Explore the most popular trail running 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.

Great easy hike with beautiful scenery!

backpacking
10 hours ago

Great place to backpack for the first time. Definitely worth the effort to make it up to a beautiful lake. Our trail was about 8 miles there and 8 miles back. The lake was clear enough for you to see the bottom and was pure enough for you to even drink (we filtered our water.) Must come with family and friends and bring a chair for star gazing. We decided to take the water taxi back to enjoy the lake and view. It was 14 dollars and person and you can either pay with cash or card when you get back to the main dock.

hiking
10 hours ago

Started this hike at 6:30a on a Monday - parking lot was essentially empty besides a few cars from who we guessed were campers. Took us around 4.5 hours to summit and an equal amount of time to descend (this is definitely on the slow side relative to other hikers). 3L of water per person turned out to be a good amount.

The incline of the hike is pretty forgiving with a lot of relatively flat ground to cover in the first half of the hike. I think the main difficulty is the terrain at mile 2.5; lots of medium sized rocks you'll have to step carefully on. Besides that, main notes are that it can actually get a bit chilly at times in the morning so consider bringing a long sleeve if you start early, and plenty of sunscreen regardless.

hiking
12 hours ago

End of August or early September .... great time to observe ELK during rutting season. Get to the trailhead early ... parking lot fills quickly. And being early on the trail is best for seeing ELK.

mountain biking
12 hours ago

it is called raptor ridge not raptor hill, an awesome ride, especially if you make it to the top, great views, I usually do night rides due to cooler conditions, but only recommend for experienced riders.

Beautiful views, and I saw at least 5 different bird species, but I don't appreciate how brief and crowded the hike is. Getting to the observatory at the top is a treat, though

I went on this trail on 8/18/18 for my first time alone for some me time and meditation. This trail does NOT disappoint. It's a real butt buster, and the most exciting part to me was how close to the edge some parts were! I can't wait to go back to this trail!

Loved it, took my 8 year old brother with me. Definitely less crowded.

hiking
13 hours ago

A nice shorter trail though getting to it adds a few miles to the hike. There were a lot of California thistles that I missed their bloom by probably a few weeks, would have made it much prettier. The hike to the loop isn't too exciting but once at the loop it quickly turns into a nice redwood grove. Going left at the loop gives a gradual climb at the end and gets you right into the redwoods. Going right will give you a steep climb at the end.

I've read some complain about ticks, i didn't get any until I made a wrong turn on the return and tried to take a shortcut.

trail running
17 hours ago

quick lil workout. I wish it had less people though

1st hike ever! Spent a few days in San Diego which we usually do once a year, wanted to do something different with my wife and two daughters 6/3. Drove to the South Beach parking lot from Hotel Circle (15-20 min) paid $15 for parking on a Monday and headed up the hill to get to the trails, that was the hardest part, my 3 year old was already on my shoulders and my 6 year old was already starting to complain. Finally got to the trail and they were more enthused. 6 year old did everything herself, with a helping hand on some steeper steps and sandy rock towards the bottom. They loved the end result of the ocean being right there at the last staircase. She now wants to do a hike again. I would recommend 5+ for newbies, yes younger can do it, but expect them to want to be carried for a bit.

How much water should I carry? For anyone having gone recently, I have a water filter, are there streams, etc to get water along the way (and therefore carry less)? I’m planning on going 8/26

on Half Dome Trail

19 hours ago

The view at the top of half dome and the feeling of accomplishment is worth every bit of sweat (and fear). Our group began from the Trailhead parking lot a little before midnight and reached the top of subdome around 5am, waited until it got a bit brighter and got to the top of half dome before 6am to watch the sunrise. Hiking up at night was great to avoid the heat and crowds. I probably sweat more on the way down in the sun than I did on the way up in the dark. We took the Mist Trail up (which is currently completely dry) and JMT down to save our knees. For me, the cables (especially going down) was quite terrifying. We were the first group on the cables so we thought it'd be best to leave large gaps between everyone while climbing. There were parts on the way down where I slid from plank to plank (even with very grippy hiking boots). I feel like if we had been there during a busier part of day, it may have been less scary with smaller distances between people and being forced to go much slower. We stayed at the top for almost an hour and got back to the car around noon. On the way down, we did encounter a ranger who was on her way up to subdome and asked to see our permit.

Just an amazing hike with every step a picture perfect opportunity. Very family friendly but like others have mentioned, water shoes or waterproof hiking boots are a good idea. Don’t go in a hurry, and enjoy natures artwork.

The views are spectacular. It’s not an easy hike but worth it. Start early at 6am if you want to beat the crowd. I was just there on Saturday and the weather was perfect so made the hike a lot easier than last September 2017. Will definitely go back again!

hiking
20 hours ago

This trail doesn’t have more Rattlesnakes than any other trial in Santa Barbara (it’s just a name). The East fork is overgrown and not worth risking poison oak but the main trail is in great condition and easy to follow. Surprised to see and hear water in the creek even in late August.

This trail was definitely not easy, not the hardest one but I definitely had to stop to take a break. The lakes are beautiful and totally worth it!

hiking
21 hours ago

Great route with unparalleled views. Fun climbs.

Incredibly crowded route. Many unprepared and clueless people not following standard etiquette. You won’t find solitude here.

First time here and absolutely fell in love with it ... awesome views and inspiring reads!!!! I hung out til it was pitch black..

hiking
21 hours ago

This hike is very pretty. I only made it to First Lake because it started to rain pretty heavily at that point and I was only wearing shorts and a tank top. Definitely be sure to bring a sweater (even if the weather is hot when you start the hike). Also, I was told the hike was only 3.8 miles to first lake... which definitely made me wonder if it was the altitude alone that made the hike seem so long. I gave this trail a 4 star rating because horses are allowed on the trail and you can pay $100 to ride a horse to third Lake. The path is narrow at some points which makes it difficult to avoid horse droppings in some locations (and the mess/smell the droppings made after being reconstituted by the rain was not entirely pleasant).
I’d definitely recommend bringing extra sunscreen (and wearing a hat and/or long sleeves). I’m very fair skinned and the first 2.5 miles or so don’t have much shade.

hiking
21 hours ago

reminded me of biblical depiction of Hell. much smoke from the nearby forest fires. piles of loose jagged rocks jumbled with pumice, obsidian and various other. fascinating, but not fun today

great hike we want to go back soon

Love this trail! It can get a little crowded but if you go early in the morning or later in the afternoon you’re usually okay. Also there’s no shade so bring plenty of water!! Both my dogs have made it all the way up and back, it’s a great workout!

The trail is back open as of August 15. Check with the Mill Creek Ranger station to confirm that it has not been closed again, but the fire has been contained more and it has been considered safe to use this trail. We hiked it on August 17 and had to hurry down from the peak due to a thunderstorm that was coming in. Overall, this is a great hike. The trail is a little rocky and eroded in spots, but definitely worth doing.

Currently closed due to fire damage

It’s literally nothing but walking in zig zags uphill.

It’s fairly difficult and mostly uphill

Good trail. Nice to see rangers working on it. Beautiful flowers, saw some bear scat, saw deer, saw a marmot at the end. The falls is really disappointing. Lowest I've seen in a decade.

backpacking
23 hours ago

Friend & I went on a backpacking excursion into the Boulder Lakes area of the California Trinity Alps wilderness. This was an easy hike to the first lake & camp clearings. Within a mile or two of this lake, you can find 4 more small lakes & hike a ridge that overlooks it all. From the base of the ridge you kind find trails connecting in all directions. Some great hikes connect through this trail system including the Pacific Crest Trail. Make camp & hike till you drop.

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