When people think of California, they will most likely think of the weather, beaches, and one of the most popular and populous cities in the country, Los Angeles. However, we also have some of the best and most beautiful trails and hiking spots in the country, and perhaps even the world. The trails that range from going along the coast, trails through the redwood forests and trails through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. They vary from a few hours to a few days. The following are some of the best hiking trails in California, there are so many more trails that are amazing, but these are the top ten.
10 Best Hiking Trails in California
10. Big Santa Anita Canyon Loop with Upper Trail
Length: 10 miles Duration: Half a Day
This trail offers great adventures for everyone, both adults and kids. There are a lot of waterfalls along this trail, but most of them are manmade ones. The trail has Plentiful greenery in the form of shrubs, trees and various other indigenous plant life make this trail special in its own way. The trail climbs either up or down the 55 foot tall Sturtevant Falls, with the highest point ranging up to 3400 feet.
9. The Lost Coast Trail
Length: 24 miles Duration: Multiple Days
The Lost Coast is a stretch of 80 miles where it got too rough for the builders of Highway 1, which forced them to go around it. The trip takes you 24 miles from Mattole to Black Sands Beach. The terrain is almost flat all the way through, but still challenging. Some parts of the trail are absolutely completely impassable because of high tide, so you should keep track of high tide charts.
8. Stinson Beach to Mt. Tamalpais
Length: 17.3 miles Duration: Full Day
Located in San Francisco Bay area, you have to try out this trail, even though you can drive to the top you should walk because there are sights along the way that drivers would not be able to see. You start at Stinson Beach and go up through the trees until you get the green rolling hills with far-off views of San Francisco. After hiking a few more miles, then you will approach the fire roads by West Point Inn and this means that you are only a mile from the top and at the top is a 360 degree view of San Francisco.
7. Lake Aloha Hike
Length: 11.7 miles Duration: Full Day
You will bypass five lakes within just 12 miles of your hike. The trail is mostly flat, however there are two areas where you gain elevation. Lake Aloha alone is a great destination for a swim going back and forth from island to island on a hot day.
6. Half Dome Hike
Length: 15.7 miles Duration: Full Day
Average people can complete this trail under three circumstances; they are educated, prepared and motivated. You need to stay motivated because you have to stay in shape in order to accomplish the task. It is basically 16 miles and a 12 hour hike to go up and come back down.
5. Mount Tallac at Lake Tahoe
Length: 9.5 miles Duration: Full Day
These mountains surround Lake Tahoe, and guarantee you a wondrous view from its 9,375 foot summit. There is a direct summer route that goes through lush forest, along scenic ridgelines, and the trail also passes small alpine lakes and goes over splendid vivid wildflower scattered immense elevated meadows. You gain an elevation of 3,335 feet (6,400-9,735 ft).
4. The Panaroma Trail
Length: 8.9 miles Duration: 4.5-7 hours
This outstanding Yosemite Park trail provides you with sights of Half Dome, Vernal Fall, Nevada Fall, Illilouette Fall, Yosemite Fall and the entire Valley. The trail takes you from Glacier Point all the way down to Mist Trail, losing an elevation of 2,800 feet. The Mist Trail can be tough on the knees at the section from the top of Nevada Fall to Vernal Fall.
3. Berry Creek Falls Loop at Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Length: 10.2 miles Duration: Full Day
With a combination of waterfalls and the state tree; Redwood, this is a great trail to hike. The hike gains an elevation of over a thousand feet in the span of over half a day. Veterans whom hike the Berry Creek Falls recommend that you go counter-clockwise, starting out at the Sunset Trail, turning left onto Berry Creek Falls, and finally taking a final left onto the Skyline to the Sea Trail in which it returns you to the trailhead. The hike can be done in almost any weather.
2. Skyline to the Sea Trail
Length: 29 miles Duration: Multiple Days
A three day hike, 30 plus more miles and you go from the ridge of the Santa Cruz Mountains all the way to the Pacific Ocean and it shows off the tall Redwoods and the small banana slugs. A famous version of the Skyline to the Sea Trail starts at the intersection of Highways 9 and 35.
1. Pine Ridge Trail to Sykes Hot Springs
Length: 20 miles Duration: Multiple Days
This is a famous 10 mile hike through the Big Sur wilderness. This hike can be done in a single day, but they recommend that you take your time because there are beautiful sights such as rolling green lush hills, various waterfalls and wildflowers, which should not be missed. The hot springs is 8 feet wide and a few feet deep and the temperature is one hundred degrees, depending on the rain.