Explore the most popular forest 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.

hiking
3 hours ago

Great day hike. Took us about 6hrs to complete, with a lunch stop at one of the waterfalls. Note there’s currently a detour around the Sunset-Dool leg, so just factor in another mile or so.

trail running
3 hours ago

I was expecting more single track through the woods etc. it's mostly just a dirt road except for the last last downhill section. no technical aspects. the views are great at the top but scenery on the trail itself is a little boring, oak trees and the dried up native grass. the best thing about the trail is that it is steep and provides a good uphill workout.

one of my favorite easy going hikes. beautiful views in the fall overlooking Windsor.

nature trips
3 hours ago

State Park Docents are often present on Weekends.
Pictures show some key points. Fire ant hill, woodpecker tree, castle rock with its tafoni, giant Douglas Fir trees, and oak forest.

hiking
4 hours ago

Awesome trail, originally planned to just go to Emerald Lake but continued on after, which was a great decision.

Took my new dog (somewhat senior) on her first hike here. Success! At least half of the trail had shade, and the trail went easy on her pads. Stepped aside pretty regularly for groups of mountain bikers when we were in the trees, but once we cut down to the beach on the east side of the lake, there was no traffic at all. Everyone we met was friendly, easy going, and happy to be in the mountains.

So hard!!! A lot of climbing straight up rocks. But GORGEOUS and a great workout. Highly recommend.

hiking
5 hours ago

A very beautiful hike with stunning views

hiking
5 hours ago

Lots of people and groups, kids, somewhat scenic trail. The closet parking area is indicated. We went a bit farther than the main tourist attraction, but wasn't worth it. Scrambling on rocks, cliffs somewhat fun.

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

If your close by, and want a little stretch/stroll, this is your best bet. Seems like a lot of locals walk the lake. Most parking is paid parking ($8-9). Looks like free parking in at least one spot (see track). The lake is swimmable, and again it appears a lot of locals hang out there. Looks good for kids. Lots of Toys, and activity structures in the water, and seems safe for kids (complete with life guards). Again, you pay for entrance. There is a par course in some of the areas.

Great place to hike !!! Easy to get to .
Hikes are easy and scenic. Buy a annual pass if you plan on coming back . It's a great deal !!!

hiking
6 hours ago

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

It's really nice, well kept up, densely forested, easy stroll with clean bathrooms, and nicely tagged scrubs, trees, wild flowers, ground cover, etc.. It's right on Hwy 18 with big parking lot. It's a great place to stretch. A tourist delight. Brochures galore at the trail head, free.

This is not a maintained trail. Tried to follow the track and it is overgrown and not really passable. Went back to equestrian camp and took the Bassi Creek loop.

The Santa Ana River Trail from Angelus Oaks east to Highway 38 (about 16 miles or so one way) is an extremely nice area. We did an out and back from Middle Control dirt Road (aka Mill Creek Road) heading back West towards Angelus Oaks. Quite scenic. about 30 % of this track is pretty double track, then even prettier single track. The trail follows the side of a North facing steep mountain (down the hill is the huge Seven Oaks/ Santa Ana River canyon that ends at the ocean in Orange County). It is ledgy in a few parts, and you do have to pay attention. The trail narrows in a few place to maybe 8-10 inches with steep slopes on your side. There's bike tracks throughout though. Since this side of the mountain is north-facing, it is quite shady all day. Quite scenic, and becoming one of my favorite areas to hike. Didn't see a sole in the 3 hours we were out.

hiking
6 hours ago

Beautiful high Sierra hike.

This hike is awesome and makes you feel so accomplished but it is a little harder than “moderate”, especially on a hot day. The first half is entirely inclined and not mildly. Make sure to bring a LOT of water and food. You won’t pass any lakes so if you have dogs make sure to pack lots of extra water for them. It is a dog friendly trail though, and my active dog loved it. The view at the lookout is truly spectacular and makes the whole hike worth it. I’d say it took us around 4 hours to complete from the lookout trailhead.

hiking
7 hours ago

Awesome hike... long, strenuous at times, but great views of the lake from the top.

Perfect day hike. Has amazing views, lots of lakes, and is not too strenuous. Great for dogs, mine was off leash the entire time.

Gorgeous, shady, sublimely quiet hike. We got on the trail around 12:30 and the parking lot was full, but most people were coming out as we were coming in. We didn’t pass many people on our way out. Early evening might be the best time to go. Don’t skip the loop at the bottom as it’s the reason for the entire hike. It’s full of huge redwoods, lush ferns, and old growth moss covered maple trees. Our kids thought it felt like a fairy garden (oh and our kids rocked this hike - ages 7 and 4).

Great hike....loved it but very steep, what a beautiful lake and a small stream on the back side of the lake! Lots of bugs and warm this time of year...

hiking
7 hours ago

Great trail with beautiful scenery. Lots if water and falls. The first mile is quite flat, exposed and boring. If hiking in the evening, apply bug repellent or wear a bug screen. Very easy trail, that gets tougher once you pass the falls and head toward Paradise Valley. .

hiking
8 hours ago

Three stars only because of the limited water views. Lots of Cranes, Herons. Egrets and Cottontails. Pretty much a full sun hike and I forgot a hat. Should be renamed the "3 Loop Trail".....

Great scenery and stout elevations changes. cool shade on hot days.

Great opportunity to enjoy a wide variety of floors and fauna.

Red Hill is the tougher trail! We took a pup and she dis great for the full 7 mi. We parked at the camp ground and started there but realized most people park at Shell Beach. Works either way as long as you start out early enough to finish before sunset!

hiking
9 hours ago

This hike was fairly challenging for someone who is used to living at sea level and could definitely have used some more time to acclimate to the climate and heat...but it was worth it. Hiked for what felt like forever and and soon as we got our first glimpse of the falls, we knew we had to finish it and touch that water. They are beautiful! After arriving at the falls, set up a spot on the rocks to take a break, have some snacks, rest, recharge, and enjoy before beginning the journey back.

To echo other recent reviews: minimal shade, need lots of water, two liters a piece at minimum and covered legs are a must. I was ok in a tank top but for those that don’t want to risk it while brushing up against over grown plants, long sleeves are a must too.

So much fun! Rangers will likely advise you to go the bluff trails way, but I highly suggest going the ridge trail clockwise direction if you plan on doing the whole loop. That way you get the hardest inclines out of the way and have the most ocean views on the way down. And you can head down the spring trail for easy beach access and one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve been to in big sur on your way back. Beautiful trail and not too hard either :)

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