Hiking in California

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Subtitled: "I am both the hiker and the trail"

"Solvitur ambulando" ("It is solved by walking") as the wandering scholars of medieval Europe had it

  • Read my suggested calendar before you jump straight to the epic hikes.
  • For each destination i usually list the easiest route for day hikers.
  • The pictures complement these trail descriptions.
  • Rule number one: before you go, always check out the weather forecast using a reliable source (e.g., the government-operated NCEP or weather.gov).
  • If you live in the Bay Area and want to join my mailing list for hiking on the big Sierra mountains, email me (if you were in the list, i lost the list so ask me again).
  • Disclaimer

Pictures of these hikes | This year's log | A suggested calendar | Favorites
Peaks of the Sierra Nevada | Eastern Sierra map

Northwestern California

Northeastern California

  • Mt Lassen (Red Bluff, 7kms, moderate, 3.400m) - volcano
  • Trinity Alps
  • Thompson Peak
  • Mt Eddy
  • Sierra Buttes (Sierra City, 8kms, modrate) - great views
  • Prospect Peak (Redding, 10kms, moderate, 2.700m) - great view
  • North Emerson Lake (Alturas, 11kms, strenuous) - Warner Mountains landscape
  • Indian Meadow (Chester, 10kms, easy) - pretty lakes

San Francisco Bay Area

Sacramento to Lake Tahoe

Central western California

Yosemite and Mammoth

Kings Canyon to Death Valley

Southern California

  • San Gorgonio via Vivian Creek (Redlands, 20kms, strenuous) - highest San Bernardino mountain
  • San Gorgonio from Momyer/Alger Creek from Valley of the Falls Rd (highway 10 to Redlands, north on Orange St, right into 38)
  • San Gorgonio from Fish Creek: Take highway 10 to Redlands' exit Orange St, go north, turn right into 38, turn right into Fish Creek Rd
  • Sespe Wilderness (moderate)
  • Cactus to the Clouds from Palm Springs to Mt San Jacinto (strenuous, 38 kms)
  • Palm Springs area (easy)
  • Rattlesnake Canyon (Joshua Tree, 5kms, easy) - Wonderland of Rocks
  • 49 Palms (Joshua Tree, 5kms, easy) - oasis
  • Sierra Madre (east of Pasadena): Mt Wilson (20 kms). Take the Baldwin Ave exit off 210 and drive north on Baldwin, turn right before the end of the road into East Mira Monte Ave and park. The trailhead is on the left hand-side.
  • LaCanada (northwest of Pasadena): Mt Baden-Powell, Throop and Burnham (7 kms). Take hwy 2 North in LaCanada off 210, and drive to Dawson Gap (70 kms).
  • Upland (east of Pasadena): Mt Baldy (15 kms). Take highway the Upland exit Mountain Ave off 210, drive north on Mountain Ave to Mt Baldy Rd, turn right (north) to the Visitor Center of Mt Baldy Village and continue to the Manker Flats Campground.
  • Sandstone Peak, Malibu: from Malibu take Yerba Buena Road to the Circle X Ranch and continue for a couple of minutes to the trailhead.
  • Upper Solstice Canyon, Malibu: from Malibu drive to the end of Corral Canyon Road.
  • Black Mountain: Take highway 10 east to Banning, then highway 243 to Vista Grande Ranger Station. A few minutes later turn left into a dirt road. This takes you to the top of the mountain or you can hike it.
  • San Bernardino Peak: Take highway 10 to Redlands' exit Orange St and go north, turn right into 38 past Mill Creek Ranger Station (where you get the permit) to Angelus Oaks


"Red tape" has been escalating in all state and national parks, and even in national forests. The modern ranger is a desk bureaucrat whose full-time job is to issue "wilderness permits", if not a Nazi-style police officer paid to treat hikers like terrorists. Contrary to what you read in the papers, all these agencies (state parks, national parks and national forests) have a virtually infinite amount of money, and they can afford to hire a virtually infinite number of "rangers" to enforce a virtually infinite number of rules. The "wilderness" is rapidly being transformed into a concentration camp. If you care for the wilderness, write to your representative and/or senator demanding a cut in the budget of these agencies. These are the only budgets that keep growing regardless of how the economy does. Ask that the money be spent to build much needed public transportation to the parks. Finally, ask that unelected officials not be allowed to create rules and regulations that will affect thousands of hikers.

General links about hiking

  • My pictures
  • Summit Post
  • Topomaps
  • Great Outdoor Recreation
  • Backpackers forum
  • California State Parks
  • National Parks
  • National Forests
  • Sierra wilderness
    Other epic hikes of my life

  • This website uses the metric system, like 95% of the world's population.