Northern California May 22, 2017
11 Trails In Northern California With An Undeniably Amazing Final Destination
Northern California is a hiker’s paradise. From dramatic coastal cliffs to high mountain peaks, there are stunning vistas and rewarding trails every direction you look. Here are 11 of the most satisfying, most scenic, and all around incredible hikes in Northern California.
For more details about each hike, click on the image credit to read all about these scenic trails.
1. Lost Coast Trail: Mattole to Black Sands Beach
This longer trail is for the hearty backpacker who is looking for a solitude for a least a couple days. It is a point to point trail, not a loop, but you can always hike a little for a couple of miles and turn back. It’s 24.9 miles in total and features a river as well as ocean views. It’s accessible year round and dog friendly.
2. Mount Shasta Mine Loop Trail
This 2.9 mile trail is located near French Gulch and features a river and forested views of Whiskeytown Lake. Dogs on leashes are welcome on this moderate looped trail. There’s an old mine shaft that is fenced off on this trail, but you can get pretty close and take in the creepy old cave.
3. Fairy Falls Trail to Beale/Shingle Falls
This popular 5.1 mile loop is a fun trail for the whole family and offers a waterfall view. You will also cross plenty of streams and extremely varied terrain. There’s also a fun swimming hole for those who are brave enough to jump in the chilly waters.
4. Bumpass Hell Trail
Bumpass Hell is a 2.9 mile trail with tons of traffic but is well worth braving the crowds. It allows you to get up close and personal with the geothermal activity of Lassen Volcanic National Park. You will be able to see bubbling mud pots, sulfur vents and boiling pools. Make sure you stay on the clearly marked path!
5. Subway Cave Trail
The short but sweet trail is just over a half mile loop through hollow lava tubes that have formed really interesting caves. The short length of this cave means that you can explore it on your own without a guide. It’s pretty chilly and dark underground, though, so make sure you bring a flashlight and a jacket.
6. Fern Canyon Loop Trail
This stunning hike up a verdant canyon is a great chance to see native flora and fauna. It’s only a mile long loop through some of the prettiest scenery you can imagine. It’s a surrealistic and amazing display of primal ferns.
7. Sierra Buttes Lookout Trail
This moderate to challenging 5.1 mile trail to a historic lookout is a steady push to the top. The bonus of your rewarding climb are the views for mile of the surrounding mountains as well as the wildflowers that line the trail if you hike it early enough in the year. On clear days you can see as far as Lassen!
8. Brokeoff Mountain Trail
This 6.8 mile out and back trail summits Brokeoff Mountain and is an advanced hike. It’s a hard climb that features beautiful wildflowers and unparalleled views. There’s almost a 2,600 foot elevation gain, so expect around 5 hours to complete it.
9. Coastal Bluff Trail
This 6.6 mile out and back trail is a great ocean front walk along a gentle trail. You will see the the wind blowing through tall golden grasses, turquoise waters, and white capped waves rolling in as you hike. There are usually plenty of dog walks on the trail, but all pets should be kept on a leash.
10. Tall Trees Grove: Tall Trees Loop Trail
This relatively easy 3.5 mile loop through incredible redwoods is a great stroll through the most impressive trees you will ever encounter. The trail goes downhill to start and uphill on the way back, so be sure to save some energy on the way back for you walk back.
11. Castle Dome Trail
This challenging 8 mile hike offers incredible views of the surrounding area and a fun summit at the top. The trail is well groomed, but there are several large patches of granite where you have to take in your bearings so as not to lose your way.
Have you hiked any of these trails? If so, we’d love to know what you think! For more Northern California adventures, read
our full list of articles here.