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The Best Photography in California

Looking for the best photography 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 photography spots in and near California

  • Bolinas, California

    Alamere Falls via Palomarin Trailhead

    4.5
    13.54 mi / 1614 ft gain
    Alamere Falls is the tallest waterfall in the bay area. It is known as a tide fall because it empties directly into the Pacific Ocean. This is extremely unique because there are only 34 tide falls in the world and two in California, the other being McWay Falls in Big Sur.  Enjoy stunning views of...
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  • Big Sur, California

    McWay Falls

    4.6
    McWay Falls is one of the most iconic waterfalls in BIg Sur and can be seen from Highway 1. The trail to the falls is located in Julia Pfeiffer. For all of you history buffs, Mcway Falls is named after Christopher McWay, an early settler and farmer from New York who ventured west in the late 1800...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Lands End Trail

    4.7
    3.26 mi / 500 ft gain
    Background The Lands End Trail in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area is a fairly easy 3.26 mile out-and-back hike along the coastline of San Francisco. Entrances to the trail are at both the Visitor Center parking Lot just up from Cliff House or in the Sea Cliff neighborhood off of El Cami...
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  • Los Angeles, California

    Wisdom Tree

    4.8
    0.95 mi / 528 ft gain
    In Griffith Park, park along Lake Hollywood Drive and walk the paved quarter mile up Wonder View Drive to the start of Wonder View Trail. Here, walk through the yellow gate and make the first right after the road turns to dirt. Head up this unmarked single track path heading east up the mountain....
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  • Stinson Beach, California

    Cataract Falls

    4.2
    2.81 mi / 1184 ft gain
    The Bay Area is home to many beautiful waterfalls, but Cataract Falls located about an hour north of San Francisco is one of the most stunning. Be sure to head out on this hike after a recent rain. The Trail  Cataract Falls is a 3-mile total out-and-back hike that gains 750ft in the first mile....
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  • Mill Valley, California

    Canopy, Panoramic, Redwood Trail, Sun, Dipsea Trail Loop

    4.7
    4.31 mi / 1145 ft gain
    While there are other, less crowded redwood groves in the Bay Area, Muir Woods National Monument is easily one of the best. It is a beautifully maintained site, with wooden footpaths meandering between towering redwoods that are between 600 – 800 years old. It’s home to some true giants, with its...
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  • Orick, California

    Tall Trees Grove, Redwood Creek, Emerald Ridge Loop

    4.4
    4.41 mi / 1043 ft gain
    Day 1: Check with the Rangers station before heading up for best camping opportunities. Assuming you've checked with the rangers for approval...if there are openings, off of the main road, there are side streets with access to the beaches. Pull into one of these areas and drive down as far as you...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Lover's Lane, Ecology, Mountain Lake Trail Loop

    4.5
    2.04 mi / 344 ft gain
    Tucked into a corner of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area is the Presidio, a beautiful little oasis of forests, beaches, and sweeping views that locals love. While the coastal trails get most of the attention here, the park covers 300 acres of prime real estate with lots of notable attract...
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  • Mill Valley, California

    Summit of Mt. Tamalpais Loop

    5.0
    1.15 mi / 394 ft gain
    Mt. Tam is a large park with plenty of amazing viewpoints, but the East routes and the East Peak are best for sunsets. Once you're at the top, it's an amazing spot to view a large number of Marin trails, which can help you can get a head start on planning your next adventure. At 2,570 feet, this ...
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  • Newport Beach, California

    Exploring the Arches at Little Corona del Mar

    4.9
    Little Corona del Mar Beach is a secluded beach located on Poppy Avenue across Ocean Boulevard in Corona del Mar. Known as one of the less crowded beaches in the area, this spot is the perfect place to chill for the day or photograph a sunset. You will find plenty of free street parking in the ne...
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  • Burney, California

    Burney Falls

    4.9
    0.97 mi / 82 ft gain
    Burney Falls can be seen right from the parking area, but this scenic loop is a great hike for all levels of hiking ability. Heading out on this trail will take you to the base of this 129 foot tall waterfall.  The Hike Burney Falls has a 1.3 mile loop trail that takes approximately 30 minutes ...
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  • Big Sur, California

    Clifftop Camping & Hot Springs in Big Sur

    4.7
    Campsite:There is nothing quite like driving or biking along US-1, the Pacific Coast Highway. Make sure you get a chance to do the drive during the day so that you can see all that Big Sur has to offer. Be careful when pulling off especially onto the shoulder and never stop on a curve in the road...
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  • San Diego, California

    Hiking Torrey Pines

    4.7
    5.5 mi / 300 ft gain
    The beach trail brings you from the parking lot across the lodge from the bluff down to the beach. You can choose to visit the Red Butte, the Razor Point, and the Yucca Point trails along the way. Of the other trails, this trail seems to provide a complete walkthrough of geological features; it a...
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  • Fremont, California

    Mission Peak via Ohlone Trail

    4.1
    6.16 mi / 2116 ft gain
    Breathtaking views of the Bay Area are your reward for making this climb to the top of Mission Peak. It’s a 3 mile trek to the top of the peak and then back down the same way. This is a moderate hike that provides a nice workout – so be prepared. Park at the Stanford Avenue entrance gate. There ...
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  • Pioneer, California

    Camping at The Pots

    4.2
    This fantastic camping or chilling spot has beautiful granite pools and slides of all sizes. The area consists of a river flowing over a granite slab creating pools some of which are over ten feet deep. The water cascades down the granite in small water falls. The area is located next to Silver L...
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  • Oakland, California

    East Ridge, Phillip, Eucalyptus, Steam, Starflower, Tres Sendas, West Ridge Loop

    4.5
    3.47 mi / 833 ft gain
    Tucked away in the hills of Oakland, you will find one of the homes of California's Coastal Redwoods. Created by a unique geographical circumstance, this forest breathes winds funneled through the Golden Gate across the bay, which created environment opportune for Redwood growth. These Redwoods a...
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