile and is perfect for new hikers. It’s a popular trail with photographers because of the stunning view in the end. This is why it remains quite packed at times.


8. Lost Coast Trail

Lost Coast Trail

The Lost Coast is named so because it is rugged and steep in nature. There are no roads in there and therefore no cars either. Needless to say, the Lost Coast Trail is quite the journey for any hiker. It is popular mostly with adventurous hikers who don’t mind wandering into complete wilderness. The trail runs for 20 miles and is a full backpacking expedition. Advanced preparation is needed to complete the hike successfully. A part of the trail near the beach disappears completely during high tide. Regardless of the difficulties and the rough terrain, hikers are rewarded with views of waterfalls, beautiful wildflowers, beaches with dark sand and deep canyons.


7. Sea Lion Point Trail

Sea Lion Point Trail

The Sea Lion Point Trail is meant for lovers of wildlife and nature. It rewards you with magnificent views of the ocean and of marine wildlife. The trail is quite an easy one and runs for just 0.6 miles. It goes through beautiful coves where ocean waves crash constantly. As you go on through the trail, you have the chance of spotting barking sea lions. The trail also goes through the Sea Lion Cove where the seals swim. If you want a closer look, you can take a staircase which goes towards the coves.


6. Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

Fern Canyon at Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park

Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is quite an off-beat destination, even for hikers. It is located 50 miles from Eureka. The park is dedicated to protecting Redwood trees. Almost all the Redwood trees in California are some of the oldest trees in the world. They grow very tall and tower above everything else. Other than these majestic trees, the Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park is also home to vast meadows and sandy beaches. As a hiker, you can enjoy a gentle hike to the Fern Canyon. The canyon was a location in the iconic Hollywood movie ‘Jurassic Park.’


5. Boy Scout Tree Trail

Redwood National Park: Boy Scout Tree Trail

The Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park is yet another state park dedicated to saving Redwood trees. It is located in between two other parks also meant for protecting the same trees. The hiking areas of the park give you a wonderful feeling of being completely at peace with yourself. It is one those perfect escapes one always dreams of. The Boy Scout Tree Trail is a moderately difficult trail with beautiful scenery. It is almost 3 miles long and runs through a dense network of Redwood trees. The trail is named so because at about 2.5 miles you come across a tree which is 200 years old. This old tree is known as the Boy Scout Tree, because it was discovered by a leader of Boy Scouts.


4. Lost Palms Oasis Trail

Lost Palms Oasis and 49 Palms Trails at Joshua Tree National Park

Lost Palms Oasis is quite a difficult trail leading to a dense concentration of Fan Palm trees. The trail is located inside the Joshua Tree National Park. Along with the Fan Palms, it also offers great views of nearby mountain peaks and of the Salton Sea. Several hikers turn the journey into a backpacking expedition and navigate towards the Mastodon Peak. The best time to take this trail is during spring, when wildflowers are out in full bloom. The climate remains quite hot so it is important to pack enough drinking water. Avoid hiking the trail during the peak summer months as it gets very exhausting.


3. Sonoma Coast State Park to Shell Beach

Sonoma Coast State Park

This gorgeous trail lies 75 miles from the city of San Francisco. It is located inside the Sonoma Coast State Park and goes on for 6 miles. The terrain is diverse and includes everything from wooded ridges to dense Redwood forests. Then there are stunning views of the Russian River and of the Pacific Ocean. At the end of the trail, it joins another road which leads you to Highway 1. Shore Beach is located just a short walk from there. You can spend some time at the beach and then take the same way to the Pomo Canyon.


2. Mount Whitney

Cables on Mount Whitney

Mount Whitney is the tallest mountain peak in California. It is located at the Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks. Hiking the mountain is a beautiful experience and is also very exhilarating. It is very easy to get to the trailhead by a car. The best time to tackle the hike is during the summer months. The hike does require high level of fitness because of the altitude. The whole trip can be completed in one day if you go out before sunrise.


  1. Yosemite Falls Trail
Yosemite Falls Trail

Yosemite Falls is one of the tallest waterfalls in America. It is actually not one waterfall, but a collection of three waterfalls. The three waterfalls are Lower Yosemite Fall, Middle Cascades and the Upper Yosemite Fall. The trail is very rewarding for hikers because of the spectacular views. You can enjoy sweeping views of Half Dome, Yosemite Valley and Sentinel Rock from Columbia Rock. It is located just a mile away from the trail head. It’s a moderately difficult hike with an average height of 1000 feet. There is a second trail which leads up to the Yosemite Falls. It is seven miles long and more strenuous.

Originally posted 2017-06-20 06:11:42.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *