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

  • 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.

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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Laguna Point Boardwalk400Laguna Point Boardwalk
This boardwalk in MacKerricher State Park provides an easy stroll with plentiful ocean views.
0.6 miles
25 feet
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

Camping in Northern California

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
Castle Dome hike Crags Trail Indian Springs Castle Crags State Park Castle Crags Wilderness
Spectacular granite peaks known as the Castle Crags tower over Castle Crags State Park in Northern California. While this dramatic enclave of peaks is largely inaccessible to hikers, you'll get a great taste of the Castle Crags on Crags Trail, which climbs to the foot of Castle Dome, a 4,996-foot granite dome that looks plucked from the Sierra. While Crags Trail stops... Read more.
By: hikespeak Published: Last updated: January 26, 2015 Image:
Root Creek Trail Castle Crags State Park hike Northern California
Root Creek Trail presents an easy 2.2-mile round trip hike, starting in Castle Crags State Park. Most of the trail is wheelchair-friendly, until it passes into Castle Crags Wilderness in Shasta-Trinity National Forest where the trail gets just a bit less maintained on the final push to Root Creek. When you reach the creek, you can relax and watch tumbling water cascade... Read more.
By: hikespeak Published: Last updated: January 22, 2015 Image:
Vista Point Trail Castle Crags State Park Scenic Overlook hike Northern California
A popular destination for visitors to Castle Crags State Park is the scenic overlook at the end of Vista Point Trail. This easy half-mile round trip hike leads to a triptych of views. On your left, you'll spot the Gray Rocks rising above evergreen ridges. On your right, there is a clear view of Mount Shasta. In the center, rise the Castle Crags, a fortress of daunting... Read more.
By: hikespeak Published: Last updated: January 22, 2015 Image:
Castle Crags State Park Campground Northern California Camping
Castle Crags State Park covers nearly 4,000 acres of evergreen forests and rugged granite peaks. The park borders Castle Crags Wilderness, an area of Shasta-Trinity National Forest, which further expands the area that visitors can explore. When one day simply isn't enough, there is camping available at Castle Crags State Park. The park has year-round camping, with 76... Read more.
By: hikespeak Published: Last updated: August 21, 2015 Image:
Spring Hill Trail Rocky Point Loop Spring Hill Hike Mount Shasta City California
The Mount Shasta Area is full of daunting mountain peaks (not the least of which is Mount Shasta) but that doesn't mean you can't find a shorter summit hike with rewarding views. Spring Hill Trail is located conveniently close to Mount Shasta City and while this hike is just 2.9 miles round trip with 625 feet of elevation gain, you'll get an eyeful off the beautiful... Read more.
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Distance: 2.9 miles – Elevation change: 625 feet
By: hikespeak Published: Last updated: January 22, 2015 Image: