Hikes in Northern California

Below is a collection of trails in Northern California. These hikes are listed from north to south, but the table may also be sorted alphabetically or by distance to help you pick your next hike. Each trail links to its own report complete with photos, GPS maps, directions, and all the other information needed to locate and enjoy these hikes. An interactive map is also provided.

Highlights of Northern California

  • Visit this lovingly-contoured lake on a 2 to 4-mile hike with the option to add a second lake or summit to the itinerary.
  • This 5.6 to 6-mile hike in Castle Crags State Park crosses through rugged peaks to reach a tall granite dome.
  • This 3-mile out and back hike explores the jagged coast at the heart of Salt Point State Park.
  • Enjoy amazing views of Mount Shasta (shown) on this 2.9-mile lollipop loop hike to a much shorter summit.
  • This one-mile hike explores an incredibly ferny canyon in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park.
  • This 0.55-mile hike explores an old growth grove of coastal redwoods in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.

Hiking Northern California

Northern California is a great area for outdoor pursuits, with evergreen forests, pristine mountain ranges, and volcanic wonders. The coastline in Northern California has limited development, dramatic waterfront, and enchanting redwood forests. Basically, this area can’t help but lure visitors into the outdoors. The North Coast is made up of Del Norte County (which starts at the Oregon Border), followed by Humboldt County, Mendocino County, Sonoma County, and Marin County (just above San Francisco). A string of coastal California State Parks provide excellent hiking opportunities while preserving a unique slice of the American landscape. If your goal is to set foot in a forest of ancient coastal redwoods, the best place to go is the North Coast of California! Inland from the coast lie greater mountains and valleys. The counties of Siskiyou and Shasta are inland from the coast and offer superb hiking as well. At 14,179 feet, Mount Shasta is the biggest mountain in this area, and the imposing volcano provides a scenic backdrop for nearby hikes.

Trail
Description
Distance
Location
Stout Memorial Grove Redwoods100Stout Memorial Grove
This short loop explores an exceptional old growth grove of coastal redwoods in Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park.
0.55 miles
75 feet
41.789697,
-124.0847
Fern Canyon Trail150Fern Canyon Trail
This loop or out and back hike in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park explores a lush canyon with walls of ferns.
1 mile
75 feet
41.400618,
-124.06571
Spring Hill Trail170Spring Hill
This lollipop loop hike hits a short summit near Mount Shasta with excellent views of Mount Shasta, Black Butte, and the surroundings.
2.9 miles
625 feet
41.3288,
-122.322
Lake Siskiyou Trail173Lake Siskiyou Trail (South Shore Loop)
This short and easy lakefront loop offers great views across Lake Siskiyou toward Mount Shasta and the surrounding evergreen wilderness.
1.1 miles
50 feet
41.2777,
-122.3329
Faery Falls Ney Springs Trail175Faery Falls and Ney Springs
This short hike travels along a creek up to an impressive 50-foot waterfall, passing the ruins of an old resort along the way.
1.4 miles
250 feet
41.265953,
-122.32439
Heart Lake and Little Castle Lake176Heart Lake and Little Castle Lake
This hike visits lakes in a beautiful area of Shasta-Trinity National Forest, including the charming-contoured waters of Heart Lake.
2 - 3 miles
645 feet
41.2303,
-122.3816
Castle Peak and Heart Lake177Castle Peak and Heart Lake
This off trail hike ventures above Heart Lake to a summit with extraordinary views of the Castle Crags and Mount Shasta.
3.2 miles
1,180 feet
41.2303,
-122.3816
Crags Trail Castle Dome181Crags Trail to Castle Dome
This out and back hike in Castle Crags State Park ascends through a garden of granite crags to the base of Castle Dome,
5.6 - 6 miles
2,150 feet
41.1597,
-122.3068
Root Creek Trail Castle Crags183Root Creek Trail
This out and back hike in Castle Crags State Park takes a level and easy course to a tumbling creek in a mossy forest.
2.2 miles
80 feet
41.1597,
-122.3068
Vista Point Castle Crags185Vista Point Trail
This short hike reaches the principal viewpoint in Castle Crags State Park, which has a great perspective of granite peaks known as the Castle Crags, along with views of Mount Shasta and the surrounding wilderness.
0.5 miles
50 feet
41.1595,
-122.30575
Bailey Cove Trail190Bailey Cove Trail
This easy 3.1-mile loop circles a hill-covered peninsula that extends into Shasta Lake, providing both lake views and shade.
3.1 miles
50 feet
40.7997,
-122.3169
Founders Grove Redwoods200Founders Grove Nature Trail
This short loop explores an ancient grove honoring the founders of the Save-the-Redwoods League in Humboldt Redwoods State Park.
0.5 miles
25 feet
40.352153,
-123.923897
Gould Grove Redwoods250Gould Grove Trail
This loop explores a forest of ancient redwoods adjacent to the in Humboldt Redwoods State Park Visitor Center.
0.5 miles
50 feet
40.308085,
-123.908575
Richardson Grove Woodland Trail300Woodland Trail
This hike explores patches of redwoods surrounded by a shaded oak forest in Richardson Grove Redwoods State Park.
1 - 1.25 miles
50 - 325 feet
40.021954,
-123.794194
Durphy Creek Trail350Durphy Creek Trail - Tan Oak Springs Trail Loop
This loop climbs a forest ridge before descending to Lookout Point, where you can enjoy an unimpressive view to the south over Richardson Grove Redwoods State Park.
3.75 miles
1,000 feet
40.019891,
-123.79399
Laguna Point Boardwalk400Laguna Point Boardwalk
This boardwalk in MacKerricher State Park provides an easy stroll with plentiful ocean views.
0.6 miles
25 feet
39.489089,
-123.799623
Salt Point State Park500Salt Point Trail
This out and back hike explores the jagged coastline at the heart of Salt Point State Park.
3 miles
50 feet
38.566688,
-123.331852

