easy hiking trails in southern california

Helpful. Drop us a comment below! There are tide pools and scenic coves to explore nearby as well. At the top, you’ll get stunning views looking out over Palomar Mountain, Lake Poway, and the Pacific Ocean in the distance. If you’re going during peak times, parking can be difficult. Hiking Mount Baldy, also known as Mount San Antonio, is a rite of passage for any outdoorsy Los Angeles local and anyone looking for a hiking adventure near the city. So if you’re looking for a secluded island hike in Southern California, this is one of the best ones to do. 93 Trails. Starting from Scorpion Anchorage and ending at Smuggler’s Cove, this 7.7-mile hike takes you past diverse ecosystems and highlights some of the unique nature that makes the Channel Islands such a special place. Stick to the trails or use the road. Take a look at our Contributor Guidelines and pitch us your idea! You just helped me to add more places to visit next time I can travel there! It starts as early as January and it’s over by April – at least at lower elevations (we definitely don’t think of the Sierra Nevada which is mostly covered by snow even in April). As an Amazon Affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases. The Easy Trail In Southern California That Will Take You To The Top Of The World There’s no shortage of stunning hiking trails in Southern California to satisfy your inner explorer. In my opinion, a great training hike will be at least 7+ miles long round trip and will have a minimum of 3,000+ feet of total elevation gain. 3 Trails. Easy hike to a lovely sculpted sandstone gorge with a small seasonal 15′ waterfall. If you’ve ever been to Southern California, then you know just how diverse its landscapes truly are. What a gorgeous guide! Today, we share down-to-earth travel tips from our many (mis)adventures on our blog and podcast! Yelp/Gino I. Nice loop hike with quick and easy access offers varied terrain including great views, scenic sandstone formations, and lovely coastal canyons - but these attributes make it very popular at times as well. All rights reserved. Take a look at some of our other posts: We’ve also got a ton of other posts to help you explore California. If you’re looking for a full day of hiking, there are various other trails that go through Solstice Canyon that are around 3-4 miles long. Great ideas for hikes. “ Ryan Mountain Trail,located in Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California is a terrific half day hike to one of them any scenic trail hikes in Joshua Tree National Park! Well graded though shadeless trail to lovely tree-lined stream with multi-tiered waterfall 100' total height, Great beginner’s loop trail featuring expansive ocean, city, and canyon views, a lovely seasonal stream with waterfalls, and old growth oak and sycamore forest. After you have done your initial research, pick one of the beginner hikes below and go for it. To get to Scorpion Anchorage and the start of the hike, you’ll need to take an hour-long ferry from Ventura – keep an eye out for bottlenose dolphins! You can’t find a much more scenic hike than the Yucca Point Trail at Torrey Pines State Reserve. Spanning beside the Amtrak railroad track, the San Clemente Beach Trail is a local favorite hike in Orange County. Packing these essentials will help keep you safer, as will paying attention to the weather forecast before your trip. There are numerous trails to get up to the summit of Mt Baldy. Exotic red sandstone formations like Sedona (on a much smaller scale) in the OC with super easy access. There are 5,267 moderate trails in California ranging from 0.6 to 349.1 miles and from -246 to 13,041 feet above sea level. Joshua Tree National Park has long been a popular destination for hikers in Southern California. The full loop includes more of an elevation change on the way back if you continue on from the waterfall. Looking for the best Hiking trails around California? '&l='+l:'';j.async=true;j.src= Switzer Falls. Couple sunshine with trails featuring some of the most comprehensive views of Los Angeles and you have a perfect marriage for a day hike. I recommend starting on the scenic Devil’s Backbone Trail from Manker Campground and then coming back down on Baldy Bowl Trail for a nice 11-mile loop. You’d be forgiven if you didn’t realize this, as on most days, Mount Baldy is obscured in the city’s ever-present smog. Jason and I always hike with a small daypack to carry a few essential items. Would love to go to Joshua Tree as well Thanks so much for sharing this! The Best Hikes in Southern California Los Angeles, AKA cement city, is probably not the first place that comes to mind when you think of scenic mountain hikes enveloped by nature. If this description of Southern California surprises you, it’s time to head out and explore! I’ve never been to California but I had no idea there were so many great trails. Southern California has a veritable plethora of hiking trails. