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.

Beautiful place i love hiking here❤❤❤

There was a nice waterfall as of mar 18, 2018. Make sure to leave plenty time to return back.

Great for kids, good surprise at end

Solid hike - great incline and switchbacks. But SUPER trafficked and populated. It’s hard to break through the crowd.

1 day ago

Great trail to spend time on :)

Okay hike and, yes, heavily trafficked.
Lots of the terrain was burnt from the fire, so longs of darkened soil and lifeless plants, a bit sad.

nature trips
1 day ago

Great Hike. Not suitable to bring pets or your children coz theres a lot of boulder climbing, steep trails and also we got lost a little bit coz theres no signs anywhere. Advisable to start in the morning when theres plenty of sunlight. It was raining today and it made a great waterfall. Just be careful coming up there coz it gets foggy during this time. Advisable to bring walking sticks too. Going back is harder than we thought it would be. Overall, amazing experience.

Great hike - not many views going up bc of solid rain However few more blue skies going down. Plenty of parking - trails in good condition even with the rain. One down side - super busy even in the rain

We were not able to make it to the camp ground. There was a downed tree we managed to get around. Then not to far there was a landslide that completely wiped out the trail. We got over that with difficultly. However the water up ahead washed away the trail and we could not continue forward.

The best part of the trail was the view to the falls. If we did this hike again we would just hike to the falls and then head back.

on Eagle Rock via the PCT

2 days ago

Did this trail today, a beautiful clear Sunday. What an awesome hike! Arrived around 11am and there were about 20-30 cars already parked along the sides of the road. It definitely wasn't crowded though. We've been wanting to hike on the PCT "someday" and this is a great hike to accomplish that on. Well marked & maintained trail. Beautiful scenery that changes from a tree-canopied creekside path for the first mile and half or so, to rolling grass fields until you arrive at Eagle Rock. On the hike back we saw a couple groups of people on horseback. It seemed to go much quicker on the way back. Roughly 3hrs round trip including about 20min taking pix at Eagle Rock. We stopped at Lake Henshaw (like 10min away on the road back) to eat and it hit the spot! Great service and generous portions. Definitely recommended!

spikes are a must have

I loved it! Only hiked for 6 miles but it was worth it, mostly uphill so not for beginners, it’s great for building up stamina for more difficult hikes. I’d definitely recommend it.

graffiti covered rocks everywhere ruined the whole experience

Nice view. Need lot of leg work and zeal to accomplish this trail.

This hike was perfect for my family. The views are amazing and start almost immediately. Parking is limited and fencing is thin barbwire which was fine for everyone except my 3 year old.

4 days ago

Better done on weekdays; On weekends you'll spend most of your time avoiding mountain bikers on the San Juan portion of the loop, and off-roaders on the Main Divide Road section. The Los Pinos Trail section is magnificent. Much appreciated solitude, and awesome views of Lake Elsinore. It is very strenuous, though. Steep ascents and descents with a lot of loose rock. Trekking poles were very helpful.

Did the OG route last year but this new route has some nice changes. Instead of going down the Sheep Chute road to Little Harbor, you’ll go on the Ridge Trail, which was much more scenic. Starlight Beach got cut, which is a bummer because it’s a nice spot and you can say you went from end to end. The start of the trail also got moved from Pebbly Beach to Hermit Gulch. Overall, this is a wonderful thru hike but you should be experienced since planning for it does take some work. The trail is hard no matter what since you’ll have constant ascents and descents. Should definitely be on any backpacker’s list in SoCal.

5 days ago

Did the Trans-Catalina in mid-March and you understand almost immediately why this is mostly a winter-only trip. There is virtually no shade, a lot of sun, and even though you have a lot of access to water, there are at least two very difficult big climbs and a couple big descents followed by immediate climbs. Catalina does not give you a lot of flats to cruise on. Make sure to follow the Catalina Conservancy's map or at least be very clear which deviations you're taking because you can easily go well out of your way. The official Trans-Catalina is well-marked and we didn't miss a single mile marker.

We started in Avalon on a sunny day and your first mile is a nice walk up to Hermit Gulch before your next two miles are a very steady, steep uphill to the top of the ridge. Even when it was only 65 degrees, this was very hard for four fit people but you get spectacular views of the Pacific on all sides. Your next couple miles are up and down along a very dry portion of the interior where you will start to see bison and see how big the island actually is. You spend a significant portion of the next 4 miles on or very close to the airport road, power lines, and pipes and step over a lot of buffalo crap, probably the least good part of the trip. However it is still very scenic. You do a few big descents and climbs away from the road finally which is hard but eventually you'll get to Blackjack which is a nice campground tucked into a pine grove. Nice to hear the wind in the trees at night.

