Category Archives: California

Kelly Lake, Coit Lake, and Pacheco Falls Loop (Henry W. Coe State Park, CA)

Central California’s Henry W. Coe State Park is a popular destination for Bay Area backpackers seeking to condition during the winter/spring season for trips to the Sierra Nevada later in the year. In fact, the terrain at Henry Coe is … Continue reading

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Madrone Soda Springs – China Hole Loop (Henry W. Coe State Park, CA)

The second-largest state park in California, Henry Coe State Park spans 87,000 acres of rolling hillsides and stream valleys in the central Diablo Range. Most visitors stick to the “Western Zone,” accessed from the Coe Ranch Headquarters and Campground on … Continue reading

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Middle Ridge – Manzanita Point Loop (Henry W. Coe State Park, CA)

At 87,000 acres, Henry Coe State Park is the second largest state park in California and offers a beautiful landscape of rolling hills and woody ridges in the Diablo Range southeast of the Bay Area. Lacking any towering peaks, Henry … Continue reading

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Lafayette Ridge Trail to Russell Peak (Briones Regional Park, CA)

The East Bay’s Briones Regional Park is a hiker’s paradise, with dozens of interlocking trails traversing a scenic stretch of hills between the suburban centers of Lafayette, Orinda, and Pleasant Hill. Lafayette Ridge—a lengthy spine that stretches southeast from the … Continue reading

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Ridge Top – Indian Creek Trail Loop (Shell Ridge Open Space, CA)

Winter and early spring is far and away the best time of year to hike in the East Bay, when temperatures are good and the rolling hillscapes—typically brown, dusty, and dry in summer—are lush and verdant. The jade-colored hues in … Continue reading

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Buckeye – Cruikshank – Salmon Creek Trail Loop (Silver Peak Wilderness, CA)

The Silver Peak Wilderness covers 31,555 acres of the Santa Lucia Range along the central coast of California between Monterey and Cambria. Hikers can explore the heart of the wilderness area by combining the Buckeye, Cruikshank, and Salmon Creek Trails … Continue reading

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Miner’s Ridge – James Irvine Trail Loop, including Gold Bluffs Beach and Fern Canyon (Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, CA)

If ever there was a premier, unforgettable hike in northern California’s Redwood National Park, this is it. The Miner’s Ridge – James Irvine Trail Loop combines long stretches of spectacular redwood groves with a brief jaunt along the Pacific Ocean … Continue reading

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Boy Scout Tree Trail to Fern Falls (Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, CA)

Together with nearby Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, northern California’s Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park contains arguably the most spectacular groves of coast redwoods in the world. Nearly the entire park, bounded by the Smith River to the north and … Continue reading

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Mastodon Peak Loop Trail (Joshua Tree National Park, CA)

Mastodon Peak is a rocky knob in the Cottonwood Mountains of southern Joshua Tree National Park, situated in the Colorado Desert of southern California. From the modest summit, hikers gain 360-panoramic views, with the Eagle Mountains unfolding to the east, … Continue reading

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Top 10 Hikes in 2020

Well, what a strange year it has been. In the early days of 2020, it was hard to imagine that, by March, much of the world would be dealing with a global pandemic that would take the lives of millions … Continue reading

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