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Required fields are marked *. Check out some of our other posts! An often overlooked state park, Anza Borrego is one of the most beautiful and underrated places to go hiking near San Diego. Unless you scramble up the sandstone cliffs. Early spring’s magic is the wildflower bloom! 10) Mount Baldy, San Bernardino County. Home to thousands and thousands of miles of pristine hiking trails throughout backcountry and wilderness areas, and national and state parks, I had a tough time narrowing down this list. 99.9% of hikers are firmly in the day-hike only camp, and usually it’s just a matter of not knowing how to start and where to go to gain some backpacking experience. And one of the best ways to see some of the 24,000 acres of wilderness in the park is by hitting the El Moro Canyon Loop Trail. Your email address will not be published. It’s frequented by runners, bikers, walkers, and dog owners … All campsites still remain closed. Go early in the day or on a weekday to avoid the crowds and to have more solitude on your hike. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, and her blog, The Atlas Heart. Which Southern California hiking trail is at the top of your list? Psst: Looking for more outdoor adventures in California? Each trail links to its own report complete with photos, GPS maps, elevation profiles, directions, … Borrego Palm Canyon Loop, Anza Borrego State Park, Solstice Canyon Trail, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Yucca Point Trail, Torrey Pines State Reserve, Cowles Mountain Hike, Mission Trails Regional Park, Ryan Mountain Trail, Joshua Tree National Park, Smuggler’s Cove Trail, Channel Islands National Park, El Moro Canyon Loop Trail, Crystal Cove State Park, Day Hiking Essentials for Southern California, 8 Scenic Day Hikes in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, The Ultimate 10-Day Highway One Itinerary, 8 Places to Visit in California’s Central Coast, Self-Guided Beer & Bike Tour in Los Angeles, California, different trails at Torrey Pines State Reserve, The 32 Best Pacific Coast Highway Stops: California Towns, Landmarks, & Restaurants, Ultimate Camping Checklist: 42 Car Camping Essentials, 10 Magical Things to Do in Washington DC in the Winter (& Why You Should Spend Christmas in Washington DC), 24 Tips & Essentials for Remotely Working: How to Work From Home … or Anywhere, 9 Things to Do in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in the Winter, 12 Must-Visit Paso Robles Breweries (& Distilleries), 9 Fantastic Things to do in Fort Collins, Colorado: A Local’s Guide. This beachside trail takes you on an easy jaunt along the golden cliffs of Torrey Pines and down to the beach for a sandy afternoon near the water. San Gorgonio Mountain. This is one of the most beautiful hikes in Southern California that features a lush canyon, some shade (a rarity for Southern California hikes), and a small waterfall. These are good to add on if you’re looking for a longer day of hiking in Malibu. Hiking Preparation. Listed below are 10 especially well-known hikes and trails that are … Although there are many great family hikes not by the water in Southern California when my family visits, we tend to take walks by the sea. This trail is a little more rugged than a standard walk through the desert with parts of the hike that require scrambling over rocks. Choose from a variety of trails ranging from 1 to 3 miles that provide the perfect hike and nature fix for every fitness level. Of course, if you are at the very beginning of your training regimen, you might start with lower mileage and elevation … Besides the waterfall (best seen during the spring), the other highlight of the hike are the ruins of Roberts Ranch House. You will want to do some preparation before you begin hiking, especially if you are hiking in the mountains. Difficulty level: Moderate. Hike on excellent trail to the summit of 8,041' Waterman Mountain (aka Mt Waterman), in the magnificent San Gabriel high country. Also crucial to your new activity is knowledge and proper use of also of hiking gear. Hiking between October and May is the best time to take advantage of cooler weather as well as enjoy waterfalls, wildflowers and greenery from California’s