Day Two you can make either very easy or long and moderately hard. We chose easy because it was supposed to rain that day (it did). You start with a confusing portion that confused several backpackers. When you leave Blackjack, turn right at the airport road briefly (look for the markers as this uncharacteristically does not have a sign pointing you in the right direction) then a sharp left. Another hard down-and-up brings you to the airport. Definitely stop for a meal. It's quiet and there's a lot to see in the airport of the history of Catalina. The rest of the day is a pretty easy descent down to Little Harbor. We camped here in the rain and it was perfectly fine, though it definitely feels a lot like a drive-in campground with a lot of huge, out-of-place palm trees. You could potentially continue to Two Harbors from here and make it in good time.

Day Three is where you see the best scenery and are the most isolated. The first five miles is a pretty easy ascent onto the ridge overlooking the Pacific and it is spectacular. Even after the rain, this was an easy trail and a big highlight. You descend quickly into Two Harbors around five miles where you can refill water if necessary. The next portion brings you south of town and up the hardest climb of the trip. Miles 25-27 were by far the hardest and, once the sun broke through again, took a long time. Near the top though you start getting spectacular views again, particularly if you take half an hour to do the Lobster Bay Lookout trail. Amazing. You spend the next few miles walking along a ridge toward the tip of the island before a very steep descent into Parson's. After the rain, this was very muddy but doable going down. I would not attempt going up it after rain. Parson's is a dream, but don't expect to show up and have a spot. Reserve well in advance and get water. Oh! And DON'T FORGET TO GET YOUR KEY AT THE TWO HARBORS VISITOR CENTER. I did and was very lucky someone shared their water with me.

Day Four is a flat 8 miles back to Two Harbors along the coast on the road. The water and vegetation is beautiful but it is a bummer to have to stare down at four different ugly summer camps that you have to wind around. That was another least good thing about the trip. You should make it back to Two Harbors by 10:30 in time to catch the 11:30 ferry back to San Pedro.

A great trip if you like views of the ocean with some difficult terrain and don't mind some portions that interface with human infrastructure a lot.

If I do this trip again, I would most likely make it a bit longer by going from Day One Avalon to Blackjack, Day Two Blackjack to Two Harbors (instead of Little Harbor) and Day Three Two Harbors to Parsons, but hike the entirety of the Silver Peak Trail down to Starlight Beach and then on to Parson's. Adding that leg to Day Three adds over four miles but the views from the top of the ridge are really something.

Even though visibility was maybe 100ft at the top, this was still a fun and challenging hike. It took my brother and I 2.5 hours to get up to the top. Hiking poles or microspikes would be recommended this time of year even though it was fairly warm in the beginning (I only had a t-shirt on until Wellman Divide). There was a sprinkling of rain from Wellman Divide to the top which then turned to snow.

Hiked this yesterday with my 4 amigos. We were a group with varying degrees of fitness, but all hikers. First, take at least 3 L of H2O, it get's hot up there. It helps to drink some electrolytes beforehand or eat some blocks during. There is no shade! Start out with sunscreen on and re-apply liberally. We started at 8:30 a.m. and only averaged a mile or so per hour. I would recommend starting earlier if it is warm. When we finished it was 85 degrees! Too hot IMHO. I would NOT park at the abandoned tractor tires, I would go on down the road to the structure and park there. Go up on this side. For the first part of the trail, it is mostly way-finding. Once you get up past the first ridge, there is a bit of a trail and we built some cairns to help you out. Not so many cairns at the first part. I would recommend lug-soled boots and poles. The trail can be unkind in some places and you need good traction and support. Great work-out and nice views.

5 days ago

I would like to backpack this trail. I am looking for some pointers as far as where the trailhead is for this 20 mile trail and where we would be allowed to camp? Can anyone help me out?

This was my first time doing this trail and It wasn’t that bad. It took me about 2 hours to do it.. The views were amazing!! I saw the sunset on my way down and couldn’t stop taking pictures. I highly recommend this trail.

I am surprised that hiking options like this aren’t better marked. However, following directions listed I found the hike off Chiquita lane. The hike itself was great but is is more of a fire road than a trail. It is a steady and continuous climb into the mountains. It extends well beyond what is marked and outlined above. I went in about 4.5 miles before turning around and could easily kept going if I didn’t start so late in the day. Bring water and enjoy the walk and the solitude. I was passed by one mountain biker but other than that enjoyed the ever changing panoramic views.

Great hike, great view, but heavily trafficked.

6 days ago

The first time I did this hike, I was 10 years old and I never forgot it. It remains branded in my head. Now, I’m in my 50’s and its beauty hasn’t changed.

“Review stars” not accurate, just an update that as of today 3/12/18, the road after the bridge, past Indian Scotty campground is closed due to slides and fire suppression activities! Either adding an extra 5mi of hike, or the Lovers Camp trailhead is still open (the road-closed signs advised it) if you take Canyon Creek Rd another 2.5mi and turn left onto an unmarked road and then follow the randomly placed signs. I tried that but ended up turning around after a few miles, road got a little sketchy with loose clay-mud and melting snow/slush! (4wd rav4 was slipping a bit). Just leaving this here in case anyone else drives two hours to get here and go on this hike just to putz around and drive back haha :)

Peaceful and beautiful

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