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.

backpacking
5 hours ago

This was a superb trail, and the falls are unbelievable! We camped at heath falls overlook and hiked down to the falls for day trips, very sweet situation. Went in mid July, lots of water, great trails well defined by way of cascades lake trailhead. We met a few homies who came in from the south end, sounded pretty steep, and it seems their trail put them out right near the main falls south of the bridge.

hiking
6 hours ago

Fun hike, lots of short switchbacks.
Tons of beautiful butterflies and some snow at the top.

Nice trail. Well marked. Quiet and lots of wildlife. Longer than stated, our gps clocked 10 miles and we only stepped off trail once.

Short, easy hike from road to a fun little swim spot. Was pretty packed on a Monday... probably insane on a weekend day I'd bet. Water shoes not needed, but you wouldn't regret bringing them. Very exposed and the rocks radiate much heat, so bring plenty of water.

hiking
12 hours ago

Guys!! The Views were AMAZING. It's a tough climb up (especially if you do the Cinder cone the day before with zero hours of sleep after a 10 hour drive
...haha) but very doable. It's worth it.

This is definitely a difficult loop. I would not recommend it to people who cannot handle slopes or the heat. The path is also not paved, and may require some climbing over large rocks and boulders. I finished it in close to 2.5 hours, but I stopped a lot for photos and to snack. The views are absolutely gorgeous!

The only con I have is that it's a very popular place, so parking can get difficult to find.

backpacking
16 hours ago

Worth the views and almost a hidden gem! We backpacked this in June and had the trail and campsite (next to waterfall) to ourselves. Perfect for a 1-2 night trip and great for beginner backpackers.

fishing
18 hours ago

Great trail if you want to fish away from the crowds. Incredible views from the ridge above duck lake. A long day hike but gradual inclines make it doable. Bugs weren’t that bad but wear the juice for sure. Not much shade so dress accordingly and bring 3 liters of water or a way to sterilize the creek water.

Great day today. Started off just after 8am. Nice time to start the day , never got too warm. Trail starts at the Sugar Bowl academy, very easy to find the PCT Trail head. Lots of shaded spots to have some lunch or a cat nap. Cross 3 streams for water fillups but those might be dry by the end of the month.
Instead of following Granite Chief trail that leads down to Squaw Valley Village, we followed the PCT around 2 more miles , ended up bush wacking a mile or so until we found ourselves at Squaw Valley High Camp. Here you can take a nice dip in the pool or free ride down in the Tram which is a great way to end a perfect day around. All and all with breaks and inclined, hikes around 2 miles per hr.

Great view at the top, took the left trail then went back using the right trail.

Nice trail uphill, then levels off to grassy meadows. Saw wild turkeys and many other birds. Many burned out trees.

Hiking to the top of Clouds Rest if you’re afraid of heights can be prohibitive, but if you’re willing to push past your fear, the views are phenomenal!

First I want to start with the TH. The directions given are funky and confusing on the link of this site. I would follow this link for overall better information: https://hikemtshasta.com/trails-further-afield/trinity-alps-trails/grizzly-creek-trail/ I found that many people slept at the trailhead the night before. We slept at the North Fork Campground right at the turnoff to the TH. It is a pack in/out campground with a bathroom. We were the only ones there while the TH was crowded with cars. There seemed to be plenty of parking at the TH. Mileage on this site is very off! I had 2 GPS devices and both read just over 8 miles one way to the meadows and another 1 mile scramble to the top of Grizzly falls. This means that round trip it was just over 18 miles. Be prepared for that. This was a beautifully amazing hike that was extremely difficult. If you are in shape you will have no problem. There is plenty of water along the trail so you don’t have to pack it all. Camping is in the meadow and there is space across the water. The scramble was insane and going down was even a greater challenge. People were camping at the lake, but it is more exposed in thunderstorms, which there were when I was there. It was also 91 degrees which made this hike even a greater challenge. Wildlife and deer are plenty. DO not leave ANYTHING outside your tent except for the food you hang. The deer will eat it. They did that to my friend and several other hikers.
I highly recommend this hike for fit people who want an extra challenge. The views are stunning and worth it.

Almost didn't go because of the potential loose dogs (and couldn't get a call back from the Rangers for any update) but decided it was well-trafficked enough in case anything were to happen, especially on a weekend. I did take my dog and it was a gorgeous hike with lots of shade cover for most of the way. The only dogs we encountered were leashed and well-behaved which is always nice to see. A note if you have any kiddos (or adults or dogs) that get carsick on windy roads: coming from LA, I took the 210 to the 2 to get there but took the 2 to the 138 to the 14 on the return trip to avoid a lot of the super windy drive on the 2.

