When it comes to choosing hiking spots in California, there is no shortage of options. Whether you want to walk along the Pacific Ocean, scale the Sierra Nevada Mountains, or trek through the desert, California has you covered. It’s hard to choose just 10 trails in all of California but this list is aimed to provide a diverse range of options, anywhere from easy to difficult that have the most stunning views and unique landscapes in the state.
1) Golden Canyon in Death Valley
Death Valley National Park boasts one-of-a-kind landscapes and shouldn’t be missed on a hiking trip through California. Depending on how much time you have and the level of difficulty you are looking for, Golden Canyon has several options, all of which provide a great view of the scenery.
One of the most popular routes at Golden Canyon is the Gower Gulch Loop trail. This 4-mile hike is of moderately difficult with only a slight elevation gain. On the loop, you start inside the canyon and can marvel at the beautiful golden colored rock walls before exiting into a panoramic view of the surrounding badlands, finally heading downhill into a dry gulch and back around to the trailhead. There are many side trails and side canyons to explore and, for a more seasoned hiker, the complete circuit loop of about 8 miles will take you to all the scenic spots in the area.