Explore the most popular historic site 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.

Amazing views. Great hike.

Amazing hike and picturesque as well. The trail are
Rough with many tripping hazards and one should watch your step, specially when descending. done it twice and were very fulfilling.

Hiked up Ski Hut / Baldy bowl and down Devil's Backbone loop Sunday March 18th.

Left at 7:15AM, arrived at Ski hut at 9am, and summited around 11am. We contemplated descending the ski hut trail, or completing the loop down Devil's Backbone. After talking with several people on the summit who hiked up the backbone, we decided on the backbone. We were lucky to have great weather and a solid path in front of us the entire day. We got the job done in our micro spikes but obviously preferred with crampons. There were certainly a couple sections where you want to be extremely cautious along the backbone, and most likely avoid after a storm or it's too cold / icy.

We stopped by the lodge for celebratory beers and ended back at the starting point around 2:30pm.

Overall this climb was far more impressive than I was expecting. The entire hike was beautiful. It's awesome to have this mountain only an hour from the beach.

I'd definitely recommend going with someone who is familiar with the route or experienced in the mountains if you decide to do the bowl or backbone on the ascent/descent in the winter. Shoot for a day with a great weather window as it will eliminate alot of the risk variables.

The sun didn't hit the mountain hard until noon, which then we observed several rock and ice fall as the mountain came alive. Try to be on your descent in the early afternoon.

Awesome hike. 5 Stars!

on Johnny Cash Trail

2 days ago

So first of all... this art trail isn’t complete just yet, so if you want to check out the fully paved trail and see some of the finished installations then check it out but I will be returning once it’s fully done! ALSO very important to note that the location All Trails sends you to is actually the Folsom city hall building/ parking lot. The actual entrance to the trail is by the Dan Russel Rodeo Arena, where you can easily park. This trail is a loop so there are various other locations where you could begin the trail but there is plenty of parking if you just google map it to the rodeo arena instead. This is a 6.3 mile trail that is VERY bike, stroller friendly and pet friendly. The loop does go around Folsom prison for part of it ... but again if you’re a Johnny Cash fan you’ll understand why that is and why that’s actually pretty cool! Overall a pretty cool trail and we can’t wait for it to finally be finished because it’s pretty darn cool to see them commemorate Johnny cash how they’ve done so far and to see everything else they’re planning on installing!

2 days ago

Disclaimer: If this review makes no sense it's because there's no autosave on this apps. Had to rewrite it a few times.

I accidentally found this trail. I intended on going to the Rustic Canyon Trail but somehow after missing a turn, my GPS took me up a winding hill through a beautiful neighborhood in the Palisades.

Although I'd seen pictures of this particular trail and noticed that it was one of the closest ones to me I always went to others e.g. Escondido, Temescal, Solstice etc. to explore. This is an interesting trail with a history that I'm sure you'll read in other reviews. I don't want to give the wrong story about what it was built for. I heard 2 different stories of the history of this place.

I felt like Chicago Jones instead of Indiana as I walked through the ruins of the trail. There's a lot of graffiti on the path and although some of it is cool, I wasn't a fan of empty spray cans and paint on the natural surfaces e.g. trees, rocks and sides of cliffs. The juxtaposition of nature and man-made structures was cool in that in the future when people look back at a place like this they'll hear its origin story and see the graffiti (hieroglyphics) and be able to interpret the messages that people left.

The trail is cool and the only reason I didn't take the stairs is because I wanted to stay on the path to prevent from getting lost. Since I went solo and had no idea what was in store I figured for my safety and lack of cell phone service it was better to explore but stay on the trail. Next time I go I will try to enter from another entrance so that I can try the stairs and maybe see things that I may have missed.

All in all I would suggest this place as a moderately difficult trail. There's still a lot that I want to see so I'll be returning. There are some cool views of the ocean and with all of the buildings some cool photo opps. If you get a chance check it out.

IMPORTANT NOTE: the directions take you to the crest of the trail, which is fine if you'd rather go downhill first. if you want to start at the trough as shown in the map, the parking lot you want is the "Sierra Azul open space preserve at Mt. umunhum road parking lot" on Google maps. Great hike, fantastic views of the South Bay.

3 days ago

Great trail to spend time on :)

on Bayside Trail

4 days ago

Easy walk! Stunning views, cool breeze! Make sure you bring your water bottle. Enjoy!

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.

9 days ago

My route is slightly different in two areas: 1. I included the Falls Trail 2. I did not use Bald Ridge Trail to go Eagle Peak. In stead, I use Juniper Trail and Meridian Ridge Trail . This creates a larger loop with little repetition. The view is stunning. But AllTrails’ software problem got exposed again: the recording showed many line segments. That is disgusting.

On March 10, hiked up Ski Hut / Baldy Bowl and down Devil’s Backbone to the Notch, about 7.5 miles total. Took the chairlift down the rest of the way. The hike itself took 4 hours and 3min, but I set a very aggressive pace for myself due to time constraints. The first three miles up to just beyond the ski hut took 1h20min, the next 1.5 miles up to the summit took 1h20min (this segment abolutely kicked my butt) and the summit down to the Notch took 1h25min. I set out from Manker Flats at 5:22am (with a headlamp as it was not yet twilight) and got to the Notch at 9:26am. The trail was mostly clear of snow and ice for the first three miles. Microspikes were necessary for most of the upper section to the summit due to ice and snow particularly in the steep section beginning about 1/2 mile after the hut. I had downloaded a route into my Garmin watch, which was very helpful (read: necessary) because there are sections between the hut and the summit where it would be very easy to lose the trail. Hiking down Devil’s Backbone was a little scary in parts due to ice and snow along the precipitous drop-offs, however there was enough ground exposed so that I could easily identify and avoid the snow cornices. It is a little hairy right at the western entrance to the Backbone section as there is a lot of snow wedged in the corner next to a fairly steep dropoff. Overall it is a very fun and pretty challenging hike, with amazing views and spectacular scenery along the whole route. Well worth it, but this time of year use caution and tread carefully along precipitous sections of the Devil’s Backbone trail; and be prepared - I would recommend microspikes and trekking poles for the hairy parts, and also bring some layers because there can be very significant changes in temperature at the different elevations and much wind chill at the summit.

