Explore the most popular backpacking trails in California with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great trip. Going over black rock pass is challenging but completely worth the effort to get to little five lakes on the other side.

I wouldn't say this hike was a "difficult" rated hike at all. done many 14ers and this was just a mellow uphill. we hiked a total of 12 miles up the dripping springs trail, after you pass the first mountain, the climate changes into a rain forest type of environment and it's extremely beautiful and rewarding with panoramic views. Looking forward to hike it again in the spring when all the flowers are blooming

It was a difficult trail but every steps we took worth the spectacular view.

Beautiful surroundings. Easy trail. Good for jugging. I wouldn’t categorize it as difficult. Very easy. Climate change was awesome.

I am not a poet. Words cannot describe how humbling gods work is. Over every peak, the trail gets more beautiful.

23 hours ago

The forest is lush and the newts are frolicking! There are currently (January) a dozen or so stream crossings; knee-high water at one ford. I clocked the loop at 9 mi, 1145 ft, 3.5 hrs.

Definitely not for beginners.

Nice trail during most of the seasons and many wildflowers during the Spring. This can be a tough hike during our summers because it can get so hot. But it has some great views. I recommend this hike though!

This hike was challenging. I did Cactus to Clouds a couple of weeks ago, and although it wasn't quite that challenging, it was still a very difficult trek. I did not greatly enjoy this hike. Once the "trail" ends, you are basically boldering and avoiding cacti the entire rest of the way. I was stopping every 10 minutes to visually navigate the austere terrain in front of me to find the safest and "clearest" route. This is not a hike I would suggest doing by yourself. It's dangerous, and because of the incline and obstacle ridden terrain, one step could lead to a significant injury, or worse, death. I never felt completely unsafe, but there were moments I felt anxiety, which didn't allow me to relax and appreciate it as much. The summit is nice, but there are challenging trails that offer similar or better views of the same thing, but without the bushwacking experience.

Slightly over 12 miles logged to the summit from the parking lot. Loads of snow but good boots, trekking poles, and paying attention should get you to the summit in one piece ;)

Love the trail because there are a lot of shady areas and water. Cute to see the little cabins all the way up. The bugs are annoying sometimes.

Second time summiting via Icehouse Canyon and it was gorgeous as ever. A weeks worth of sun on recent snow made for an icy trail in the morning and slush by afternoon. Lent my microspikes to my sister, and I made it up and back just fine with my boots and poles. The NE side brought in a real cold wind, so be prepared with a shield! Great easy trail all around with a steady 4,000 elv. gain. The first mile has heavy foot traffic, but weeds out by the time you hit the saddle. Well marked, but the deep snow at the top had everyone cutting straight for the summit about the last quarter mile. My Garmin GPS has us at 12.14mi by the time we were back at our car in the TH parking lot. Remember your Annual Pass or get an Adventure Pass for your car, and please fill out the free day use permit at box at the start, the rangers check :)

Did this hike 1-15. Wish I had a current report prior. Snow is covering trail from 8000 feet all the way to the top. I made it to the top with micro spikes only. Probably not the best idea but the snow higher up was soft. Followed foot steps that were off trail but went right direction. Beautiful views.

Did this hike in 5th grade and planning on doing it again this year! It was an amazing experience and such great scenery. But extremely difficult and can be tough to follow if you do not have an experienced hiker with you.

Decent easy hike, but I would rate it moderate considering the distance. The trail has lots of shades and water running, which is nice on a hot day. Overall, a nice trail, but nothing amazing.

This was an amazing hike!! There was water!! The falls were amazing!! Def not suggested for the ill hearted or not fit... there is A LOT of full body esp upper body on the way back!! Bring plenty of water and time your hike!! Don't go to late in the morning because this is a long hike!!

Pros: great workout and great views at the top.
Cons: parking is the worst and if you enjoy solitude in nature, any other option is better considering this is one of the most popular hikes in the Bay Area.

Perfect time of year to be on this trail. I took it to Panther Creek and camped there on a Saturday night. Lots of spots to tarp/tent or hang. Excellent weather(70/40) with nice snowy views to the east. Water was plentiful, but none of the creek crossings to that point had any deep water. The road to the trailhead/Buckeye Flat campground is closed at this point for the winter but do not let that stop you from jumping on this awesome trail. You’ll need to park at the picnic area on Sherman’s Highway at the intersection of Buckeye Flat. It tacks on an additional two miles but was along the river and I encountered many mule deer along the way. When the road forks, go left on the rough road. The gate on the right goes to Buckeye Flat campground and Paradise trail. Happy hiking!

Did this Loop today with my 18 year old daughter and 12 year old son and I enjoyed it. My son struggled on a few of the inclines, but he was able to make it and felt good afterwards. We started north up El Moro Canyon and went clockwise. The ridge line at the top before descending had stunning views of the ocean about an hour before set. Not much shade like most of the other trails in Crystal Cove so bring sunscreen, hats and lots of water.

Beautiful weather, lovely scenery. This was a great hike!

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