seasonal winter rains! Trail length: 11 miles. I am so impressed by all those landscapes! This popular hike starts off on a wide paved road in Malibu and winds up into the hills between multi-million dollar mansions with perfect ocean views. If you’re looking for a longer hike, first tackle one of the reserve’s loop hikes like The Guy Fleming Trail (0.6 miles) or the Razor Point Trail (1.2 miles) before jumping on the Yucca Point Trail down to the beach. Credit: Flickr. One of the great things about hiking tall peaks in Southern California is that you’ll quickly gain a geographic awareness of the surrounding area. Dip your toe in with some of these Golden State coastal trail highlights: Salt Point Bluffs (10 miles round trip) Riots of wildflowers, wild coastal bluffs and spouting whales in the distance are bonus elements of Sonoma County’s Salt Point … It might not have the cool redwoods forest hikes that you’ll find in Northern California, but Southern California hikes are a different kind of impressive. 'https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtm.js?id='+i+dl;f.parentNode.insertBefore(j,f); Whether you’re looking for good views at the top of a mountain, cacti explorations, or breezy coastal walks next to the ocean, the hiking in Southern California is diverse, scenic, and one-of-a-kind. Although this is the Channel Island’s most popular hike, you often won’t come across more than a handful of people on the hike (it really is that underrated). Hike into a historic canyon to see a wonderful 50' tall waterfall in a beautiful wooded gorge with great views and numerous pools and cascades. If you are seeking an easy trail that’s under three miles and provides the most magnificent view at the top, you’ll want to wander along this enchanting path that will take you to the top of the world. One thing to note is that Crystal Cove State Park gets very busy in the summer and on weekends. COVID-19 Update (as of 6/16/2020): Angeles National Forest is currently open, but campgrounds remain closed as well as some restrooms. Joshua Trees, pristine beaches, and mountain climbs: there’s a lot that Southern California has to offer, from Disneyland to major cities like Los Angeles and San Diego. It’s easy to get turned around because some of the trails are a little overgrow in spots. Inside the pack is water, granola bars or … After living abroad for five years in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Greece, and Portugal she has finally found a home in San Francisco, California. The interpretive center is located at 31501 Palos Verdes Drive in Rancho Palos Verdes. Today we're sharing some of our family's favorite spots for kid-friendly hiking … Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. The trails that range from going along the coast, trails through the redwood forests and trails through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The reserve is just north of La Jolla in Northern San Diego County, and features 2,000 acres of coastal views, sunshine, and desert flora and fauna. There is something so magical about being out in the open air with the people you love. Originally from California, she has been slow traveling the world and blogging since 2013. “ This is a popular, fairly strenuous hike that is mostly steps, but it is lots of fun, has great views from the top, and is a good stair workout ! Towards the end, you’ll reach a shady fan palm oasis, and a little further on a seasonal waterfall that usually pops up in the spring. 524 Easy Trails ; 1,105 Intermediate Trails ; 227 Difficult Trails ; Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. So beautiful! If you’re looking for amazing views over the Inland Empire, you’ll find some of the best hikes in southern California at Cucamonga Peak. I mean, even narrowing down the best hikes in Yosemite into one list is no small feat. The Borrego Palm Canyon Loop is a fun day hike from San Diego, or a good intro hike to exploring Anza Borrego State Park if you plan to stay in the area longer. Are you a blogger, writer, or just an avid traveler with lots of travel tips to share? Panhe Nature Trail: 1: Easy: San Onofre State Beach: N: 171: Orange County: … You can see the oceans, mountains, and the desert all in one day if you really wanted to.In each SoCal county, you’ll find various hiking trails and majestic views, but there are a few hikes that rank highest on the scale. However, last year I visited for the superbloom so that got me out of the city and away from the beach. Perhaps the most important information you can have is knowledge of hiking safety, so that you and your hiking companions remain safe. Rushing waterfalls. There are five islands that make up the national park, but one of the best for hiking is Santa Cruz Island. The house was originally designed by Paul Williams in 1952 as a relaxing retreat in the canyon, but it was burned down by wildfires in the 1980s. Hummingbird Trail in Simi Valley. Now you have no excuse for not getting out there to start an activity that might change your life – hiking! In addition to its most popular feature, the Mount Woodson Trail takes you through chaparral and granite boulders on your way to the tallest peak in the area. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time! Take a look at our favorites below or browse them all! This post will be updated once that changes. Riverside And San Bernardino Counties. But I understand that there are an overwhelming amount of options for hiking in California… Low key stalk us here and on social media. Share Your Local Tips! If I had to choose one hike (and I know I don’t have to), it’d be Smuggler’s Cove Trail. We’ve also got a ton of posts to help you explore California. This trail is relatively flat, and can even be walked in just a pair of comfortable sneakers as opposed to hiking boots. You may also find the Wikipedia entry on hiking useful and entertaining. Accessing the summit will give you miles of views – from the ocean to the desert – on a clear day. You will hike 5 miles to the famous bridge that was seemingly built in the middle of nowhere. COVID-19 Update (as of 6/16/2020): Crystal Cove State Park is currently open, including parking lots, the beach, and all hiking trails. This moderate trail takes you from the coast, through El Moro Canyon, and up to Moro Ridge for some of the best coastal views in the area. There are a few different trails at Torrey Pines State Reserve, but I especially like hiking the Yucca Point Trail because it’s the only one with beach access. Thank you for telling the opening information. Easy hike to lovely 18' waterfall in a beautiful mountain canyon, but a rough road to the trail head. In order to get onto the rock, you have to be okay with making a slightly scary leap. Mount Baldy is the highest point in Los Angeles County at 10,064 feet. There are many hiking trails in the area so a good place to start is at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center. One of the most overlooked national parks in California, the Channel Islands located off the coast of Ventura/Oxnard are an outdoor paradise for the adventurous hiker. The shortest trail to the summit is the Vivian Creek Trail, a direct route that gains nearly 6000ft over 17.5 miles round-trip. COVID-19 Update (as of 6/16/2020): The Solstice Canyon Trail is currently open, as well as parking lots and restrooms. Southern California is known for its hot, dry climate and near-perfect year-round weather (minus maybe its deserts that get scorching in the summer). Please read this. Nice hike up easy to follow but sometimes crowded trail to mostly year round flowing 40' waterfall. 2. But once you do, you’ll be able to take all the Lion King poses or yoga tree poses your heart desires. A bit crowded yes, but also close to the city. The 360-degree panoramic view of Joshua Tree from the summit gives you a good overview of the landscape and the main highlights the park has to offer. My husband went to CSU of Channel Islands and even though the University isn’t actually on the island, it alerted me to it’s existence and I really want to visit. If you are yearning for more nature, don’t worry, the hike soon heads off the pavement and into the wilderness. Miles: 3 | Elevation Gain: 908 ft | Guide. Then read Read. Also, if you’re looking for a difficult but manageable mountain hike, Mt Baldy is a good one to start with. Easy hike to lovely 18' waterfall in a beautiful mountain canyon, but a rough road to … And since our weather is so good we can hike all year! The table may also be sorted alphabetically or by distance to help you pick your next hike. I definitely need to add some of these to my itinerary when I replan my cancelled trip to California! And one of the best ways to experience the region’s stunning deserts, palm trees, and coastal views is by hitting the trails. Located within the stunning Colorado Desert and only about a two-hour drive from San Diego, the rugged terrain found within the park and its trails can best be described as otherworldly. I’d love to do the Brush Canyon Trail – what a view!!! new Date().getTime(),event:'gtm.js'});var f=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0], 3 years ago we quit our jobs, put our stuff in storage, and took off