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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

  • Big Sur, California

    Explore the Big Sur River Gorge

    4.7
    1 mi
    If you are in the Big Sur area during the summer, exploring the Big Sur River Gorge is a must! The gorge is located in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, and your closest parking will be day use parking lot 3. The trailhead to the gorge can be found at the northeast end of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park C...
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  • Mariposa County, California

    Lower Yosemite Falls

    4.8
    1.16 mi
    At 2,425 feet, Yosemite Falls is the highest waterfall in North America. The falls consists of three sections: Upper Falls, Middle Cascades, and Lower Falls. At 320 feet, Lower Yosemite Falls is one of the most popular attractions at Yosemite National Park. This 1-mile loop is a leisurely walk wi...
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  • Yosemite Valley, California

    Vernal & Nevada Falls via Happy Isles

    4.6
    7.23 mi / 2815 ft gain
    This popular hike starts near Happy Isles in Yosemite Valley. The first mile of the trail is paved and almost entirely uphill. You will come to the footbridge which tends to be very crowded. About 0.2 miles beyond the footbridge, the Mist Trail and the John Muir Trail diverge. Follow the Mist Tra...
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  • Mill Valley, California

    Dipsea Trail

    4.6
    13.03 mi / 3701 ft gain
    The Dipsea Race is the 2nd oldest foot race in the US. The race is named after the Dipsea Inn at the end of the trail at Stinson Beach. The good news is that you can enjoy this scenic trail and its sweeping ocean views at your leisure. The bad news is that the race is only one-way. If you choose,...
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  • Mill Valley, California

    Kirby Cove

    4.7
    2 mi
    This scenic hike is a 1.8 mile out-and-back trail located near Sausalito, CA. From the trail and beach, you'll get scenic of the Golden Gate, San Francisco's skyline, and glimpses of the East Bay. The best news, there's rarely any crowd. Consider packing a blanket and a small picnic. With panora...
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  • La Honda, California

    Hike through Portola Redwoods State Park

    4.8
    7 mi
    Like redwood hikes? We do too, they're always very scenic and take you away from the hustle and bustle of the bay area. Not to mention, they also stay cool during the summer months. If you want a hike in the middle of the peninsula, this is a great bet.When starting this hike, head out from headq...
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  • Inverness, California

    Tomales Point Trail

    4.7
    9.47 mi / 1165 ft gain
    This hike will take you through the Tule Elk Preserve in Point Reyes Nation Seashore, and offers fantastic views of Bodega and Tomales Bay, as well as the Pacific Ocean. Start at the Tomales Point Trailhead near the Historic Pierce Point Ranch. Follow the trail for roughly three miles. This trai...
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  • Mount Baldy, California

    Summit Mt. Baldy

    4.8
    12.12 mi / 5958 ft gain
    Located only an hour’s drive from Los Angeles is the top of highest mountain in LA County—at 10,064 feet. Bear Flat Trail (also called the Old Mt. Baldy Trail) offers some of the finest scenery and most rewarding views in the San Gabriel Mountains high country. With nearly 6000 ft of elevation g...
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  • McCloud, California

    Middle McCloud Falls

    4.8
    2.49 mi / 243 ft gain
    Just 4 hours north of San Francisco, McCloud Falls offers a quick hike and swimming hole for those looking for something less crowded than Burney Falls. McCloud Falls has 3 tiers, but the middle section offers the best views by far. Getting Here To get here, park at the Fowlers Campground which...
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  • Pasadena, California

    Eaton Canyon Falls via Eaton Canyon Trailhead

    4.2
    3.54 mi / 528 ft gain
    The hidden forty-foot-tall Eaton Canyon Falls fills an amphitheater at the top of Eaton Canyon Trail, tumbling into a wide pool that you can rest alongside or wade in. Normally the water is waist deep, but during this recent trip, we found the water only to stop at our ankles as it tends to fluct...
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  • Carmel, California

    Point Lobos Natural Preserve Loop

    4.7
    7.14 mi / 640 ft gain
    Point Lobos contains headlands, coves and rolling meadows, and its offshore area forms one of the richest underwater habitats in the world, popular with divers. Wildlife includes seals, sea lions, sea otters, migrating gray whales (from December to May), and thousands of seabirds, who also make t...
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  • Aptos, California

    Hike to Nisene Marks' Maple Falls

    4.6
    8.5 mi / 900 ft gain
    As you enter the park, you'll need to pay $8 for parking via a self-pay envelope, so it's recommended that you bring exact change. At the park booth, be sure to grab a map. The hike can be a little tricky with no cell service and limited trail signage. Once you've grabbed your map, keep driving p...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Runyon Canyon Loop

    3.2
    2.67 mi / 728 ft gain
    Located in the Hollywood Hills, Runyon is an iconic workout run/ hike that can give you great views all the way to the ocean. There are a few different loop trails/ hikes you can take ranging from ~1.5mi to 3.25mi all with a decent amount of elevation gain. Also, remember this is Hollywood, so yo...
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  • Clayton, California

    Hike Mt. Diablo

    4.4
    13 mi / 3323 ft gain
    Mt. Diablo has some of the most expansive views in California, despite it's relatively low peak elevation. It played a large role in the surveying the Bay Area during its early discovery. Getting There: To get to the staging area, take Interstate 80 to I-680 to Highway 4. Exit at Railroad Bouleva...
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  • Oroville, California

    Hike to Phantom Falls

    4.6
    4.2 mi / 850 ft gain
    Dropping off a 135 ft cliff is a very well hidden waterfall with no trails leading to it. But if you do find it, it is an epic natural wonder.It is best to come here in the winter months, after a lot of rain. But it is also well worth coming in the spring when the wildflowers on Table Mountain ar...
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  • Ramona, California

    Cedar Creek Falls

    4.8
    5.52 mi / 1024 ft gain
    The trail to Cedar Falls starts out at a hill in a residential area and ends in an unexpected spot where there is a beautiful waterfall complete with a swimming hole. Surrounded by 75-foot-high cliffs, a magnificent waterfall splashes into a pool known as the Devil’s Punch Bowl. Hikers have been ...
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