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California Guide

  • Walking tours (49)
  • Before You Go
  • Travellers' Picks (981)
EveryTrail
Lake Winnemucca from Carson Pass via Pacific Crest Trail
Lake Winnemucca from Carson Pass via Pacific Crest Trail

Only the fiercest blizzards close Carson Pass, which crosses the Sierra Nevada crest about 30 miles southwest of South Lake Tahoe. The trailhead is next to a parking lot on California Highway 88,...

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
The High Sierra Trail
The High Sierra Trail

The High Sierra Trail runs approximately 70 miles from its western end at Crescent Meadow in Sequoia National Park to Whitney Portal on the east side of the Sierra Nevada. The trail passes through...

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
The High Sierra Trail: Segment 1 of 7
The High Sierra Trail: Segment 1 of 7

This is the first of a series of Guides to the High Sierra Trail, an approximately 70 mile trail that runs from Crescent Meadow on the western side of the Sierra Nevada to Whitney Portal on the...

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
The High Sierra Trail: Segment 2 of 7
The High Sierra Trail: Segment 2 of 7

This is the second of a series of Guides to the High Sierra Trail, an approximately 70 mile trail that runs from Crescent Meadow on the western side of the Sierra Nevada to Whitney Portal on the...

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Backpacking at Henry Coe State Park
Backpacking at Henry Coe State Park

Henry Coe State Park is the wildest Bay Area backpacking locale, and the one place where backpackers can choose their own campsites without a reservation.

There is a trade-off: Henry Coe is all...

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
The High Sierra Trail: Segment 3 of 7
The High Sierra Trail: Segment 3 of 7

This is the third of a series of Guides to the High Sierra Trail, an approximately 70 mile trail that runs from Crescent Meadow on the western side of the Sierra Nevada to Whitney Portal on the...

The High Sierra Trail: Segment 4 of 7
The High Sierra Trail: Segment 4 of 7

This is the fourth of a series of Guides to the High Sierra Trail, an approximately 70 mile trail that runs from Crescent Meadow on the western side of the Sierra Nevada to Whitney Portal on the...

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
The High Sierra Trail: Segment 5 of 7
The High Sierra Trail: Segment 5 of 7

This is the fifth of a series of Guides to the High Sierra Trail, an approximately 70 mile trail that runs from Crescent Meadow on the western side of the Sierra Nevada to Whitney Portal on the...

The High Sierra Trail: Segment 6 of 7
The High Sierra Trail: Segment 6 of 7

This is the sixth of a series of Guides to the High Sierra Trail, an approximately 70 mile trail that runs from Crescent Meadow on the western side of the Sierra Nevada to Whitney Portal on the...

The High Sierra Trail: Segment 7 of 7
The High Sierra Trail: Segment 7 of 7

This is the last of a series of Guides to the High Sierra Trail, an approximately 70 mile trail that runs from Crescent Meadow on the western side of the Sierra Nevada to Whitney Portal on the eastern...

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
John Muir Trail: Happy Isles to Tuolumne Meadows
John Muir Trail: Happy Isles to Tuolumne Meadows

Welcome to the beginning of what is bound to be an epic adventure! The John Muir Trail begins in what could be called the Disneyland of National Parks - Yosemite Valley. If you are hiking this at the...

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
John Muir Trail: Tuolumne to Reds Meadow
John Muir Trail: Tuolumne to Reds Meadow

So, you started off on the John Muir Trail in Yosemite Valley a few days ago and have spent some time replenishing your calories at the Tuolumne Grill, your supplies via the Store and your resupply...

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Mount Sizer Loop: Henry Coe State Park
Mount Sizer Loop: Henry Coe State Park

This is Henry Coe the hard way: 15 miles with over 4,000 feet of ascent and a chance to test your legs on the "Short Cut" -- consensus pick as the San Francisco Bay Area's toughest trail.

Henry W....

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Hike the Pacific Crest Trail from Echo to Carson
Hike the Pacific Crest Trail from Echo to Carson

You will be hiking the section of the Pacific Crest Trail between Echo Summit and Carson Pass. It works best with two groups of hikers each starting at the distant parking lots. Your groups will meet...

Rated 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Hagen Trail
Hagen Trail

The Hagen Trail at Red Rock Canyon State Park travels past red-stained sandstone curtains, rock windows, and desert cliffs. Well over 100 movies have been filmed in Red Rock Canyon State Park,...

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Red Cliffs Trail
Red Cliffs Trail

The Red Cliffs Trail at Red Rock Canyon State Park travels past reddish cliffs comprising sandstone, mudstone, and some volcanic rocks. Evidence of slumping, or possibly faulting, is seen in this...

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Opal Canyon OHV Trail
Opal Canyon OHV Trail

Red Rock Canyon State Park contains over 30 miles of 4WD back roads traversing the scenic desert terrain. A good map is needed and the visitor center gives out free rough maps showing the trails,...

