Hikes in California

California is blessed with a variety of beautiful landscapes. You can stroll along beautiful coastlines, summit 14,000-foot peaks, or hike up desert canyons. California has so much to offer!

Hikespeak has write-ups for over 400 hikes in California, along with info on campgrounds and other outdoor attractions. These trails have been organized into a few hiking regions. Pick a region from the map below to see a regional page with a searchable and sortable list of trails in that area, linking to individual write-ups packed with photos, maps, directions, and other useful details. Hiking in California is a wonderful thing!

California Hiking Regions

Hiking in California

Want to visit one of California’s national parks? Jump straight to Joshua Tree, Death Valley, Kings Canyon, Pinnacles, Sequoia, or Yosemite.

Interested in other states? See where else hikespeak has been by switching over to the US page.

Not sure where you want to hike? Check out the latest trail reports below.

hikespeak
Housekeeping Camp Yosemite National Park Lodging Accommodations Yosemite Valley California
Yosemite National Park receives four million visitors per year, filling the park's campgrounds and hotels. When all the campsites are reserved and the hotels have no vacancies (or list prices that are uncomfortably high), consider a middle option provided at Housekeeping Camp in the middle of Yosemite Valley. Housekeeping Camp offers 3-walled units with canvas roofs... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: January 23, 2018
Happy Isles Trail Yosemite National Park The Happy Isles Merced River Hike Yosemite Valley California
Near the amazing hiking trails in Yosemite Valley is the designed-to-be-delightful Happy Isles Trail. The easy 3/4 of a mile walk at Happy Isles explores a pair of small islands in the Merced River at the east end of Yosemite Valley. While the trail doesn't feature a show-stopping attraction (like Lower Yosemite Falls Trail), the Happy Isles live up to their name – a... Read more.
OK! Add to trails I’ve hiked
OK! Add to trails I want to hike
Tagged with · National Parks · Wheelchair-Friendly · Yosemite Valley
Distance: 0.75 miles · Elevation change: 50 feet
By: Published: Last updated: January 19, 2018
Camp 4 Campground Yosemite National Park Walk-in Campground Yosemite Valley California Tent camping
Camp 4 is a historic campground in Yosemite National Park – and that's not even hyperbole; the campground is listed with the National Register of Historic Places "for its significant association with the history of modern rock climbing in America." Reservations are needed at the other campgrounds in Yosemite Valley, but Camp 4 is the exception, with 35 shared first-come... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: January 19, 2018
Tenaja Falls Trail San Mateo Canyon Wilderness Santa Ana Mountains Waterfall Hike
Tenaja Falls pours over a sandstone staircase in the San Mateo Canyon Wilderness of the Santa Ana Mountains. Even through the waterfall's setting is picturesque and remote, the hike to the waterfall is a short and easy, following Tenaja Falls Trail for 1.5 miles round trip with 275 feet of elevation change. Totaling 150 feet in height with multiple tiers, this Southern... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: January 16, 2018
McAuley Peak 2049 Backbone Trail Piuma Trailhead Mesa Peak Motorway Milt McAuley hike Malibu California
Existing without an official name until 2015, McAuley Peak was already a convenient destination along the Backbone Trail, hosting a distinct rock formation and panoramic views over the surrounding Santa Monica Mountains. The name - honoring conservationist, author, and literal trailblazer Milt McAuley - adds even more heft to the peak. This hike to the 2,049-foot crown... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: January 17, 2018
Phantom Trail Malibu Creek State Park Agoura Hills California
The beautiful Santa Monica Mountains can be a busy place to hike. One trail you can take to feel like a ghost (not see any other hikers) is Phantom Trail. Located on the north side of Malibu Creek State Park, this scarcely visited single track is not as popular as neighboring trails, but you'll be dumbfounded as to why when Phantom Trail provides early panoramas over the... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: January 16, 2018
Wawona Swinging Bridge Trail Yosemite National Park Bridge Hike South Fork Merced River Swimming Hole Wawona California
Swinging Bridge in Yosemite Valley seduces photographers with views of Yosemite Falls. This is not a hike to that bridge, which isn't actually a swinging suspension bridge. This is a hike to Wawona Swinging Bridge, which has plenty of bounce in it's step, spanning a boulder-framed chute in the South Fork Merced River. Wawona Swinging Bridge is located at the south end of... Read more.
OK! Add to trails I’ve hiked
OK! Add to trails I want to hike
Tagged with · National Parks · Swimming Holes · Wawona
Distance: 0.7 miles · Elevation change: 70 feet
By: Published: Last updated: January 10, 2018
Wawona Meadow Loop Trail Yosemite National Park Wawona area day hike Wawona Hotel Walk Wawona Meadow Nature Trail
Wawona Meadow Loop Trail weaves through the forest surrounding a large meadow at the south end of Yosemite National Park, offering a relaxing hike that receives less attention than those in Yosemite Valley. Starting from trailheads on two sides of Wawona Hotel (Big Trees Lodge), Meadow Loop Trail follows an old road for 3.3 miles and can be connected by paths across the... Read more.
OK! Add to trails I’ve hiked
OK! Add to trails I want to hike
Tagged with · National Parks · Nature Trails · Wawona
Distance: 3.9 miles · Elevation change: 250 feet
By: Published: Last updated: January 11, 2018
Corlieu Falls Hike Lewis Creek Trail Sierra National Forest Waterfall Oakhurst California
Yosemite National Park's waterfalls are the most famous in the Sierra, but they aren't the only gushers around. Falling close to the south entrance of Yosemite National Park is Corlieu Falls in Sierra National Forest. Heralded as the tallest waterfall Madera County, Corlieu Falls is an enthusiastic cascade, with several tiers dropping around 150 total feet. The hike down... Read more.
OK! Add to trails I’ve hiked
OK! Add to trails I want to hike
Tagged with · Free Trails · Oakhurst · Waterfalls
Distance: 0.8 miles · Elevation change: 275 feet
By: Published: Last updated: January 17, 2018
Nelder Grove Campground Sierra National Forest Oakhurst California Sierra Nevada Camping Giant Sequoia Grove Campsites
Nelder Grove Campground has seven shaded sites set within a partially logged grove of giant sequoias in Sierra National Forest. This free campground with minimal amenities offers cozy woodland camping not far from the south entrance of Yosemite National Park. Nelder Grove Campground is a fine spot for a tucked-away night in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Nelder Grove... Read more.
Tagged with · Nelder Grove · Oakhurst · Tent Camping
By: Published: Last updated: January 10, 2018