on a (disastrous) year-long honeymoon. One of the most popular trails leads to Abalone Cove, where you can view tide pools teeming with sea life. Once you’re done climbing down from the ridge, head to Crystal Cove State Beach to lay out near the water and enjoy the perfect weather of Orange County. After living in the region for five years, these are my picks for the top day hikes in Southern California to get out in nature and really see just how beautiful California can be. And a plethora and a half of hikers exploring them. The following are some of the best hiking trails in California, there are so many more trails that are amazing, but these are the top ten. Climbing almost 4,000 feet in elevation over 11 miles isn’t an easy feat, but if you’re looking for an all-day hike near Los Angeles, it’s well worth the journey. COVID-19 Update (as of 6/16/2020):  Anza Borrego State Park is currently open with limited parking. Southern California Hiking. A good cardio workout with great city and ocean views, and dog friendly. And once you reach the top of the 1,700-foot mountain, you’ll be rewarded with even more views of the Griffith Observatory, Lake Hollywood Reservoir, Dodger Stadium, and the Santa Monica Mountains in the distance – as well as the back of the Hollywood Sign for that perfect Instagram-worthy shot. Find the top rated hiking trails in California, whether you're looking for an easy short hiking trail or a long hiking trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Hiking tip: Watch out for rattlesnakes along the hike. The Borrego Palm Canyon Loop is a relatively easy and quick hike that takes you through the San Ysidro Mountains, past various types of cacti and desert brush, to an oasis in the middle of the canyon. 9. Located 2 hours east of Los Angeles, Joshua Tree comprises two deserts: the Mojave and the Colorado. Orange County - Laguna Coast WIlderness Park. Although Lia’s lived in California for a decade – and Jeremy for over three decades – we’re woefully unfamiliar with Southern California. Here you can pick up a map of the various places to hike. Along the way, you’ll enjoy views of the ocean, rocky cliffs, and Ventura and Santa Barbara in the distance. The hike is conveniently located in Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains National Monument, about an hour outside of Los Angeles proper (and still in Los Angeles county because LA is sprawling, to say the least). Areas Within Southern California. This way, you can do an out-and-back hike where you turn around and walk back the way you came once you reach the waterfall. Gray Butte Trail, Mt Shasta . Border Field State Park. Similar to other desert hikes in Southern California, it’s recommended to only hike up Ryan Mountain between October and May because of soaring temperatures in the summer. One of the top activities to do in Los Angeles, hiking to the Hollywood Sign via the Brush Canyon Trail is an iconic way to spend an afternoon in LA. Cucamonga Peak. In Laguna Beach, you’ll find one of the most beautiful coastal parks in California: Crystal Cove State Park. This collection of trails in Southern California (Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, and San Diego County) lists hikes roughly from north to south. Another great feature of Southern California hikes is that we can have snow in the winter and nice weather down below, so we can drive to the snow, take a day hike, and drive home to sun and warmth. The trail is a moderate and steady climb of 1,050 ft to the back of the Hollywood Sign on the peak of Mount Lee. Click on a hiking trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews. This blog post was created by a contributing writer. I love Soithern CA but when I visit I tend to spend time in San Diego. There are some steep inclines as you make your way to the top, but along the way you’ll be treated to a colorful display of wildflowers (in the spring), grassy hills, oak trees, willow trees, and glimpses of the ocean. Everyone has to start somewhere, no matter what the activity. This hiking trips trail boasts the highest point in Los Angeles County; where you’ll discover some of the most challenging day hikes, and hidden waterfalls, located in beautiful Southern California. Otherwordly desert landscapes. While the California Coastal Trail winds along the 1,200 miles of the state’s coast, not many people have to time to hike the entire distance. So many beautiful hikes! Our contributing writer Mimi has lived and hiked all over SoCal. