Category Archives: Hiking

13 Awesome Hikes within 5 Miles in Northern California

1. Stout Grove, Jedediah Smith State Park

Only 9 miles east of Crescent City is this gorgeous state park. It lies alongside the Smith river and has LOTS of hiking trails. Feel like being lazy? Take the half-mile hike around Stout Grove, or as we call it, “Mother Nature’s Cathedral.”

2. Boy Scout Tree Trail, Jedediah Smith State Park

Since you’re already here at Jedediah Smith, you might want more than a half hour hike? Then take the 5.3 mile Boy Scout Tree Trail. We’re bending the rules with this one. If you go up and back it’s twice that, but this hike is so worth it and it highlights some of the most incredible parts of Redwood forest known to man. Make sure to get there early. This one is getting more popular.

3. Montgomery Grove Trail, Mondocino

Take this scenic road in (Orr Springs Rd.) to meet the trailhead in Montgomery Woods. This spot is pretty remote and at least a 30 minute drive from a freeway. But the ride there is scenic and lovely. Only a 2 mile hike, this is the Shangri-La of hiking spots for sure.

4. Tall Trees Grove, Redwood National Park

This trail is 3.9 miles long. You’re going to climb over 650 feet as you walk this path. Here’s where you’ll find the Libbey Tree. Once believed to be the tallest tree in the world, it’s since been overshadowed by a few others, however, no one knows the others’ whereabouts. They’re kept secret.

5. Sun Trail (OR) 6. Dipsea Trail, Muir Woods

There are two trails to choose from here. Sun Trail is 4.7 miles of scenic views. Climb a hill that gives you a breathtaking view of Mt. Tamalpais. Don’t feel like taking this one? Then follow the arrow to the Dipsea trail. This 3.7-mile loop hike takes you to ocean views and back into the Redwoods again. While these trees aren’t as impressive as other areas, there are fewer folks who know about this one. Be warned: there’s a 14-rung ladder that can be slippery. Not always fun for children – or nervous parents.

7. Floating Island Lake Trail, Tahoe

Just 1.6 miles until you’re seeing this. Walk along a wooded path with the most amazing nature sites around. Don’t wait for a better weekend. Go now!

8. Bridge Trail, Pescadero County Park

This trail is 1.1 miles of lush green ferns and a babbling creek. What more could you ask for? Stop along the bank and read a book for awhile. Snap photos of wildlife beneath the canopy of trees.

9. Hidden Falls Trails, Auburn Regional Park
10. Codfish Falls Trail, Auburn

This trail is 1.7 miles and takes around an hour. The difficulty level is easy to moderate – even a mom with a baby can do it. Follow along some pretty parts of the North Fork American River. Just know, there are some steep drop-offs to the river below. So if heights aren’t your thing then this one isn’t for you.

11. Pfeiffer Falls Trail, Big Sur State Park

This 2.5-mile hike is the most popular one at Big Sur. Begin by the lodge and climb a tree-covered hill to reach a pretty awesome waterfall. Then head on a bit farther to see the valley below. Gorgeous!

12. Bumpass Hell Trail, Old Station

This trail offers 2.9 miles of hiking wonderland, but it’s only open from June until October. This hike boasts nature’s still busy volcanic activity below. A popular hike not only for the scenery but for the occasional streams of thermal mist that come from the earth below.

13. Cascade Falls Trail, Lake Tahoe

Ever looked DOWN a waterfall? Here’s your chance. Only a two-mile jaunt into heaven. Walk along the mountainside with Cascade Lake in view, and you’ll feel like you’re in a fairy tale. Bring along a camera. You’ll want to remember this.
It’s pretty safe to say that Northern California is the bomb when it comes to meandering paths and rocky peaks that are just waiting for our hiking boots. You’ve been given your marching orders, people. Get out there and enjoy the prettiest part of the country that you get to call home.

California Criptid Walks – Seven Places for the Paranormal

When there’s something strange and it don’t look good, it can be quite a thriller of a ride, but lest you fall into the Twilight Zone by accident -or if you want to go looking for trouble- here are a few places for California Criptids and paranormal pacers.

Moro Rock Trails – Tulare, CA
Starting off easy in Tulare, there’s the Moro Rock Trail, where the walk may be beautiful, but when you try to take a picture of the scenery, you may find yourself with some Phantasmic Photobombers trying to get in the picture. I wonder if they’ll pose for a selfie?

Alum rock Trail – San Jose, CA
On a slightly more delayed schedule, the Alum Rock Trail in San Jose’s state park has visitors reporting not spooky daytime apparitions, but unsettling nightmares for long after, as if being chased through the park by a sinister but unknowable presence. Maybe, like Orpheus, we shouldn’t turn back around. It’s for the best.

Lost Coast Trail – Petrolia, CA
Things get Twilight-Zone-esque on the Lost Coast Trail in Petrolia, where hikers report the timeline being a bit wibbly-wobbly, and space and time get a little bit warped. Some say they’ve traveled back in time while hiking it, and disappeared for several minutes. A glitch in the Matrix? One too many drinks? I kinda want to find out. I wonder if you’ll run into any hikers from any other timeline?

Pear Lake

Pear Lake Trail – Sequoia National Park
The Pear Lake trail in Sequoia National Park is tough, and if you linger, you may hear others walking parallel to your trail, somewhere in the woods to your left. Some have reported seeing unearthly cloaked figures. To be fair, if I saw another human being in a hooded robe, I’d probably walk faster even if they were standing in a brightly-lit walmart, but let’s not dwell on what they were doing walking hidden in the forest.

Mount Diablo trail – Contra Costa County
Mount Diablo trail in Contra Costa County has its own legends. The name of the mountain may be explained by a plaque at the top, but some locals believe a somewhat more sinister tale involving a missionary feeling something sinister, with worrying visions and thoughts. Maybe he had a run-in with the guys from the Pear Lake trail.

Lake Chabot trail
In Castro Valley, Lake Chabot trail is great for hooking a few fish or getting a nice walk, but if you walk for too long, you may start to experience your worst fears clamoring into your mind as visions. Or, you know, you might have anxiety. You should probabl hike with a buddy either way.

Crystal Cave Trail – Sequoia Nat Park
Last, the Crystal Cave trail (no, not the videogames) in Sequoia National Park. Maybe you should just avoid walking in Sequoia National Park alone, considering this is the second trail of theirs on this list.
This one features a terrifying white, slimy creature hiding in the stalactites on the roof, preying on anyone who wanders off from their group. Yet, in spite of my investigations (read as: first page of google search results) I couldn’t find any more details about the creature except “White and slimy”, nor what it does to the hikers it finds.

Anyone want to go hiking with me?

by Sam Morstan

Sources: GoogleMaps, CA Wildlife, CA Hiking Associations