The top 7 hikes in California

If you are a hiking lover you gotta check this out. These are the 7 best hikes I have done in California, if you live around I suggest you to do all of them, if you are a tourist and don’t have much time you should check at least the numbers 6, 2 and 1. The good thing about this list is that some of these hikes are so easy that you can take your grandma or a baby with you.

IMPORTANT! Always check if the trail is opened on the park’s website before your trip, sometimes they are closed due to weather conditions, construction or restoration work.

Also, don’t forget your travel insurance! By the way we have an exclusive World Nomads Coupon Code for you =)

Buzzard’s Roost Trail – Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Big Basin is a great place for hikers, they have several trails from easy to strenuous ones.

Accommodation near Big Basin

This is a moderate hike, 4.5 miles (7,2km) and takes around 2 hours. I did this with my host family when we went camping there for a weekend.

Great hiking trails in California: Buzzard’s Roost – Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Buzzard’s Roost – Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Hollywood Sign Trail – Los Angeles

For those who like nature like me this is way better than a day shopping at Promenade Street.

This easy 4.3 miles hike (6,9km) takes you to the Hollywood Sign.

Hotels in Hollywood

You can get to the trail by driving up the Beachwood Drive all the way until it ends and you will find a dirty parking area.

Grab your water bottle and have fun 😉

Great hiking trails in California: Hollywood Sign Trail – Los Angeles
Hollywood Sign Trail – Los Angeles

Mariposa Grove – Yosemite National Park

This trail takes you to the biggest sequoia grove in Yosemite.

My friends and I parked in front of the Wawona Hotel and started the two-mile round-trip hike (3,2km) from there.

This is a very easy trail but during winter it gets slippery, so be careful.

Plan your trip to Yosemite

What are Giant Sequoias?

What are Giant Sequoias? They are one of the oldest living trees on Earth, living up to 3,200 years, they measure around 310 feet (94 meters) and are super thick.

Great hiking trails in California: Mariposa Grove – Yosemite National Park
Mariposa Grove – Yosemite National Park
Great hiking trails in California: Giant Sequoias – Yosemite National Park
Giant Sequoias – Yosemite National Park

Berry Creek Falls trail – Big Basin Redwoods State Park

The first time I went to Big Basin, my friend and I took the Berry Creek Falls trail. This is considered a strenuous 10.5 miles (17km) hike and it takes around 6 hours but as picture lovers we took 7 hours haha.

This trail passes by 4 waterfalls, nice views and giant Coast Redwoods.

What are Coast Redwoods?  They are the tallest living trees on Earth measuring around 370 feet (115 meters) and usually live between 1.200 – 1.800 years. When traveling to California you have to see a Redwood or Sequoia tree!!!

Great hiking trails in California: Berry Creek Falls trail – Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Berry Creek Falls trail – Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Great hiking trails in California: Redwoods – Big Basin Redwoods State Park
Redwoods – Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Vikingsholm Castle Trail – South Lake Tahoe

This is a two-mile round-trip hike (3,2km), besides the castle there is a nice pier to relax and admire the Emerald Bay before hiking back up.

Hotels in South Lake Tahoe

To have access to the trail you need to park at the Vikingsholm parking lot off Highway 89.

Helicopter tour in Lake Tahoe

Great hiking trails in California: Vikingsholm Castle Trail – South Lake Tahoe
Great hiking trails in California: ikingsholm Castle Trail – South Lake Tahoe
Great hiking trails in California: Vikingsholm Castle Trail – South Lake Tahoe
Vikingsholm Castle Trail – South Lake Tahoe

Bridalveil Waterfall – Yosemite National Park

This is just around a half mile hike (0,8km), it is pretty close to Yosemite‘s entrance.

Your view may change completely depending on the season. I’ve been there on winter when the waterfall was frozen and during fall when there was not a lot of water. If you can choose the season I would suggest you to go during spring because the snow will be melted and you will see more water. Regardless the weather you are going to love it!

Day trip from San Francisco to Yosemite

Great hiking trails in California: Bridalveil Waterfall – Yosemite National Park
Bridalveil Waterfall – Yosemite National Park

McWay Falls – Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park – Big Sur

The McWay Fall trail is probably the easiest breathtaking hike on Earth! Can you believe you can see this after walking just 0.5 mile (0,8km)?

I was living in Cali for over a year and didn’t know about it until a saw a Facebook friend posting a picture, this friend of mine lives in Trinidad and Tobago, I commented the post asking if he lived close to this place, and surprisingly he told me I was the one living close to it.

Plan your trip to Big Sur

You will have access to the park on the famous Highway One and it is a must stop place if you live in Cali or is just traveling around. After parking grab your sandwich and drinks and have a nice lunch while appreciating this great view.

hiking trails in california
McWay Falls – Big Sur – CA

Cheers.

Elaine Villatoro


Read more:

Namibia: The best attractions and itineraries

Maldives: All you need to know about this paradise


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