We hiked up to trail crest on 7/15 (13,400 feet), and didn't get to summit. There was no snow on the trails and conditions were completely clear that day. No bear sightings, but there were a couple marmots after the 97 switchbacks.

Beautiful route. Spent the night at Rae Lakes because this is way too hard to do in one day - it's even hard to do consecutive days, but well worth it if you've got the fitness!

Thanks for the update on the dogs, I was planning on carrying a Bear spray or something....

The trail is pretty easy to follow, but maybe they haven’t gone out there yet to clean it up... bushes were covering the trail throughout. & huge trees were in the way of the trail that you have to climb over (not hard to do if you don’t have back problems). Lake is beautiful & if you want there’s random camp sites around the lake. All together it was a little over 4 miles. Would’ve given it more stars if the trail was cleaned up.

The hike is between easy to moderate. I went clockwise and found it enjoyable. The views of ocean and pine trees of rangers there are very blissful to see. Sometimes, the trail totally vanishes and all you have to do is to get past the boulder or rock covering it. Please carry bug repellent as there are lot of blood sucking insects and they will keep swarming you. Most of the time I could only only hear them. This trail would be very beautiful in raining season.

Mid July, air temp was great all day. Humidity in Socal has been high this year and it was quite apparent up there too. Beautiful views almost all the way up and down. Very crowded on the weekends and BE WARNED, the tram does not run until 8:00 AM. This trail is rated moderate, but the upper half is quite rocky and my knees and ankles were sore by the end. Trekking poles would be a big help on the way down.

We summit on 7/9 starting at 2am and we were able to summit by 7am, beautiful view and beautiful sunrise and great group to do this hike with. This is my 2nd time I summited Mt Whitney. The first time I did it in 2004 and it’s as beautiful as I remember. 14 years later, I’m glad I can still do this hike.

This is one of the most beautiful trails I’ve been on. It took us about 4 hours to reach Lake Ediza and 3 hours to get back . Don’t forget to carry a mosquito repellent .

Carry a rain jacket . Weather here can be unpredictable .

I've done this hike many times and never tire of it. I did it with my sons yesterday. We started at 10:50 am., and by that time the main parking lot was full, so I recommend getting there early if you can.

The wildflower display is fantastic right now. It probably will be great through the end of July and will start to fade after that. I've done this hike many times from June through October; it's always a good hike but it's extra special when you go during peak wildflower season.

Winnemucca Lake is a nice lunch spot because it's a beautiful lake with a spectacular mountain background. If you are up for more of a hike, going the extra mile to Round Top Lake is worth it. We pushed on to Round Top Peak, which affords great views all around, but it's a great hike even if you skip the mountain peak.

backpacking
1 day ago

Backpacked this loop July 2018. I did it with my 14 year old son and his friend. We started at the Smith Lake Trailhead near Gray Eagle Lodge and went towards Long Lake. Our first night was at Wades Lake ~8 mile hike. Wow, the scenery was incredible and we saw very few people. On the way to Smith Lake we swam in Grass Lake - another beautiful alpine lake. We then headed to Smith Lake but made a wrong turn and ended up at the Jamison Campground and had a half mile backtrack to the Smith Lake trail. The Smith Lake trail was a lot of uphill and in the sun. We spent the second night at Smith and then headed back to the truck Sunday morning.

The Hike: Completed on 7/15/18
Parking at the trailhead fills up quickly I was in the lot parked by 5:30 AM and many others were already there,with less than half the lot left. This hike is very tough be prepared. It starts off with a very rocky incline that follows a stream for about 1 mile. You travel about 2 miles or so until you are out of the rocky incline. Then there’s about 2 miles of some steep switchbacks that take you up to icehouse saddle.

Ice house saddle is a nice place to take a break as it is shaded, but beware there are tons and tons of mosquitoes, flies and other bugs that will not leave you alone. I didn’t bring bug spray and it was really annoying I just continued on to take a break elsewhere.

After icehouse saddle there are some beautiful views along the trail and it’s an up and down trail for about 1 mile before the toughest part of the hike. 1 mile before the summit are some really really steep switchbacks that get you huffing and puffing all the way up ! I summited at 830 AM and stayed at the summit enjoying my lunch and resting for 1 hour.

The way back down was a breeze only because I had trekking poles without them the decent would have really been horrible as it is very steep m, narrow, and loose gravel. I was back in the parking lot by 11:50 AM

All in all 3 hours up, 1 hour break at summit, and 2 hours down. 6 hours total trip time !

Not for faint hearted... I felt easy while hiking from Stanford ave may be because I regularly go to gym, carry water as per body requirements. This is workout hike and not scenic one.

Great Trail

backpacking
2 days ago

trail was good and clear . paradise lake phenomenal like always

hiking
2 days ago

Beautiful hike, although it is more like 17 miles to the lake and back. The meadows were spectacular and great views.

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