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Hiking Destinations in California

California charms dreamers: surfer kids rub elbows with the rich and famous. Hippies mind their own enclave away from the old money and nouveau rich. It thrives and flourishes in contradictions. Its varied landscape and terrain reflect the characters of the locals and visitors alike. It has the swells, the eclectic and fancy shops, and the beaches. It has everything, including the trails locals and visitors tread on — a necessary and quiet escape from a place that has everything.

Robert Louis Stevenson State Park: Where the Wild Remains Wild

It has been said that Robert Louis Stevenson State Park is largely undeveloped and wild. Nobody can really contest this. The place named after the adventurous writer remains faithful to its wild past. This hiking destination in the Napa area is not meant for the faint-hearted. It can be sweaty, all right, but the view from the top is worth every step and gasp you take. Along the way you can find places that you can momentarily call yours.

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park: Where You Sweat for the Views

With five popular trails to choose from, Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park welcomes trekkers and nature lovers of different ages and stamina. It’s particularly popular for its McWay Waterfall Trail, which has a stunning view of the 80-foot waterfall that directly drops onto the beach below the cliff, and Ewoldsen Trail, which has gorgeous views of the shoreline below.

Vernal Fall and Nevada Fall Trails: Where Falling for the Rage Is Easy

Image via Flickr by rvr

Classified as moderate and strenuous, the hike to these two waterfalls located in the overwhelming and expansive Yosemite National Park is an all-time favorite for many waterfall chasers. If you’re not confident with your breathing, you can simply hike up to the Vernal Fall Footbridge, but if you’re up for the challenge and the rewarding views, hiking up to the top of Vernal and Nevada Falls is a must. It’s up there where you can witness the rage and ardor of these waterfalls.

Torrey Pines State Reserve: Where Rugged Meets Accessible

Situated in coastal La Jolla — a popular destination in Southern California — Torrey Pines State Reserve indeed preserves the personality of this seaside community: rugged but accessible. Oftentimes, trekking destinations categorized as “easy” don’t have the glorious and celebrated scenery of other trails. However, this reserve breaks the stereotype. The Broken Hill Overlook, for one, is a good step to understanding the reserve’s landscape. Follow the beach trail and stare at coastal bluffs. Head to Yucca Point or Razor Point for that Instagram-worthy photo.

Joshua Tree National Park: Where Two Deserts Become One

Another trekking gem located in Southern California, Joshua Tree National Park is the marriage of two deserts: the Mojave and the Colorado. With this union comes the fascinating display of flora and fauna that includes the very tree the park is named after. The park comes with nine developed campgrounds, so finding a spot for you and your loved ones shouldn’t be a problem. Should you visit during peak season, it’s best to call the park beforehand for more information.

Many call California home. For its sheer natural lushness, vibrant communities, and gorgeous beaches, it’s easy to understand why.

Jona of Backpacking with a Book

Hi there, I’m Jona, originally from Cebu, Philippines, had live in Hanoi, Vietnam, and now currently based in Munich, Germany. This blog used to house thoughts on life and books, but eventually it morphed into a travel blog. For collaborations, projects, and other things, please email me at For essays, creative nonfiction, and others, find me elsewhere.

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  1. […] make your introduction to hiking fun, we’ve put together a guide for hiking spots in California for beginners. Check out the top 15 hiking spots that will be a breeze for beginners […]

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