Backpacking in California

by Catrina Linhard

Jan 30, 2016

Big Sur, California © Adeliepenguin | Dreamstime


California spans a large majority of the West Coast and as a result offers a variety of scenery to hike and backpack. From coast, desert and mountains, this state has a variety of trails and hiking levels to enjoy.


John Muir Trail

The John Muir Trail is the most famous of trails, spanning three national parks and 218 miles. It’s a strenuous hike. Most backpackers take close to a month to hike it, but it can be made shorter with the right entrance and exit trailheads. This trail is the most famous of John Muir’s adventures and scales the Eastern Sierra Mountains and Yosemite National Park. It’s said to be the most difficult but most beautiful trails most backpackers have ever experienced.


John Muir Wilderness, California © Stevehymon | Dreamstime 54777545

John Muir Wilderness © Stevehymon | Dreamstime


Big Sur

For the less extreme hiker, there are many smaller and less stressful trails along the famous California coast and they bring a different backdrop to the usual mountain air. Big Sur being known for its scenic coastlines also offers great coastal trails and rivers to get that alone time with Mother Nature. Most trails scale the sister mountains that hug the Pacific Ocean which allow for 360-degree views of all of what California has to offer!


Sykes Hot Springs

The Sykes Hot Springs is probably the most famous of the Big Sur hikes, and allows hikers a “one way in, one way out” trail that has many camps along the way. The actual hot springs are roughly a 12-mile hike inland from the coast, so if the pack is feeling too heavy to make it, you can still enjoy one of the closer camps situated on the same river.


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