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These 10 Trails In Northern California Will Lead You To Unforgettable Places

There’s something about heading out on a trail with nature all around that’s just intoxicating. Bring along a backpack with some water, a few snacks, and your phone to snag a few shots of mother nature as you go. If you ask me, the perfect trail leads to the most unexpected places: a waterfall, a lake, or even a cave. We’ve included some of our favorites below for you to pick from.

  1. The Mist Trail, Yosemite Park

This is the trail that highlights one of the most beautiful places on earth. It’s seven miles of paradise. Not just one but numerous waterfalls and views of half dome. You’re going to love it here. You just are.

2. Ladybug Trail, Sequoia National Park

This trail takes you on a six-mile loop. Enjoy mother nature at her best, from fluorescent wildflowers to rocky crags, there’s so much to see here. Make a whole day of it on this trail. You’ll be grateful for the waterfalls and even a chance to go swimming.

3. The Ben Johnson Trail, Muir Woods

This is a trail for the books — dips and turns bring you face to face with streams, cool forest atmosphere and views of the ocean. If life has you overwhelmed at the moment, you need to jump in the car and head here. You won’t be disappointed.

4. Presidio Bay Ridge Trail, San Francisco

If your a lover of all things Bay Area, you’ll definitely have to take a walk on this trail. The cooler temps and almost always clear-blue skies make for a dream of a trail. Plus, you get some of the best Golden Gate views around.

5. Stout Grove Trail, Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park

The majesty of these redwoods is almost palpable. Walking beneath their covering makes you feel almost insignificant. It’s said that some of these trees have been standing as sentries of this forest for close to 1,000 years. Bring your kids and explain why we love Northern California — because even the Redwoods know this is the perfect place to call home.

6. Lassen Peak Trail, Lassen Volcanic National Park

An active, but still dormant volcano, you can smell the sulfur in the air to remind you of just that. The hike is about 5 miles round trip, and it begins at 8500 feet high. If you love checking out volcanic rock and all that goes along with that kind of thing, then grab your things and head here!

7. Patrick’s Point, Trinidad

This hike gives tree-lined trails and an ocean view! But, I think you saw all of that in the video above, right?

8. Eagle Lake Trail, El Dorado County

Located close to South Lake Tahoe, this is a moderately easy hike. You can bring your pooch on this hike as long as you keep him leashed. And, don’t forget your camera, for obvious reasons.

9. Salt Point Trail, Jenner

This is one of the longer trails coming in around 7 miles long. But, we think the coastal views and the ocean spray will make this one probably one of the easiest on the eyes.

10. Fern Canyon Loop Trail, Prairie Creek Redwoods National Park

It’s no surprise that Steven Spielberg chose this heavenly spot as the backdrop for Jurassic World. There aren’t many places where life melts away as quickly as it does on this trail. Take a walk with friends, bring your spouse and the kids, or walk it alone. The choice is yours – but make time for this one. You can thank me later.

Whether you mark your calendar or grab your things and head out now, you’ll be happy you did. Summer is still young, so make your plans before you fill that calendar with a thousand other insignificant things. If you’re an overachiever, here are a few more to add to your itinerary.

Joanne Kraft
Joanne is a fourth-generation Northern Californian. She knows good sour dough bread when she tastes it and understands the best parts of the Golden State are nowhere near Los Angeles.