Northern California May 23, 2018
8 Easy, Breezy Summer Hikes In Northern California That Will Overwhelm You With Natural Beauty
The beginning of summertime opens up a myriad of opportunities for Northern Californians. It’s hard not to become an outdoor enthusiast when you live in a state that boasts so many amazing hiking trails and an abundance of natural beauty. If you’re looking to start off your summer right, you’ll want to take a look at these easy summer hikes that are perfect for taking in beautiful views without exhausting too much energy. These hikes just prove that you don’t need to be a super experienced hiker in order to enjoy all that our state has to offer. Take a look and be sure to put a few on your to-do list for the upcoming months.
1. Stanislaus River Trail From Knights Ferry (Oakdale)
Knights Ferry Recreation Area is a hidden gem of a park in Oakdale. You'll find the trailhead at the park's information center and it traverses along the river for three short miles. You won't be able to help yourself from stopping briefly to dip your toes in the rushing river. The hike also takes you to several historic points of interest including monuments from the Gold Rush era that are definitely worth checking out.
2. Hidden Falls Trail (Auburn)
Hidden Falls Regional Park is a wonderland of hiking trails, wildlife, waterfalls, and more. The Hidden Falls Trail is a popular three mile loop trail that takes you through all the very best sights in the park. Beautiful foothills and small waterfalls set the scene for this amazing hike. Due to its popularity, visitors are asked to make a reservation if they plan on visiting during the weekend or on holidays.
3. Big Meadow Tahoe Rim Trail Trailhead (South Lake Tahoe)
The Tahoe Rim Trailhead at Big Meadow boasts a sight that is sure to take your breath away. This easy and short hike takes you to a vast green meadow which makes for the perfect retreat away from civilization. Surrounding you is the sight of trees, mountains, and wildflowers. The landscape is complete with the addition of a delightful little creek gurgling nearby.
4. Waters Gulch Loop Trail (Lakehead)
Located within Shasta-Trinity National Forest, this 2.8-mile trail takes you down through Waters Gulch and leads you to the shores of Shasta Lake. You'll find plenty of scenery along the trail, including several forested areas that make for great side explorations. This sight of the lake at the end is the perfect reward for this simple hike.
5. Buttermilk Bend Trail (Penn Valley)
This gorgeous two mile hike takes you along the bluffs above the rushing South Yuba River. This trail becomes very popular during spring when the area comes alive with the color of wildflowers. However, it's equally attractive throughout summer when the river slows down and reveals several amazing swimming spots.
6. Independence Trail (Nevada City)
This trail has it all, and it's a must for adventurers. Not only does it boast jaw-dropping views from the trail's many bridges, but there's a lot of history behind this hike as well. This enchanting hike takes you across restored wooden flumes that were once used for hydraulic mining. There are two sections of this trail—East and West. Whichever one you choose is sure to blow you away.
7. North Table Mountain Ecological Preserve (Oroville)
Located approximately 7 miles north of Oroville, this fantastic preserve boasts beautiful wildflowers and lots of greenery. The preserve is home to a six mile loop trail that takes you through the park and past three small waterfalls on the way to the most impressive Phantom Falls. Although the trail contains lots of vegetation, there is little to no shade so come prepared.
8. Crystal Creek Falls Trail (Whiskeytown)
This short and sweet trail is ADA accessible and only about half a mile long. Located within Whiskeytown National Recreation Area, you'll come across gorgeous little streams, picnic areas, and Crystal Creek Falls of course. The waterfall is easygoing during the spring and summer, and even contains a small swimming pool at the base of the falls.
How many of these easy summer hikes would you do? What’s your favorite summertime hike? Put your thoughts in the comments below! Want more short and easy hikes? Check out these
11 Northern California Hikes Under 2 Miles You’ll Absolutely Love.