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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

  • Soquel, California

    Land of Medicine Buddha Loop

    4.5
    5.74 mi / 915 ft gain
    Near the retreat, there is a short trail called "Eight Verses Pilgrimage Trail" providing people with the opportunity to meditate on thought transformation in a peaceful and picturesque outdoor setting. From there, a beautiful 6 mile loop will take you up to the top of the ridge and then back aro...
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  • Rancho Palos Verdes, California

    Burma Road Trail & Ishibashi Trail Loop

    4.3
    5.09 mi / 1148 ft gain
    Getting There: The easiest way to get to Portuguese Bend Nature Reserve is by following Crenshaw Boulevard up Rancho Palos Verdes to the very end of the street. You can park on either side of the street near Del Cerro Park, which also happens to be a great place for picnics if you want to eat bef...
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  • Borrego Springs, California

    The Slot

    4.7
    2.2 mi / 266 ft gain
    Hiking The Slot From the parking lot, you will take the trail into the canyon that is directly in front of you. This will be the hardest and steepest part of the hike. There are no trail markers for the Slot. You can take the trail to the right of the parking lot very briefly, but make sure or y...
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  • Azusa, California

    Lewis Falls

    1 mi / 732 ft gain
    Located deep in the Angeles National Forest above Azusa, this short but at times challenging hike rewards you with a beautiful fifty-foot waterfall. The base of the waterfall is only a foot at its deepest, so I wouldn't rush to bring a bathing suit with you. Protected by the heavy forestry around...
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  • Boulder Creek, California

    Big Basin's Sunset Trail Camp

    4.8
    9.46 mi / 2146 ft gain
    This trail and campsite is currently closed (learn more). Looking for a more authentic hiking and camping weekend, without having to drive hours away to find it? Then the Sunset Trail Camp within Big Basin Redwoods SP is your ticket. To access this site, you'll need to hike the famous Skyline-to...
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  • Laguna Beach, California

    Crystal Cove Loop Trail

    4.0
    4.05 mi / 676 ft gain
    The trail begins and ends at the El Moro Visitor Center. Parking requires either a $15 day use parking pass, which is available in the visitor center. This hike we are focusing on is called the Difficult Loop Trail and it is the third most difficult trail the canyon offers. You take Moro Canyon,...
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  • Saratoga, California

    Backpack Castle Rock State Park

    4.7
    Castle Rock Trail Camp has a different policy than other backcountry camps in the area (i.e. campsites along Skyline to the Sea). This campground is open all year and is available on a first come, first served basis. If you can, grab a spot a Frog Flat Camp. To get to the camp, park your car at t...
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  • Julian, California

    Hike Stonewall Peak

    4.7
    3.82 mi / 820 ft gain
    This hike is one of the most popular in the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park. When you reach Stonewall Peak's summit, enjoy the view of the surrounding park and nearby Lake Cuyamaca. The hike up the east side is a popular and relatively easy trail. Although you'll be gaining 800 feet, the hike is relat...
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  • Ojai, California

    Camp at Rose Valley

    5.0
    Close to Ventura and Ojai, California, this spot is an easy weekend getaway from the hectic coast of Ventura. Follow Highway 33 east toward Ojai. This road will lead into the Los Padres National Forest and become very curved and sleep as it gets closer to Rose Valley. The sign for the Park with b...
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  • Riverside County, California

    Camp at Joshua Tree's Jumbo Rocks

    4.8
    Set your tent up next to a wall of tall boulders. This campground can offer a little shade, which is key especially during the warmer months. At the campground, there are 124 first-come, first-serve sites for $10 per night. Each campsite comes available with a picnic table and fire ring. The camp...
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  • Riverside County, California

    Camp at Joshua Tree's White Tank Campground

    5.0
    White Tank Campground is in the perfect spot to get a taste of all that Joshua Tree has to offer. As a central location to nearby hiking and climbing, it is easy to access the various parts of the park. Removed from the border of the park, White Tank doesn't attract as many visitors as the more p...
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  • Humboldt County, California

    Hike to Tall Trees Grove, Redwood NP

    5.0
    3.9 mi / 690 ft gain
    NOTE: You need a permit, albeit free, to do this hike.First, you'll need to go to the Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center just off Highway 101 south of Orick, CA. Once there, write down your license plate number and go up to the counter and ask one of the rangers for a permit for Tall Trees Access Ro...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Temescal Canyon Loop

    3.9
    3.76 mi / 810 ft gain
    There are a couple of different ways that you can hike in Temescal Canyon. For this one, the loop begins from Temescal Canyon Trail at Sunset Boulevard and is approximately 3.76 miles. This loop is not dog friendly.  Additional Options for Hiking Temescal Canyon: The basic loop – 2.6 milesTh...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Parker Mesa Overlook via Paseo Miramar

    4.2
    5.32 mi / 1099 ft gain
    This 5.4-mile out-and back trail takes off from the end of the residential area of Paseo Miramar. Once you hike a little less than a quarter mile in, you'll connect with Los Liones Canyon Trail. Continue on Paseo Miramar Trail, which in another 2.5 miles, will connect you with the Parker Mesa Ove...
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  • Laguna Niguel, California

    Dripping Cave in the Aliso & Wood Canyons Wilderness

    4.4
    7.68 mi / 889 ft gain
    Dripping Cave sits tucked away in a corner of Wood Canyon, part of the Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, and the trail to the cave, while short, requires *at least* a 2.25 mile hike in from the nearest trailhead (West Ridge Trail to Mathis Canyon), though this is less than ideal as that rou...
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  • Ventura, California

    Potato Harbor Trail

    5.0
    4.34 mi / 404 ft gain
    As California’s largest island, Santa Cruz Island of the Channel Islands is the perfect little getaway from Los Angeles. Getting to the island is possible only by a one hour boat ride through Island Packers, click here to find out more about them. Be sure to pack light since you’ll be carrying ev...
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