Hikes in 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.

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.
  • This 0.5-mile loop wanders across a forest floor covered in sorrel, visiting giant redwoods that include the Girdled Tree, which had its bark stripped away.

Northern California

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 offer superb mountain hiking and camping. At 14,179 feet, Mount Shasta is the biggest mountain in this area, and the imposing volcano provides a scenic backdrop for nearby hikes.

Northern California Hiking

This collection of trails in Northern California lists hikes from north to south. 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, elevation profiles, directions, and all the other information needed to locate and enjoy these hikes. Below the table is an interactive map showing the location of each hike.

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
Yurok Loop and Hidden Beach120Yurok Loop and Hidden Beach
This hike explores a rugged and beautiful area of California's north coast, combining Yurok Loop Trail and the Hidden Beach Section of Coastal Trail to visit beaches, forests, and ocean vistas.
2.25 miles
120 feet
41.5946,
-124.0997
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,
-124.0657
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
Drury-Chaney Loop Trail192Drury-Chaney Loop Trail in Humboldt Redwoods State Park
This lollipop loop provides an easy and enchanting hike through redwood trees at the park's north end.
2.4 miles
100 feet
40.44307,
-123.98633
Grieg-French-Bell Trail195Grieg-French-Bell Trail
This short loop in Humboldt Redwoods State Park wanders across a forest floor covered in sorrel, visiting giant redwoods that include the Girdled Tree, which had its bark stripped away.
0.5 miles
25 feet
40.4403,
-123.9855
Founders Grove Redwoods200Founders Grove Nature Trail
This short loop in Humboldt Redwoods State Park explores an ancient grove honoring the founders of the Save-the-Redwoods League.
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
39.48909,
-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
38.56669,
-123.33185

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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Yurok Loop Trail Hidden Beach Hike California Coastal Trail Redwood National Park Klamath Lagoon Creek Picnic Area
Up near the Oregon border, the north coast of California has beautiful unrefined features like driftwood-covered coves and mossy forests. Explore this inviting area on Yurok Loop Trail, a short hike through scenic surroundings. This 1.15-mile circuit passes an ocean vista along a dramatic coastline that faces a cluster of rock islands. The loop crosses a small wooded... Read more.
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Tagged with · Beaches · California Coastal Trail · Crescent City · Free Trails · Klamath · Ocean Views
Distance: 2.25 miles · Elevation change: 120 feet
By: Published: Last updated: April 1, 2017
Drury-Chaney Loop Trail Hike Humboldt Redwoods State Park California
Drury-Chaney Loop Trail (also known simply as Drury-Chaney Trail) presents a easy and well graded hike through redwoods in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The trail is a lollipop loop suitable for wheelchairs and strollers, crossing a surface of compact gravel with 100 feet of elevation change. The 2.4-mile length of this hike splits neatly into three sections: a 0.8-mile... Read more.
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Tagged with · California State Parks · Free Trails · Humboldt Redwoods State Park · Pepperwood · Redwood Groves
Distance: 2.25 miles · Elevation change: 120 feet
By: Published: Last updated: April 1, 2017
Grieg-French-Bell Trail Girdled Tree Hike Humboldt Redwoods State Park California
Grieg-French-Bell Trail provides access to lovely grove of coast redwoods in Humboldt Redwoods State Park. The ground in this area is covered by a carpet of redwood sorrel that is incredibly beautiful to walk through. Within French Grove, you'll find the Girdled Tree, which had its bark removed to 1901 so that it could be displayed in San Francisco. Use... Read more.
By: Published: Last updated: April 1, 2017
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 ... 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: April 2, 2017