Explore the most popular rock climbing 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.

Time: 10:45am at beginning of trailhead
Followed AllTrails map.
Temperature: 80s.

If you stick to the All trail map, the mileage is pretty accurate. Very little shade on this hike. Path is narrow in a lot of areas so be careful.
If you stop at the location specified in the map, there’s a shaded open area with rocks to sit and lay on next to the river/ stream which was green from the algae but still nice and serene.
There were quite a few dirt bikes at the beginning before the trailhead which kicked up a lot of dirt. They don’t tend to slow down so watch out. Apparently it’s a thing here. The majority of hiking trail does not allow motorized vehicles.

A couple of reviewers mentioned a waterfall on this trail. You need to detour off the trail down a pretty steep hill to go to Aztec Falls. This was about 1/3 of the way in so look out for it if that’s what you want to do.

Tip: bring extra water if weather is hot
Bring poles if you go down to Aztec falls. It will help.

Decent hike with what would be amazing views at the peak (was cloudy when I got to the top), but I arrived at 7:30 am, the marine layer may have be better burn off if you start an hour later (8:30 am).

Someone mentioned it before, but definitely park in the turnout about 100 ft past the trail head (I was the first car there but by the time I got back there were about 3 behind me so I assume it’s safe to park there).

Trail runs about 9.7 miles (the distance mentioned in the main description is incorrect). The first 5 miles is more or less all uphill with the retuning..... you guessed it, all downhill.

Overall the hike took me about 4.5 hours (3.5L of water in 87F weather), while seeing a minimal abound of people (which is great!)

Feet hurt towards the end as it’s a narrow/rocky trail, but worth it especially you are down for a good work out (2,400 calories burned)

12 hours ago

Awesome views!

Beautiful view from summit. Worth it.

13 hours ago

A few too many stairs to climb for my liking but beautiful scenery.

14 hours ago

Short climb up to the top for views of the Sierra's and the Valley floor. Gets crowded at sunset. Pro Tip: Go right after the sun goes down - everyone leaves, you still get soft light and usually you have the top of yourself to view the city lights below and stars above. On a full moon, the mountain range behind you really light up!

This is an epic hike. Highest hiking trail in USA. Highest mountain in continental USA. Lots of rocks the whole way. Unbelievable views. Places to camp. Started at Whitney Portal. Have to get there early to get a place to park. I got there at 2am. Just under 7 hours to the top. 10 hours to get back down because of hurt knee, rick to the face, lightning, thunder, rain, and hail. I lived and gated this hike. When your standing at the summit there is nothing above you or higher the you in the USA.

21 hours ago

Great hike and great time. Enjoyed the lake. It’s bloody difficult—uphill all the way. The rock trail was a bit difficult to follow due to some weather effects, but there’s plenty of fun ways up. I personally enjoyed scaling up the larger rocks.

This is a challenge with a weighted pack or without. Bring plenty of water if you’re not out and back before noon, at 80 degrees it’s still hot with little to no shade after the first mile. I went through 3Liters plus two water bottles. After the first 2 miles there’s a concrete structure that’s excellent for shade and food before rock climbing with no shade, except a couple small trees or hiding behind a rock.
Very lightly trafficked, 3 other single hikers the day I went. Out of the 4 of us only 2 went up to strawberry peak, the other 2 made it up the first rock scramble and turned back. The second rock scramble is NOT well marked, which is acceptable going up, but coming back down check the map for your location. I got off in a rock slide area, noticing after I went to step down and one slid out from under my foot. I’m not a fan of heights and was calmly scared since I was alone, but I was able to get over to the trail after checking this app for its location vs mine.
I’m not sure I’d come back to this alone, but having experienced it once the climb should be more manageable. This was my first time in almost a year with a pack on, which caught me off guard with the weight and climbing. Hiking Project by REI classifies the rock scramble as a level 3. Enjoy! Make sure someone knows your location on this one because it’s not an easy 6 Miles.

22 hours ago

Went for sunrise, definitely worth it. Started at 3am, summited at 5:30 for a 5:50 sunrise. Back to the car at 8am, total mileage was about 12. Wouldn’t recommend bringing a dog without booties, lots of rocky terrain.
The second half of the trail is exposed, could get very warm later in the day, would recommend starting early and bringing lots of water.

Did this on Friday morning of July 20th, starting at 7:42 am from the Tioga Pass entrance and summited less than 3 hours later. Had to almost run all the way back down when I heard thunder from the clouds getting darker, even though it was clear skies when I started. Aside from that, it was a fantastic hike as the smoke from the Ferguson Fire wasn’t a problem that day, and visibility was great in every direction, giving some great panoramas! Starts off gradually then gets steep as you clear the trees to the meadow, then it’s steep scrambling almost all the way to the top. The trail is well beaten into and is clearly marked by cairns when it fades into the loose rocks on the final ascent. Would definitely recommend if there are no clouds or storms forecasted!

Great hike and amazing views. No issues with dogs and plenty of people on the trail. We finished the hike at 9:30am and the parking lot was full so arrive early.

1 day ago

Great trail with great views. It got windy as we got to the top but the temperature was not to bad.

Lovely hike. As previous reviews have noted there are no signs marking the turn off for the lakes. We never would have been able to find the correct trail without GPS. The nice thing is most traffic stays on the main trail so even on a busy Saturday we saw just a few others along the way. We actually continued on to Lake Angela which worked well. Trail after Flora Lake can be unclear at times but GPS made it easy to figure out if we made a wrong turn (which we did).

