With an abundance of natural beauty and plethora of hiking trails, sunny California is mecca for hiking and nature lovers. California is home to many different ecosystems, so you can go from hiking a coastal trail with sand between your toes to losing yourself among lush giant redwoods when craning your neck upwards. Be refreshed while hiking alongside a waterfall in Yosemite National Park or earn bragging rights after hiking the famous Dipsea trail from Mill Valley to Stinson Beach. With wonderful names like Skyline to the Sea and Berry Creek Falls Loop, it is impossible to stay indoors on a warm sunny day when there are so many hiking spots in California, waiting to be explored. The trails beckon and here we come!
1) Half Dome, Yosemite National Park
The day hike to top of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park is one of California’s most popular hiking trails but it is not for the faint of heart. The trail runs 14-16 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 4,800 feet. The last 400 feet of the hike is not horizontal, but almost vertical! This hike involves literally hanging onto metal cables installed on the sheer slope of Half Dome to make it to the top. Did I forget to mention adrenalin rush? Notwithstanding the strenuous nature of this hike, it is a thrilling experience and the adventure of a lifetime. Everybody who does this hike comes back with a big smile and a huge sense of accomplishment. This hike is also the only one on this list which absolutely requires a permit.