Outbound Collective logo

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

  • Mariposa County, California

    Glacier Point via Four Mile Trail

    5.0
    9.59 mi / 3200 ft gain
    Glacier Point is one of the highlights of Yosemite. The point is located at the end of Glacier Point Road. This viewpoint allows you to survey the entire Yosemite Valley and gives the viewer a captivating sight of Half Dome. It's a little bit of a tourist trap (especially during the summer season...
    Read more
  • San Francisco, California

    Mount Davidson

    4.5
    1.03 mi / 299 ft gain
    Mount Davidson Park is located in the southwestern part of the city nestled between Diamond Heights and Portola Dr. The climb isn't too difficult, but to reach the top of the 928ft summit, you should wear close-toed shoes and be ready for some loose gravel or mud if it's been raining. The hike is...
    Read more
  • Bishop, California

    Big Pine Lakes via North Fork Trail

    5.0
    12.69 mi / 3196 ft gain
    The North Fork Big Pine Creek Trail offers some of the best high alpine scenery in the Sierras. As the peaks of the Palisades pierce the sky with its craggy span of summits you will find it is as picturesque and dramatic as any in California. Nestled beneath these giant peaks are the glacier scou...
    Read more
  • Altadena, California

    Echo Mountain and Inspiration Point Loop

    4.1
    10.16 mi / 3369 ft gain
    The trail switchbacks up the mountain before reaching the first historic marker, in 3 miles. These are the remains of the Mount Lowe Railroad, which brought customers to Echo Mountain Resort, also in ruins, nearby. Explore the historic sites, then head up Castle Canyon Trail. A steep climb will ...
    Read more
  • Bolinas, California

    Point Reyes' Wildcat Camp via Coast Trail

    5.0
    11.19 mi / 1926 ft gain
    In order to make this trip possible, go to recreation.gov and make a reservation for Wildcat Camp (available year-round). On your way to the trailhead, make sure to stop by the Bear Valley Visitor Center to grab your camping permit. For more information, visit: http://www.nps.gov/pore/planyourvis...
    Read more
  • San Francisco, California

    Mile Rock Beach

    4.7
    1.64 mi
    This rocky, secluded beach is tucked in along the Land’s End Coastal Trail in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Located 100 or so steps down from the main trail, you’ll find this mysterious little beach that will make you feel like you’re in an old pirate movie. There are a lot of logs an...
    Read more
  • Big Sur, California

    Explore The Hidden Rock Caves At Partington Cove

    5.0
    Partington Cove which is located in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, is one of Big Sur's hidden gems. It's a very short hike with enough views to show why Big Sur earned the nickname " Little Yosemite." The whole hike can easily be completed in less than an hour, although there are definitely eno...
    Read more
  • Sierra, California

    Rae Lakes Loop

    5.0
    39.08 mi / 7316 ft gain
    Day one: After checking in with the park ranger and getting your required permits you will start your hike along a 1.8 mile stretch along the south fork of the Kings River. At this point, people typically go clockwise toward Paradise Valley but you can also go counterclockwise along Bubbs Creek. ...
    Read more
  • Azusa, California

    Fish Canyon Falls

    2.0
    4.08 mi / 801 ft gain
    This trail is currently closed! Learn more on the U.S. Forest Service website. Follow Encanto Parkway towards the hills until you come to a junction with a sign labeled "trail" that points towards a parking lot to your right. Parking is free, though on weekends it may be difficult to find a spot...
    Read more
  • Bolinas, California

    Bass Lake via Palomarin Trailhead

    4.2
    6.11 mi
    Follow the Coast Trail from Palomarin Trailhead to Bass Lake. It's a fairly easy ~2.5-3 miles to the Lake. As soon as you pass the lake, on the left you will see a narrow unmarked dirt trail. Take this trail and you'll get to a nice clearing with easy lake access (this will be a great spot for lu...
    Read more
  • San Francisco, California

    Corona Heights Park

    5.0
    0.65 mi / 115 ft gain
    Corona Heights Park is a park located north of the Castro and South of Buena Vista Park. The peak of the hill is windy, but it offers an unobstructed panoramic view of the city of San Francisco from downtown to Twin Peaks. It is perfect for taking panoramic pictures of San Francisco at night. Y...
    Read more
  • Silverado, California

    Hike to Black Star Canyon Falls

    4.8
    7.5 mi / 913 ft gain
    Waterfalls in Orange County are far and few between, with the best lying near and inside the Cleveland National Forest. Black Star Canyon Falls are some of the best just after a rain if you are heading out during a dry time of the season you should still expect to see some water. Free parking, ea...
    Read more
  • Yosemite Valley, California

    Mirror Lake

    4.6
    2.56 mi / 190 ft gain
    Mirror Lake is a very popular spot in the Yosemite Valley and definitely a must see to check off your explore list. Crowds are much smaller if you go during the winter, but some parts of the water might be iced over. The trailhead you take to get there is well marked and can be found at the far ...
    Read more
  • Calistoga, California

    Camp at Bothe-Napa Valley SP

    4.5
    Looking for a romantic getaway but you’d prefer to spend your nights around a campfire? This adventure is for you. This beautiful Napa Valley campground has it all – 10 miles of hiking trails, 1,900 acres to explore, and…new yurts! Yurts are basically cool circular tents that allow you enjoy the ...
    Read more
  • Sausalito, California

    Black Sands Beach

    5.0
    0.54 mi / 285 ft gain
    Black Sand Beach is a beautiful, mile-long stretch of black sand just north of the Golden Gate Bridge. On a sunny day, it’s best to try and arrive in the morning, as the parking lot can fill up quickly. To get down to the beach, you’ll need to hike for about 5 minutes down 250 or so wooden steps....
    Read more
  • Moss Beach, California

    Cypress Tree Tunnels at Moss Beach

    4.5
    0.79 mi / 105 ft gain
    The Cypress Tree Tunnels are a quick jaunt from San Francisco (22 miles) and make for a great half-day trip. Getting here depends on traffic, but 30 minutes from the center of the city is doable. Parking is relatively easy. You can either park at the south end of the area at the Cypress Cove entr...
    Read more