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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

  • Moss Beach, California

    Cypress Tree Tunnels at Moss Beach

    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...
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  • Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Calla Lily Valley

    0.31 mi / 46 ft gain
    Parking for Calla Lily Valley is available along the dirt pullout at Gate 19 for Garrapata State Park, near mile-marker 63. Signs are small and difficult to see. Follow the path between the guide wires and take the right fork, heading north to the bluff overlooking the beach. Continue north and f...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Cave of Munits

    1.53 mi / 299 ft gain
    Are you looking for a hike that offers trail running, scenic views, hiking, and CAVE exploring? This short, but exciting trail leads you on a short 0.8 mile hike to the Cave of Munits. When starting at the main trailhead, El Scorpion Park, take the wide paved dirt road all the way till you get to...
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  • San Benito County, California

    Explore Pinnacles National Park

    It’s hard to believe how many people don’t know about this place, which was newly designated as a National Park in January 2013. Pinnacles National Park is hidden just south of San Jose in the Gabilan Mountains, and is a short drive for anyone living in the Bay Area.With beautiful rock spires pie...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Pfeiffer Beach

    0.81 mi / 75 ft gain
    Pfeiffer Beach located in Big Sur may truly be one of the most awesome beaches in California...if you can find it. I lived within 40 miles of this beach for over 20 years and just discovered it recently. This beach is located on an unmarked road called Sycamore Canyon Road. On Highway 1, this roa...
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  • Colfax, California

    Hike The Historical Stevens Trail

    8 mi / 3376 ft gain
    Best known as one of the most popular hiking and biking trails to the North Fork American River, in part because of the easy access from Colfax. However, this is a remote trail, and hikers are advised to bring plenty of fluids as well as carry a whistle. The entire trail is primarily shaded, pa...
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  • Oakland, California

    Sibley Volcanic Trail Labyrinths

    2 mi / 144 ft gain
    From Skyline Blvd, pull into the staging area for Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, you'll see the sign. Parking here is usually easy to find. You'll find an unstaffed visitor center with a restroom, park maps and informational displays featuring the history and geology of the park. Sibley is a...
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  • Ramona, California

    Iron Mountain Peak Trail

    5.67 mi / 1030 ft gain
    Iron Mountain is the longest wilderness trail in Poway, CA. The parking lot is free and provides bathroom and water fountain amenities. The distance from the parking area to the summit is approximately 3.2 miles. Beginning with a wide smooth trail, slowly transitioning into semi-technical incline...
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  • Belvedere Tiburon, California

    Mt. Livermore via North Ridge Trail

    4.92 mi / 1178 ft gain
    Unless you own a boat or a kayak, this adventure requires a ride on the Blue and Gold Ferry from Pier 41 in San Francisco. But let’s be honest, that’s actually half the fun. Who doesn’t love a ferry ride? Angel Island State Park is the largest island in the Bay, and recommend the 6-mile loop aro...
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  • Palos Verdes Estates, California

    Bluff Cove

    0.56 mi / 144 ft gain
    Parking for Bluff Cove is located along the sides of the street of Paseo Del Mar, and the trailhead is located right next to the street. Bluff Cove is one of those unique locations in that there are a variety of activities you can do here. It is a great location for surfing, paddle boarding, bod...
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  • San Diego, California

    Los Penasquitos Canyon Loop

    6.77 mi / 131 ft gain
    Los Penasquitos Canyon Loop After about a five minute hike on the trail you will start to enter into Los Penasquitos Canyon. Every section of the trail is different, one minute you are walking next to a stream with trees arching over the trail and another minute you are walking through an open f...
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  • Marin County, California

    Picturesque Views from Mt. Tam's East Ridge

    This road provides one of the most scenic views of the pacific from north of the Golden Gate. It's a little bit of a windy drive or ride along Highway 1 or Panoramic Highway (depending on which way you choose) to get to East Ridgecrest. But, if you remembered to pack a picnic, brought your friend...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Twin Peaks Loop

    2.04 mi / 259 ft gain
    There are a ton of ways to get here (and obviously that can affect the total distance) but this is starting from Clarendon. Follow along up Twin Peaks boulevard where you'll see the peaks upon your approach. Keep an eye out for traffic as there may be visitors driving toward and away from Twin Pe...
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  • Dunsmuir, California

    Mossbrae Falls

    3.01 mi
    Disclaimer: Hiking to the falls is trespassing. Fines can be as much as $300. If you choose to hike to the falls, you're doing so at your own risk so please be cautious and cognizant of your surroundings. If you live anywhere near Northern California or Southern Oregon, you may have heard about ...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Camp on Prewitt Ridge

    After much time in Big Sur, it became quickly apparent that Prewitt Ridge is the crown jewel of camping in the area. It has even been described as "the most beautiful car camping spot on god's green earth" and that doesn't do it justice.While Prewitt Ridge is an officially designated campground i...
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  • Livermore, California

    Hike to Murietta Falls

    12 mi / 4175 ft gain
    Get ready for one of the toughest, lung busting hikes in the east bay with over 6-miles and 4,000ft of climbing in one direction. When you make it to the hike, it's also important to realize that without recent rain, there many not actually be a waterfall. With that said, you're still getting in ...
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