11 Amazing Southern California Hikes Under 3 Miles You’ll Absolutely Love

There are times when you want to get out in nature, but you don’t have an entire day or even just an afternoon to take a long hike. If you’re seeking a quick outing in Southern California that will make you feel refreshed and recharged, these scenic trails ranging from a half mile long all the way up to three miles will get you outside in the fresh air while you explore some of the most scenic spots in SoCal. Don’t be fooled by their short length- these are some of the best hikes in California!

Doesn’t this list make you want to get outside and go on a hike right this second?! Any favorites on this list? A few of my favorites include Elfin Forest and El Dorado Nature Center.

For more hikes and outdoor activities in Southern California, make sure to head to our home page at Only In Southern California where he have hundreds of spaces and places for you to explore right here in Southern California.

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Best Hikes in California

March 11, 2022

What are the most picturesque hikes in California?

There are so many gorgeous hikes to take in California that it comes down to personal preference in many cases! One of the best-known and most stunning is the Torrey Pines Beach Trail Loop in San Diego. With lovely ocean views and naturalists on-site to answer questions about the unique flora and fauna, you can't go wrong with Torrey Pines. Another favorite is Buzzards Roost Trail in Big Sur. While it's a steep incline at points, seeing the forest, mountains, and ocean on one trail is a reward all its own. Getting to see the buzzards bask in the sun is a peaceful site that will make you feel serene.

What are the best beaches in California?

La Jolla Shores Beach in La Jolla is known for its low-key waves perfect for beginner surfers, its upscale neighborhood, and its long, beautiful boardwalk. Santa Monica Beach is another classic, with tons of space on the sand for lounging and taking in the ocean. If you're in the Orange County area, you'll love beautiful Treasure Island Beach for its blue water, greenery, and relaxing and low-key coves.

Where can I hike to a cave in California?

While there are plenty of opportunities for exploring sea caves in the Golden State, one of the most popular is Leo Carrillo State Beach in Malibu. This amazing cave allows you to look at the waves lapping at the shore through the beautiful rocks. Go when the tide is low for the full experience!