California is one of the best states in the country for hiking and camping. There are plenty of parks to enjoy everything from a relaxing easy hike to advanced level terrain. You do not have to be an expert hiker to get through most of the parks in the region. Some of the hiking trails are best suited for beginners while some are set aside for the people who are very experienced and in excellent shape. The abundance of scenery in this state is to die for. There is a wide variety of hiking trails in this state and you can easily move from the beach to the mountains and even the desert.
Here are some of the top hiking and camping places to visit in California:
5. Fern Canyon
Photo by: Kirt Edblom
In the northern part of California you will find the lush greenery that the region is known for. The forest provide some of the best hiking and camping in the region. There are a variety of trails and plenty of primitive camping areas.
If you go be sure to bring a lightweight portable camp chair to enjoy the ocean views. It does get cold here even in the summer so sleeping on the ground is not a good idea. Bring a cot if possible or at least a pad to put under your sleeping bag. You can start off by going for short hikes but to truly enjoy this area you should explore all the trails. Be sure to pack plenty snacks and water because some of the trails are over 10 miles round trip.
4. Smuggler’s Cove
Some of the best hiking trails are not found on the California mainland. You will need to visit the Channel islands that are off the coast. A boat can be used to ferry you to this end to get on the trail. Stunning views from Oxnard and Ventura are available. You need to make reservations well in advance if you want to stay the night in Smuggler’s Cove.
3. Lost Palm Oasis
Photo by: Akos Kokai
This trail is found in Joshua Tree National Park. Joshua Tree Park is well known for the unique rock formations that are made here. This hiking trail has a gorgeous view and is a bit moderate in terms of difficulty completing. You do not have to be a genius to realize that going on the trail in the summer heat will make it twice as hard. Aim for morning or evening hikes. Be sure to be back to camp before dark, the trails are not well marked and many people get lost here.
2. Eagle Lake
If you are not happy with the view at the end of this trail then hiking may not be for you. It has been called one of the best and most scenic trails in all of California when it comes to hiking. The hike to Eagle Falls is an easy trek. If you want something harder, take the rock stairs, they will then lead you half a mile up until you see Eagle Lake. The view is breathtaking. This is especially true on the west side of the trail. It is scenery on another level and you will never tire of the view.
Photo by: AndrewG-of the north
From the top of Mount Diablo you will have views of over 100 miles in every direction depending on the weather. You can easily get to the top of the mountain by driving your car but hiking the 13 miles will be much more rewarding. You get to enjoy all the scenery while getting a fantastic workout.