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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

  • Altadena, California

    Eaton Canyon to Idlehour Trail Camp

    4.5
    10.99 mi / 3291 ft gain
    Idlehour is nestled deep in the Angeles National Forest, so it feels like you're in the heart of some untapped wilderness instead of six miles away from a bustling metropolis. The trail camp is accessible by foot through a variety of locations, but the most popular route is through Eaton Canyon, ...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Cone Peak in Big Sur (Sea to Sky Backpacking Route)

    4.5
    19.72 mi / 7484 ft gain
    While you can make a day-hike out of it by driving up the gorgeous Sur-Nacimiento Road from Highway 1 to the Coast Ridge Road and take a 2 mile trail to the summit with 1300' of elevation gain (4 miles roundtrip), the more adventurous types do a Sea to Sky, starting at Kirk Creek Campground and u...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Vista Hermosa Natural Park

    4.2
    0.58 mi / 36 ft gain
    Vista Hermosa Natural Park is part of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority. Located in the western gateway to Downtown Los Angeles, it’s very easy to drive by this hidden gem if you’re not looking for it. This park is the perfect mix of ur...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Secret Swing in Elysian Park

    4.2
    0.16 mi / 360 ft gain
    For the most direct directions to the swing, plug in "Swing on top of Elysian Park" into google maps, which will take you directly to the trailhead. If you want to do it the more old fashion way, the swing is on top of a hill at the intersection of Angels Point Drive and Park Row Drive in Elysian...
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  • Los Angeles County, California

    Switzer Falls

    3.4
    3.66 mi / 728 ft gain
    Just off the Angeles Crest highway, you’ll find one of LA’s best waterfalls, Switzer Falls. There is a parking lot just next to the trailhead. If you go on the weekend and run into a crowd, there’s parking near the highway, adding a little distance to your trek. Once you’ve walked through the Sw...
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  • Stinson Beach, California

    Matt Davis-Steep Ravine Loop

    4.7
    6.62 mi / 1726 ft gain
    This loop is made up of three of the most popular Marin trails and for good reason. These trails offer not only expansive ocean views, but a variety of topography and environments. This 6+ mile loop offers up waterfalls, dense forests, redwoods, and open grasslands overlooking the pacific. Starti...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Batteries to Bluffs Trail

    4.8
    2.33 mi / 417 ft gain
    The Batteries to Bluffs Trail in the Presidio is a true gem of San Francisco. It has everything you could want in a hike: a sea-side path along the ocean, relatively easy parking, gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge, and a secluded beach that's perfect for picnics, sunbathing, and enjoying t...
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  • YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, California

    Taft Point

    4.9
    2.35 mi / 200 ft gain
    Taft Point is such an amazing and different view of the Yosemite Valley. If you're lucky and you time it right, you'll also experience complete solitude. While driving Glacier Point Road, just a few minutes before arriving at Glacier Point, you'll see a parking lot for the Taft Point Trailhead. ...
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  • Solana Beach, California

    Annie’s Canyon Trailhead

    4.7
    2 mi / 100 ft gain
    If you're looking for a super short hike, this 10 minute flat walk couldn't be more ideal. Start at 840 N Rios Avenue, Solana beach and walk east towards the FWY 5 where you will see Annie’s Canyon on your right. There is only one way to go up the canyons and it gets pretty tight in places, but y...
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  • Malibu, California

    Escondido Falls Trail

    4.3
    3.74 mi / 699 ft gain
    This 3.8 mile out-and-back hike takes place on a very easy to use trail. The first 0.75 miles on Winding Way are paved, leading you up to Escondido Canyon Trail. As you head up Winding Way, it’s safest to stay on the side of the road on the dirt. You’ll take this paved road up roughly 200 feet be...
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  • Rancho Palos Verdes, California

    Terranea Beach Sea Cave

    4.3
    1.63 mi / 210 ft gain
    Head to the Pelican Cove parking lot where there’s plenty of free parking right at the trailhead. From the parking lot, take the Terranea Beach Trail and you will see views of the Point Vicente Lighthouse down the coast to your right. Continue on the trail through the luxury Terranea Resort whic...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Bernal Heights Park

    4.7
    0.95 mi / 128 ft gain
    Bernal Heights Park is an excellent week night adventure for those who need an escape from the city. Sit atop this small, grassy peak in peace and look out over the San Francisco skyline. Park on the street bordering the park and follow a pathway that leads up to the top. You will be instantly g...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Mount Sutro Open Space Reserve Loop

    4.4
    2.14 mi / 617 ft gain
    The Mount Sutro Open Space hike is one of those gems that's just hiding in plain site. Most people live in San Francisco for years without ever knowing this hike even exists - which is totally fine with us. This 2+ mile loop is an easy, quick way to get back in touch with nature after a long day....
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  • Felton, California

    Hike to Limestone Kilns and Big Ben Redwood

    5.0
    8 mi / 1500 ft gain
    Henry Cowell Redwood State Park is a super easy destination to get to from Santa Cruz, but the seclusion of the Fall Creek Unit makes this a big bang for buck hike. This hike will take you to Big Ben, a medium sized old growth Redwood, and the abandoned Henry Cowell Lime and Cement Company Kilns ...
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  • Petrolia, California

    The Lost Coast: Mattole to Black Sands Beach

    4.8
    25.05 mi / 653 ft gain
    This is an absolutely stunning 25 mile thru-hike on the northern part of California's coast. To accomplish this hike, you'll either need to bring 2 cars or use a shuttle service. It's recommended that you drop one car at the Shelter Cove Trailhead (40.0455053,-124.0778196) and either use one of t...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Secret Stairs Astro Loop

    2.3
    4.21 mi / 600 ft gain
    I learned about these remnants of Los Angeles history, just a few months ago. When I found myself in L.A. this past month, I decided to find some of these stairs, and find out what they’re all about. Back in the 1920’s these stairs were created for pedestrians to have direct routes to the trans...
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