Donner Pass to Squaw Valley on the Pacific Crest Trail
Donner Pass to Squaw Valley on the Pacific Crest Trail

Because much of the hike is pretty high elevation you have to wait until the summer to allow the snow to melt.

There are a few sidetracks along the way if, such as Anderson Peak, and Ticker's Knob....

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Nightmare Gulch Loop - Red Rock Canyon State Park
Nightmare Gulch Loop - Red Rock Canyon State Park

Nightmare Gulch in Rock Canyon State Park attracts many
raptors. In order to protect the raptor nesting sites, the gulch is closed to hikers and vehicle travel yearly from February 1 to July 1.

The...

Coyote Creek Loop at Henry Coe State Park
Coyote Creek Loop at Henry Coe State Park

Henry Coe State Park south of San Jose is one of the best places see the Bay Area's spring wildflowers bloom. The park is all rugged countryside: hills, ridges, canyons -- genuine wilderness barely an...

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Backpacking in Desolation Wilderness
Backpacking in Desolation Wilderness

This hike provides a great tour of some of the best features of desolation wilderness. It is great for a 2-day, 1-night backpacking trip on a weekend or for a long day hike. All lakes along this hike...

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
General Creek Trail to Lily Pond at Sugar Pine Point State Park
General Creek Trail to Lily Pond at Sugar Pine Point State Park

General Creek Trail is a wide, level trail that starts off just behind the General Creek Campground at Sugar Pine State Park. The trail initially follows the historical 1960 Olympics Cross Country...

Rated 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Frog Lake Loop - Henry Coe State Park
Frog Lake Loop - Henry Coe State Park

Henry Coe State Park is all peaks, ridges and valleys, and its reputation for arduous treks is well deserved. Frog Lake Loop is the one shining exception.

While the hike starts with a 400-foot...

China Hole Hike - Henry Coe State Park
China Hole Hike - Henry Coe State Park

China Hole is one of the most popular destinations at Henry Coe State Park. Spring rains create a picturesque swimming hole at the confluence of two creeks, making the nearby backcountry campsite a...

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
South Grove at Calaveras Big Trees State Park
South Grove at Calaveras Big Trees State Park

This hike through the south grove at Calaveras Big Trees State Park is one of the most popular areas of the park (the other being the north grove near the park entrance). This guide will take you...

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Willson Camp and Peak, Grizzly Gulch at Henry Coe
Willson Camp and Peak, Grizzly Gulch at Henry Coe

The massive Henry Coe State Park has many adventures, but "beginners beware!" Easy hikes are available from both Hunting Hollow parking lots and the Park HQ on Dunne Road. This particular loop, from...

Wrights Lake to Grouse Lake and gateway to Twin Lakes
Wrights Lake to Grouse Lake and gateway to Twin Lakes

Ample lakes and trails surrounding Wrights Lake make for nearly endless outdoor activities. Trail hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and star gazing are some of the most popular. Day hikes can...

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Avenue of the Giants Auto Tour
Avenue of the Giants Auto Tour

Humboldt Redwoods State Park encompasses 53,000 acres of forests, meadows, and watersheds and about 100 miles of hiking, biking, and riding trails. Approximately 17,000 acres consists of old-growth...

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Mahan Plaque Trail - Avenue of the Giants
Mahan Plaque Trail - Avenue of the Giants

In 1924, Laura Mahan, President of the local Save-the-Redwoods League and James Mahan, a prominent Eureka attorney, took a personal stand when they learned the forest around you was about to be...

Monument Peak - Ed Levin County Park
Monument Peak - Ed Levin County Park

Monument Peak is about 4.2 miles long and located near Milpitas, California. This hike is from Sandy Wool Lake in Ed Levin park to Monument Peak summit via the Monument Peak Trail and is great for...

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park Driving Tour
Jedediah Smith Redwood State Park Driving Tour

This is one of the lesser known drives through a coastal Redwoods Forest as it is far up the north coast of California away from population centers and the road through it (Howland Hill Road) is not...

Joshua Trees and Juniper
Joshua Trees and Juniper

Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland State Park is a small, unassuming park with a pair of trails through preserved Juniper and Joshua tree desert forest. This short trail is 0.3 miles long and set up as...

Mono Pass from Mosquito Flat Trailhead
Mono Pass from Mosquito Flat Trailhead

A hike to a 12,000 foot high Sierra pass, covering the gamut from lush green meadows to pristine blue lakes, from calming babbling creeks to dry, desolate moonscapes. Mono Pass is a moderate hike at...

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Año Nuevo-Goat Hill Trail Loop
Año Nuevo-Goat Hill Trail Loop

This is one of the best moderate hikes at Butano State Park. It can start out from the park entrance or from the campground.

Highlight of the loop is the Año Nuevo Trail, which make a rugged ascent...

