California

Looking for the best hiking in California? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around California. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Hiking Spots in and near California

  • Calabasas, California

    Hike and Rock Climb at Saddle Peak

    5.0
    This is one of my favorite hikes in the Los Angeles area. Super easy, yet beautiful and a perfect place to get away from the city.Parking for the trailhead is where the three roads intersect. The parking area is a long strip of dirt, there will most likely be cars there when you arrive already th...
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  • Auburn, California

    Hike to the North Fork Dam of Lake Clementine

    5.0
    4 mi
    Located only roughly 40 minutes from Sacramento. This trail will allow you to view and walk under the 5th largest bridge in the US as well as enjoy the waterfall spectacle of a top releasing Dam. Once reaching Old Foresthill Road from the town of Auburn, drive over the smaller bridge spanning the...
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  • San Diego County, California

    Exploring Anza Borrego's Wind Caves

    4.8
    The drive to the caves is pretty lengthy, so be prepared.First you will drive through Anza Borrego State Park on Highway 78, then on a Split Mountain road which eventually turns into gravel road, and you need to look out for the entrance to the wash-road (which if you like to off road, is a perfe...
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  • Pearblossom, California

    Devil's Punchbowl and Devil's Chair

    4.5
    7.37 mi / 1870 ft gain
    What a hidden gem! A martian landscape full of faultline desert rock formations and joshua trees against a mountainous backdrop of the San Gabriels. Devil's Punchbowl Natural Area features a 1 mile well-marked, well-maintained single track loop trail inside the Punchbowl (great for kids) and a 7 ...
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  • Truckee, California

    Hike the Truckee Tunnels

    5.0
    To get here, drive along Donner Pass Rd. There is a turnoff about 100 yards away from the Donner Summit Bridge where you can park. The hike begins at a plaque for the China Wall- a large retaining wall built by Chinese railroad workers. Hike up the trail towards the tunnels. Some spots may requi...
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  • Castro Valley, California

    Lake Chabot Regional Park Loop

    4.0
    8.65 mi / 1263 ft gain
    Looking for a fun day on a lake, but don't want to drive too far? We recommend heading out to the East Bay where you can combine a nice hike with an afternoon of fishing. This moderately challenging hike remains scenic throughout the 8.5 mile trek around the lake, and offers many opportunities fo...
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  • Jamul, California

    Hiking Otay Mountain

    5.0
    15.3 mi / 2903 ft gain
    The trek begins on the Otay Mountain Truck Trail at Pio Pico Resort & Campground. You can either park and hike the entire trail, or drive up to a point a couple miles and park before the road becomes steep and rough. The distance on here is if you hiked the whole way. If you have a 4-wheel dr...
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  • Corona, California

    Hike to Santiago Peak via Holy Jim

    5.0
    15 mi / 4500 ft gain
    When you think of Orange County, you think of beaches, boardwalks, but what you may not know is that there are some great hikes in our very own backyard! My favorite is a fairly strenuous day hiking adventure that only the strong survive. Not to dissuade any interested parties, since this is a ...
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  • Mill Valley, California

    Steep Ravine Trail via Pantoll Station

    5.0
    3.96 mi / 1079 ft gain
    The trailhead Pantoll Station is easy to find on GPS and there are friendly rangers there as well to answer questions.Maps: Paper map are available at the trailhead Pantoll Station in Marin, CA.   For a moderate hike, I suggest going the one and a half miles down the trail to the ladder and retu...
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  • Death Valley, California

    Photographing the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes

    4.9
    The Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes are the most photographed dunes at Death Valley National Park. To reach the dune’s parking lot from Furnace Creek, drive 22 miles west on Highway 190. Three miles before you reach Stovepipe Wells, the dunes will be clearly visible from the road and you’ll turn right i...
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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Secluded Beach Near Soberanes Point

    5.0
    0.2 mi / 40 ft gain
    When we stumbled upon this beach we were thrilled to have such great views with no crowds.  There is plenty of room to lay out in the sun, you can swim in the ocean to cool off, and the beach is surrounded by beautiful landscape.  If you decide to swim be very careful as the waves and currents ca...
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  • Guerneville, California

    East Ridge - Pool Ridge Loop

    4.5
    3.37 mi / 810 ft gain
    This park most resembles Muir Woods, and if you're looking to get out of the tourist trap, head to Armstrong Redwoods and make a day of it. This 3-mile hike takes off from the sign pointing to East Ridge Trail. As you begin a slight climb up the trail, you'll be under the cover of the redwoods, s...
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  • Mammoth Lakes, California

    Convict Lake

    4.9
    2.46 mi / 56 ft gain
    In 1871, a group of inmates escaped from a prison and were ambushed near the lake by a posse who had tracked them down. The inmates escaped the shoot out after killing two of the men in the posse and the lake now had a name – Convict Lake. You won’t witness a wild west shootout here, but if you ...
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  • Mendocino, California

    Camp at Russian Gulch State Park

    Just two miles north of Mendocino, you'll find this beautiful, well-maintained park that features a little bit of everything. The campsite is situated between a rugged beach and a stunning 36-ft waterfall, giving you plenty of easy and fun options.This park is most well known for the heavily fore...
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  • South Lake Tahoe, California

    Hike Mount Tallac

    4.9
    9.5 mi / 3255 ft gain
    The classic 9½ mile out-and-back day hike to Mount Tallac begins at the trailhead on the southwestern side of Lake Tahoe, between Emerald Bay and Camp Richardson. When driving to the trailhead, make a turn inland at Mt. Tallac Road and follow the well-signed route to the reasonably sized parking ...
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  • Yosemite Valley, California

    Tenaya Lake

    4.6
    3.08 mi / 0 ft gain
    Tenaya Lake is located alongside Tioga Road in the park's Tuolumne Meadows region. There is a family-friendly trail that surrounds the lake. Though some spots along the trail on the western shore may require fording the waters, the 2.5-mile trip is an easy hike for all to enjoy. Many others pre...
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