Category Archives: Moderate Hikes

Merced Grove Trail (Yosemite National Park, CA)

While Mariposa Grove is the most spectacular of the bunch, Yosemite National Park also sports two other small groves of giant sequoias, the world’s largest trees. Tuolumne Grove near Crane Flat receives a steady stream of visitors, but the lesser-visited … Continue reading

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Tuolumne Grove Trail (Yosemite National Park, CA)

Giant sequoias, close cousins of coast redwoods, are the largest trees (by total volume) on earth and grow naturally only in 75 groves on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada in California. Three such groves can be found in … Continue reading

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Foresta Falls (Yosemite National Park, CA)

It is a testament to the spectacular bounty of waterfalls in California’s Yosemite National Park that terrific Foresta Falls is routinely neglected by visitors in favor of even taller and higher-volume waterfalls nearby. In perhaps any other park, the 60-foot … Continue reading

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Fern Creek – Dipsea – Sun Trail Loop (Muir Woods National Monument, CA)

Sure the towering California redwoods are lovely, but Muir Woods National Monument on the Marin Peninsula has become almost comically crowded, mobbed by throngs of locals and visitors to the San Francisco Bay Area alike. Visitors must now have advance … Continue reading

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Hetch Hetchy to Wapama Falls and Rancheria Falls (Yosemite National Park, CA)

In early spring, even as much of the Sierra Nevada remains blanketed in snow, the Hetch Hetchy area of Yosemite National Park is often snow-free, making it an attractive spot for early-season hiking and backpacking. One of the more popular … 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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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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Indian Sands Loop (Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, OR)

The Indian Sands area, situated near the middle of Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, is a collection of crisp, windswept dunes, towering headlands, and thundering coves along the southern Oregon coast. Starting and ending at the Indian Sands Trailhead … 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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