Camping in Northern California

Castle Crags State Park CampingAntlers Campground
This well-shaded 59-site campground has level sites on a bluff next to Shasta Lake.
Castle Crags State Park CampingCastle Crags State Park Campground
There are 76 developed campsites within this state park that are nestled within a pine forest with access to nearby trails.
View North Coast trails in a larger map
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Castle Lake Campground Shasta-Trinity National Forest Mount Shasta Camping
Find this cozy six-site campground set within a forest of pines and other conifers near Castle Lake, a beautiful glacial cirque lake in Shasta-Trinity National Forest. Castle Lake Campground makes a convenient base camp for hikes leaving from Castle Lake and the campground is a 20-minute drive from the city of Mount Shasta along Interstate 5. Castle Lake Campground The six... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: October 4, 2016
Castle Peak Hike Castle Peak Route Castle Peak Trail Heart Lake Hike Shasta-Trinity National Forest California
The short hike from Castle Lake to Heart Lake explores a scenic part of Shasta-Trinity National Forest near Mount Shasta. The fun doesn't need to stop once you reach that endearing lake. Hike off trail up a ridge from Heart Lake to a summit with extraordinary views that has been given the unofficial name of Castle Peak. You will feel like royalty when you stand on this... Read more.
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Tagged with · Klamath Mountains · Lakes · Shasta-Trinity National Forest
Distance: 3.2 miles · Elevation change: 1180 feet
By: Published: Last updated: October 4, 2016
Heart Lake Trail Little Castle Lake Trail Heart Lake Hike Shasta-Trinity National Forest California
You are bound to fall in love with the hike to Heart Lake. This pint-sized heart-shaped attraction in the Castle Crags Wilderness of Shasta-Trinity National Forest boasts views of Mount Shasta, Black Butte, and surrounding Klamath Mountains. The hike to Heart Lake begins from a trailhead at Castle Lake, a larger mountain lake wrapped by pines and granite cliffs. For a... Read more.
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Tagged with · Klamath Mountains · Lakes · Shasta-Trinity National Forest
Distance: 2.9 miles · Elevation change: 645 feet
By: Published: Last updated: October 4, 2016
Antlers Campground Shasta-Trinity National Forest Shasta Lake Camping
Below pines and oaks beside Shasta Lake, you'll find Antlers Campground. The campground is conveniently located just off Interstate 5 between Redding and Mount Shasta, but you won't hear much freeway noise (actually you'll hear more noise from jet skies and boaters enjoying the Sacramento Arm of Shasta Lake). The shaded campground is spread out on a series of loops over... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: October 4, 2016
Bailey Cove Trail Shasta Lake Hike Shasta-Trinity National Forest California
Bailey Cove Trail follows an easy path that weaves along the edges of a roughly triangle-shaped peninsula extends into Shasta Lake. A hill rises over the center of the peninsula, which is framed by finger-like coves on two sides. Lake views are present throughout this 3.1-mile hike and are grandest during the second mile. Bailey Cove Trail is fairly level, with just 50... Read more.
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Tagged with · Lakes · Shasta-Trinity National Forest
Distance: 3.1 miles · Elevation change: 50 feet
By: Published: Last updated: October 4, 2016