Long hike uphill, followed by moderately difficulty descent. Pretty spectacular views from the top, would highly recommend. As with other commenters, first two miles is a rough climb (but manageable) and will drain you if you aren’t prepared.

Walked on a lot of stinky sand. Lots of flies. Couldn’t see any huge tufas you have to be on a boat for those.

Great time. Snow on the ground made it that much more enjoyable. Did the whole loop and Needed crampons for sure to help with the sliding around.

12 days ago

Spectacular 360 degree view of the Bay Area in top! I could see the Bay Bridge, Lick observatory, and Santa Cruz mountains. The hike itself was moderately easy with lots of shades. I spotted some melting snow near the top. Overall, great hike. Recommend going on weekdays or going early on weekend because parking is limited. I started from the second parking lot for a total of 7.7 miles hike

Takes about 10 miles to get away from the general population leaving from Happy Isles. But Cathedral Lakes is one of Americas best campsites. You could get there in a little over a half a day if you left from Tuolomne Meadows heading north to happy Isles.

15 days ago

My all time favorite trail the stairs are a killer but its worth the walk

15 days ago

Lovely hike- took us about an hour. Great views, close cow encounters and historical landmark. Beware cow poop all over the place. Want to return to picnic with views in the future.

16 days ago

Too much litter- interesting history but no need to do this hike again.

Took a morning jog from Spanish Landing to Seaport Village. I avoided the crowds by going around 0830. View is beautiful of the bay. A good playlist and lots of sites to keep your mind busy as your walk, jog, run, or bike this route goes by quickly.

scenic driving
20 days ago

Did this one as a kid and that was a long time ago...

20 days ago

Great experience! expect to be hiking for 8-10 Hrs based on how often you stop. Plan on bringing at least half a gallon of water per person and plenty of snacks. Mt diablo is an awesome spot to rest before finishing the rest of the trail.

on Mount Umunhum

20 days ago

I’m so glad they opened this preserve up after so many years of being closed. Great hike with decent amount of shade, but there are plenty parts of the hike that are not shaded - so dress in layers would be my advice. Once at the top, it can get quite windy but the views are beautiful. For those who cannot hike the distance, there is a road for cars that will lead you to the top as well. Oh, on a side note, I did come across a tarantula cruising along some rocky path at the very top! So watch your step!

22 days ago

intense incline for most of the way up. definitely worth every moment, breathtaking and unbelievable views! the very top has a complete 360 degrees overlook that goes on for Miles and miles. unfortunately it was super cold with heavy wind at the top so we could only stay a few moments to write our name in the itinerary. best hike I've ever done. took us about 4 hours, with several stops.

22 days ago

Dog friendly hike. Parking is a bit weird. If you’re coming from the Hollywood side and you’re in the residential area just park by a house. If you start going down a narrow street there’s no parking there and turning around is a beetch. Also a ton of construction happening right before you hit the trail the last time I went. A few of the structures are still up it’s nice to look at. Would be creepy af at night I would imagine some meth heads there or something but yea :) do it. Enjoy!

So fun and one of the best views of LA from uptop.

The first half is a steady incline and you're exposed to a lot of sun. The second half is a much steeper incline and can get quite chilly and breezy. If you want a nice conditioning hike, this is it. Careful along those rocky edges up in the second half. Can be challenging for this who don't like heights.

I love this set of trails. Sam Merill Trail starts at the intersection of Lake Ave and Alta Loma Dr, straight up Lake Ave from the 210 about 5 miles. Its all street parking, i've never had an issue finding a spot neary even at 9am. Just look at the signs, some say No Parking, some have times.

The first 2.5 miles is steep and can get hot with almost no shade so start early. You hit the old site of Echo Mountain Hotel and the Mount Lowe Railway at 2.5 miles and there's an amazing view of DTLA and Catalina from there. At this point there are several trails that branch off. Continue another 2.5 miles on the Inspiration Point Trail. This portion is awesome. There is alot of shade, it goes by a creek, it starts to look foresty, and you get a glimpse of a cool cave which I have yet to try to get to. Once at the top, the views are breathtaking! There are several points of interest to look out at, there are benches to have a snack, and shade. The view is amazing and without driving into the mountains.

For this route, you take the trail over the back side of Inspiration Point where it is all shade for the first few miles down. Here you will likely see deer roaming. Also beware this portion is highly traveled by mountain bikers, listen for their bell warning and let them pass by quickly. Eventually you will arrive back at the top of Echo Mountain. From here continue down the Sam Merill Trail you came up originally for 2.5 more miles. Most of this trail is narrow and has steep drop offs, it can get congested. The lower portion is highly traveled by runners. Overall it is still excellent, especially with the ease of getting there.

Great hike for exercise and views of downtown LA and the surrounding area! Once at the top you can take to an extra 0.8 miles across the mountain ridge to stand behind the Hollywood sign, this part is more challenging but definitely worth it!

Beautiful hike but as of today there’s no more swing. It’s been cut off.

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