Well worth the time. Start early, it gets pretty busy as the day goes on.

I love this trail and I love this mountain. I work at the ranger station as a park aide and have done most of the trails on Mt. San Jac. If you're coming to summit just make sure get a permit and have 3 liters of water on you as well as plenty of food. Make sure to check the weather and water reports at the ranger station. For hikers of average fitness this hike is not to bad. the hardest section of the hike is from Round Valley Meadow up to Wellman's Divide. At the top you're met with a rock scramble to get to peak sign. Remember to take in the view!

"The view from San Jacinto is the most sublime spectacle to be found anywhere on this earth!" - John Muir

Both trails that run along the north and south side of the creek are CLOSED. Nothing indicated when they would reopen.

2 days ago

WOW! What an incredible hike!!! My brother and I did this not really knowing what to expect (we looked at the mileage/elevation gain and knew it was gonna be tough) and yes it was tough but well worth the effort! If you aren’t in shape, I probably wouldn’t recommend this hike, but man was this one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done. I lived in Yosemite for a week so I feel like that says a lot. Keep your eyes peeled... we did see three bears on this hike! The first one we almost walked into in the woods coming down from the rock face, and it was a HUGE brown bear! Then, not 10 minutes later we saw a different mama bear and her cub! It was quite the experience. Keep your eyes open and ALWAYS look ahead of you. :)

Great hike! Take your time up to Nevada falls, things get easier at Little Yosemite Valley... Until Subdome that is. I found Subdome to be more difficult than the cables. It seems like it goes on forever.

Bring good gripping shoes and gloves for the cables! I was at the summit at approximately 9AM, stayed for 15 minutes and encountered lots of hikers on the cables on the way down.

Hiked up via mist trail and down by JMT to lessen the strain on the knees.

Amazing hike, possibly second only to the Panorama-Four mile loop.

TL;DR: it’s hard, but worth it. The views are unbeatable. If you have a pet, might be a good idea to have puppy shoes. There’s a lot of rocks.

The first half of the hike was great. It’s a manageable hike along the ridge parallel to Fallen Leaf Lake. From the ridge, we started moving more and more at in incline, passing a stream, then a pond, then another pond shortly after that. From the second body of water, there is no longer water until you reach the top (if there’s still snow at the top). It’s also a pretty steep incline from there on out, and very rocky. The rocks vary in size; sometimes rock steps like a stair master, sometimes smaller rock, and lots of large rocks all the way up the mountain. When you finally reach the top of the rocky part and think you’ll be able to meander your way up around the backside of the mountain until you reach the top, you’re mistaken. It’s more of a fairly steep incline up until the top. Thankfully, there were tons of wildflowers all around to distract us for the next mile and a half or so. Finally, we started seeing people at the top of the rocks and got our second wind to hustle up to the top and look out over the entire Lake Tahoe and the Sierra Nevadas surrounding it! Finally, that sense of accomplishment after 3K feet increase elevation! From the top, there’s an amazing panoramic view all around; from lakes in Desolation Wilderness, to ski runs in the distance, it’s breathtaking (mostly because my breath was gone from the hike :] ). All in all, I’m so glad we did it, but I don’t know if I’d do it again any time soon without being more in shape. :]

Short, but nicely inclined walk on a paved road. The only dirt you will actually hike to the trail is loose and steep.
Small, beautiful waterfall with an upper tier/pool that is dangerously accessible.
Gorgeous views!
Went on a Wednesday and there were only a couple other hikers. Had he waterfall to ourselves for about 30 minutes.

Great summer hike! Rough at times but the swimming hole in the end made it very rewarding.

2 days ago

Easy hike but sore muscles the day after.

Short hike on a paved fire road with steady incline. Great leg and cardio workout. The trail leads to a waterfall which requires careful footing to get to. Don't be hasty; go slow! Hike the rest of the fire road to the Notch and grab yourself a beer and lunch at the restaurant with a view of the valley below!

Went today and no sign of loose dogs, also asked a ranger about it and they said they hadn’t heard of any dogs. Hike was quick and steep with switch backs but worth it for the views!

We made it to the summit on 7/17/18. It was the most beautiful hike I've ever been on! It was long and difficult because we did it in a day. I just turned 65 and wanted to accomplish something really cool. Mt. Whitney was the perfect choice!

A nice hike that doesn't take very long and offers some nice views of both the Joshua Trees and a lake/dam. The dam mostly dries up in summer but the area still remains greener than anywhere else in the park that I've seen and is certainly worth the hour or so that this hike takes.

rock climbing
2 days ago

Most amazing hike I’ve ever done! Be sure to get a hiking permit from the national park website. They have a park ranger at the cables making sure that if you climb to the top, that you have a permit. If you start from half dome village and go to the top of half dome and back down...it’s about 18.5 miles round trip. Prepare yourself.

At least 3 liters of water
Harness with carabiner or some way to clip in to the cables.
Rubber gripped gloves to climb the cables
Extra socks
Gu energy as snacks
Hiking poles are not a must but a HUGE help.

Go slow and drink lots of water. And don’t quit!

3 days ago

From the Woodchuck trailhead it’s a steady up hill climb to the top and the views are spectacular. From the top of the ridge to Wheeler Lake it’s a tough downhill at the top starting with switch backs on loose stones than a semi steep grade for maybe 200 yards through the forest. Then it mellows out still downhill with a box canyon on the right. The trail eventually comes to some boulders and roots to climb down than it an easy hike to the lake. You’ll hear the bells ringing which are the range cows, I’ve never had any problems with them but someone told me they chased him one time.

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