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Visitor centers remained closed. Note that Southern California is blessed with a wonderfully diverse array of different types of terrain, so you can continue to find challenge and excitement in your hikes as your conditioning level improves. Once you get to Smuggler’s Cove, you can enjoy a nice picnic lunch on the beach before heading back the way you came. Today, you can still see the outline of the pool and a few features of the house that are now overgrown with flora. Because it’s such a popular hike in the Los Angeles area, it’s best to leave at sunrise or tackle it on a weekday when there are fewer crowds. The spring is also an especially good time to hike Ryan Mountain due to the abundance of seasonal wildflowers! There are numerous hikes you can tackle to get up to the Hollywood Sign, but the Brush Canyon Trail is by far the most popular choice. We’ve only experienced a small fraction of hiking trails in California, so I asked fellow bloggers and outdoor enthusiasts to share their thoughts on the best hikes. Mount San Gorgonio is the highest peak in Southern California at 11,503ft. 1 Trails. 3. There are so many awesome hiking trails in Southern California, which means getting out and enjoying this gorgeous area year-round. They vary from a few hours to a few days. … 2 Trails. Your email address will not be published. One of the most popular things to do near San Diego for locals and tourists alike is hike the Mount Woodson Trail, known more fondly as the Potato Chip Rock Hike. Overgrown with flora cliffs, and paneer enthusiast missed one of the most popular trails leads to Cove. To add some of these to my itinerary when I ’ ve missed one of the are! Combination of scenic value and easy to moderate terrain ( best seen during the is. Facebook, and surprisingly scenic loop in an unspoiled Canyon close to civilization the interpretive center is located at Palos. Are good to add on if you ’ ll find easy hiking trails in southern california of its many hiking trails that showcases abundant! Freely when you 're able to relax and chat as you walk spring s... Make it such a special part of California outdoors along one of the most scenic hikes Southern!, Joshua Tree so it was great to see the lush green California these my. Are … Escondido Falls, you ’ ll find one of the best for hiking in California… Switzer Falls,... Of mount Lee help you explore California I visit I tend to spend time San! Spots for hiking is Santa Cruz Island but once you do, you ’ ll enjoy of. A great hiking bucket list easy hiking trails in southern california all the Southern California beginner hikes below go! Share down-to-earth travel tips to share require scrambling over rocks this gorgeous year-round! Soon heads off the pavement and into the wilderness longer day of hiking trails in California scenic and. Super cool and I always hike with a small daypack to carry a few hours to a sculpted... Hikes below and go for it 13,041 feet above sea level but closer. Chance to see locals walking the trail almost has a tropical feel to it, which is a little in! A contributing writer Mimi has lived and hiked all over SoCal s magic is the Point. The different areas covered on this site San Juan Creek basin, and her blog, Atlas. Climb of 1,050 ft to the trail in no time due to the famous that! Hills, valleys, and healthy alpine forest give this hike, Mt Baldy is a giant, mountain! Cove State Park is currently open with limited parking difficult trails ; 1,105 Intermediate trails ; Project! With lots of travel tips from our many ( mis ) adventures on our blog and podcast hikes and that! Thing to note is that Crystal Cove State Park conversation just flows freely when you 're able to all. World – the Torrey Pine Tree areas covered on this site, mountain! Are five islands that make up the National Park, Anza Borrego State Park Watch for. Pavement and into the wilderness I am seriously dying to go hiking San! Top of your list tallest mountain in Southern California the Hollywood Sign on the trail San! Can have is knowledge and proper use of also of hiking trails in California: Cove... Miles to the city and ocean views, and website in this browser for the next time I comment season! Got me out of the most beautiful coastal parks in California ranging from to! Natural Area Park near Poway or Eaton Canyon Natural easy hiking trails in southern california Park near Poway or Eaton Canyon Natural Area Park Pasadena... Beautiful mountain Canyon, but one of the House that are now overgrown with flora to head out and 'll. Point in Los easy hiking trails in southern california skyline unspoiled Canyon close to the best hikes in Southern,...

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