Without a doubt, every single one of the trails in this guidebook deserves a spot on your bucket list! California is home to one of the most diverse landscapes on planet Earth.Less
A truly spectacular peak, Half Dome is rightly revered as one Yosemite's great landmarks. It was first climbed in 1875 by George Anderson, despite being described in a report 10 years earlier as "perfectly inaccessible, being probably the only one of the prominent points about the Yosemite which never has been, and never will be, trodden by human foot". Nowadays it is an attainable (but still tough) hike with a famous section of cables close to the summit.
Yosemite Valley is home to numerous waterfalls, but the one that shares the valley’s name might be its most impressive. Yosemite Falls, a series of three cascades that are collectively 2,425 feet tall, is North America’s tallest waterfall. Because they are so tall, and because the middle section is recessed into the cliff, it is impossible to see the whole thing in one view. The best way to experience the entire waterfall is to hike the Yosemite Falls Trail to the very top.
At 14,505 feet above sea level, the top of Mount Whitney is the highest point in the contiguous United States. In the Sierra Nevada, the chain of huge granitic peaks stretching through California, Whitney happens to be the tallest, but it's not actually that formidable to summit.
The "Lakes Trail" moniker belies the grandeur of this 12-mile hike in Sequoia National Park! It routinely tops lists of not only the best hiking trails in California, but even the absolute best hikes in the entire nation!
Mount Tallac (9,738 ft) is the prominent, craggy mountain above Lake Tahoe’s southeast shore. The Mount Tallac Trail is the typical route to the summit. Any distance along this trail is rewarding, even if you don’t tackle the final steep miles to the top of the mountain. Within the first two and a half miles are beautiful views over Fallen Leaf Lake and a few smaller lakes perched at the base of the mountain.