Best California Hiking Trails

California has 88 hikes.

  October 11, 2018

Located in the US, the hiking in California offers over thirty trail routes from which to choose. The best California hiking based on popularity are considered to be Pacific Crest Trail, Malibu Creek State Park, Mount Whitney Trail, Point Mugu State Park, and Western States Trail. For a detailed trail description and printable trailhead map, just select a California hiking trail below.

Where Can I Hike In California?

Angel Island State Park
Annadel State Park
Ballon Dome
Bidwell Park
Big Basin State Park
Big Laguna Trail
Bishop Pass/John Muir/ Piute Pass Loop
Bizz Johnson National Recreation Trail
Black Cone Trail
Boggs Mountain State Forest
Carter Meadows / Trail Creek Loop
Castle Rock State Park
China Springs Trail
Chino Hills State Park
Coastal Trail
Cottonwood - Marble Canyon Loop
Cuyamaca State Park
Daley Ranch
Damnation Creek Trail
Dipsea Trail
Ellis Peak / Ellis Lake
Empire Mine State Park
Estero Trail
Folsom Lake State Recreation Area
Foothills Divide
Forks Blue-Ridge-Sawyers Bar Loop
Gaviota State Park
Gibraltar / Redrock Loop
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Grouse Ridge Trail
Hare Creek Trail
Hartley Springs Trail
Henry Coe State Park
High Sierra Trail
Humboldt Redwoods State Park
Jackson State Forest
James Irvine Trail
John Muir Trail
King Crest Trail
Lake Oroville State Recreation Area
Lakes Trail / Pear Lake Trail
Little Bald Hills Trail
Loon Lake South Shore Trail
Lost Coast Trail
Lost Man Creek / Holter Ridge Trail
Lost Palm Oasis Trail
Malibu Creek State Park
Merced River Trail
Middle Ridge Loop Trail
Mill Creek Trail
Moraines and Meadows Loop Trail
Morro Bay State Park
Mount Dana Trail
Mount Lassen Trail
Mount Lola Trail
Mount St. Helena Trail
Mount Tamalpais State Park
Mount Whitney Trail
New Army Pass Trail
Noble Canyon Loop
North Hills Trail
Ortega Trail
Owl Creek Trail
Pacific Crest Trail
Panorama Mountain
Pine Ridge / Sykes Hot Springs Trail
Pine Valley / Carmel River Trail
Pioneer Trail
Point Mugu State Park
Romero Canyon Trail
Salmon Falls Trail
San Juan Trail
Sand Ridge Lake Trail
Santa Monica National Recreation Area
Santiago Peak / Maple Springs
Skyline Park
Skyline Trail
South Yuba River Trail
Strawberry Creek Trail
Strawberry Peak Loop Trail
Summit Trail
Tenaya Lake To Clouds Rest
Topanga State Park
Trabuco Canyon - West Horse Thief Trails
Trans-Catalina Trail
Western States Trail
Whittemore Gulch Trail
Yahi Trail


FEATURED:  Whittemore Gulch Trail

  San Luis Obispo, California

  July 27, 2016

Southeast of Half Moon Bay in the Purisima Creek Redwoods, the Whittemore Gulch Trail is a scenic hiking-only route through redwood forest. It is located out of town off Skyline Boulevard and passes through like redwoods.

FEATURED:  Lost Palm Oasis Trail

  Los Angeles, California

  July 6, 2016

Northeast of Palm Springs, the Lost Palm Oasis Trail is an 8 mile round-trip route to a remote canyon full of palm trees. It can be quite hot here, so make sure to watch the temperature. The hike begins at Cottonwood Spring, close to the visitor center, which is about 6 miles inside the southern park boundary. The spring produces water all year round.

FEATURED:  Skyline Trail

  Los Angeles, California

  October 11, 2018

East of downtown Los Angeles near Whittier, the 25 mile Skyline Trail travels through three endangered plant communities. The wildflowers are abundant in the winter and spring. This area and the 970 acres to the southwest are owned by Rose Hills Foundation and the City of Whittier and a wildlife corridor joint agency of powers are trying to purchase it for a wildlife reserve and corridor. The trail descends into the canyon through an oak woodland and coastal sage scrub mix.

FEATURED:  Mount Dana Trail

  Yosemite National Park, California

  July 3, 2016

The Mt Dana Trail is a 6 mile round trip hike to the namesake peak at 13,000 feet from Tioga Pass. The summit offers amazing vistas of the High Sierra Crest and Mono Lake.

FEATURED:  Annadel State Park

  Napa, California

  July 7, 2016

East of Santa Rosa in the Sonoma Valley, the 5,000 acre Annadel State Park has miles of meandering hiking trails dirt roads shared with mountain bikers and horseback riders. The trails are well signed and pass through open meadows and oak/fir forests. As Annies Dell used to be an old quarry, the routes can be quite rocky.

FEATURED:  King Crest Trail

  King Range, California

  July 4, 2016

South of Eureka and Honeyew in the King Range National Conservation Area, the King Crest Trail is a 9.9 mile hiking route from Saddle Mountain Trailhead in the south to North Slide Peak Trailhead in the north. This is a challenging route with over 4,000 feet of climbing while passing through forest, burn areas and chaparral. There are nice vistas from several summits.

FEATURED:  Lost Coast Trail

  King Range, California

  July 27, 2016

South of Eureka and Honeyew in the King Range National Conservation Area, the Lost Coast Trail is a 25 mile route from Mattole in the north to Black Sands Beach in the south. This is a very popular route and can be quite crowded on the weekends. This is the most popular King Range hike offers one of the few coastal wilderness hiking experiences in the US.

FEATURED:  Romero Canyon Trail

  Santa Barbara, California

  July 20, 2016

Southeast of Santa Barbara in the Los Padres National Forest, the Romero Canyon Trail is a rocky scramble up an old narrowing fire road into the Santa Ynez mountains. Its a five mile switchback ascent over 2,000 feet to the crest by unparalleled ocean vistas towards the Channel Islands through Chapparel.

FEATURED:  Loon Lake South Shore Trail

  Tahoe, California

  July 15, 2016

West of South Tahoe, the Loon Lake South Shore Trail is a 6 mile hiking route. Also known as the Rubicon Hiking Trail, this is a very scenic and very remote lake. The trail is shared with bikers and horseback riders.

FEATURED:  South Yuba River Trail

  Downieville, California

  August 18, 2016

Northeast of Nevada City in the Tahoe National Forest, the South Yuba Trail is a 13 mile stretch of pristine hiking trail. This rolling trail is mildly technical bordering above the Yuba River on a cliff with lots of swimming holes and skinny dippers. It is shared with mountain bikers and horseback riders.