Slate Creek Trail
Slate Creek Trail

This is an excellent moderate hike through the second-growth redwood forest at Portola Redwoods State Park. It ends at Slate Creek Trail Camp, a popular overnight camping destination.

The park is in...

Lower Russian River Exploration
Lower Russian River Exploration

Lower Russian River Paddle



"We go to the river's edge for comfort, spiritual renewal, meditation, solitude; we go to the river to feel and know the continuance of life."

- Henry David Thoreau

The...

Best hikes west of Silicon Valley
Best hikes west of Silicon Valley

The Santa Cruz Mountains illustrate why the Bay Area is hiker heaven: redwoods old and new fill hillsides facing the Pacific Ocean, which is visible from many high ridges on a clear day.

...

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Woodchuck Basin to Wheeler Ridge
Woodchuck Basin to Wheeler Ridge

This easy to moderate hike begins at Woodchuck Basin parking area (elev. ~7800ft.) and climbs ~900ft. to the top of the divide between the Stanislaus and Mokulemne River basins. Total one-way distance...

Mt. Madonna Loop
Mt. Madonna Loop

Bay Area Ridge Trail: Mt. Madonna Loop is about 9.3 miles long and located near Interlaken, California. The trail is great for hiking and normally takes a full day

Little Lakes Valley
Little Lakes Valley

Little lakes valley hike is a beautiful day hike in the eastern sierra that takes you through scenic lakes formed by snow melt.

It is a moderately strenuous hike, not due of the elevation gain, but...

Rated 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Mount St. Helena Trail
Mount St. Helena Trail

You might forget you came for the wine when you gaze upon the stunning panorama at the 4,342 summit of Mount St. Helena in Robert Louis Stevenson State Park.

The peak north of Calistoga looms large...

Best hikes at Henry Coe State Park
Best hikes at Henry Coe State Park

This bundle represents the perennial favorites of hikers who trek the wild hills of Henry Coe State Park. Included in this bundle:

Frog Lake Loop (easy/moderate)

Coyote Creek Loop...

Along the San Joaquine River
Along the San Joaquine River

Great Valley Grasslands is one of the less known, out of the way places in the State Park system. It's been barely developed beyond parking, a restroom, boat ramp, and partial trail along the San...

Tar Creek
Tar Creek

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Date: 11 November 2013 - I've been getting a lot of downloads of this guide, and I feel obligated to point out that, because of the low rainfall of the last two years, I can't...

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Alpine Pond at Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve
Alpine Pond at Skyline Ridge Open Space Preserve

Alpine Pond is one of the prettiest places in the string of open-space preserves along Highway 35, also known as Skyline Boulevard.

That's saying something, given the abundant beauty in this stretch...

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Fordyce Creek 4x4 Trail, California
Fordyce Creek 4x4 Trail, California

: A premier hard-core trail. First-time users should consider driving this trail during the annual Sierra Trek event sponsored by the California Association of 4WD Clubs in early August. At that time,...

California Wine Country Road Trip
California Wine Country Road Trip

The nearby town of Healdsburg acts as a sophisticated jumping-off point for this rural paradise, whose remote location and sleepy vibe are tempered by the buzz surrounding its wines. This is a...

Rated 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Rinconada Trail - Los Padres National Forest
Rinconada Trail - Los Padres National Forest

Rinconada Trail - Los Padres National Forest is about 4.7 miles long and located near Pippin Corner, California. The trail is great for hiking and normally takes 1-3 hours.

The Rinconada Trail...

Rated 4 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
9.4 miler Bommer Cyn to Laguna Trails
9.4 miler Bommer Cyn to Laguna Trails

9.4 miler Bommer Cyn to Laguna Trails is located near Irvine, California. The trail is great for hiking and normally takes about 3 hours or 3.5, all depending on your pace, of course.

I did this to...

Rated 3 out of 5 by EveryTrail members

Perfect Day

One Full Day in Yosemite Valley (PacificNWFamily, 23 Jan 2010)
5.0 of 5 stars 5 Votes
San Francisco - Top Attractions (BradJill, 26 Oct 2012)
5.0 of 5 stars 25 Votes
Santa Monica - A Perfect Day (ElleBeinLA, 29 May 2009)
4.5 of 5 stars 3 Votes

Perfect Weekend

Columbus Day Weekend in San Diego (Roadtravlr, 20 Dec 2009)
5.0 of 5 stars 7 Votes
Big Sur Long Weekend (Scott H, 29 Sep 2007)
5.0 of 5 stars 53 Votes
4.5 of 5 stars 115 Votes

Best Of

5.0 of 5 stars 12 Votes
5.0 of 5 stars 29 Votes
The Real LA (VC1850, 26 Nov 2007)
5.0 of 5 stars 4 Votes

Recent Trip

A Long Weekend in Napa Valley (FreqTravelers, 16 Sep 2009)
5.0 of 5 stars 8 Votes
4.5 of 5 stars 3 Votes
4.5 of 5 stars 30 Votes