the best california hiking trails, where to hike in southern california, hiking in california

Live The Nekter Life: SoCal Hiking Trails

We feel very fortunate to live in such a beautiful state that offers us countless days of sunshine with warm weather and blue skies so we’re all about spending time outdoors and exploring all the beauty nature has to offer. So, naturally one of our favorite outdoor pastimes is hiking. From deserts, to waterfalls, to bridges and canyons we’ve explored Southern California high and low and have rounded up our favorite hiking trails. We’re certain you’ll want to add these to your must-do list.

Barker Dam: Located in Joshua Tree National Park. This is a must. Joshua Tree itself will likely be one of the most beautiful places you’ll visit in California. The hike is super easy; it’s about 1.5 miles. But the beauty you’ll witness is endless. It’s best to go in the winter or spring when there weather isn’t so hot and when the dam will likely have water. Although this California drought is cramping our style right now.

Crystal Cove: Crystal Cove State Park is located in Laguna Beach. You’ll start your trail at El Moro Visitor Center. The great thing about this hike is that it offers different routes from easy to moderate, to advanced. No matter which hike you take, you’ll get a beautiful view of the ocean along with a great workout.

The Bridge to Nowhere: Sounds scary, but it’s actually quite beautiful. It was originally built to connect the San Gabriel Valley to Azusa. There was a road leading to it that ended up getting wiped out after a flood. So the bridge ended up being abandoned. It’s a great site to visit and a really fun adventure to go on with friends. It’s about 10 miles round trip so it is a more strenuous hike. But if you’re up for the challenge, it’s worth it.  Located in Azusa, CA.

Heart Rock: Located in Crestline. This will be the loveliest 1 mile hike you ever did complete. The force of water has carved the shape of a heart into a rock, imagine that? Water pools there from a waterfall so it literally is a heart pool. This is truly Mother Nature at it’s finest. It’s the perfect stop on your way up to Big Bear or Lake Arrowhead.

Escondido Falls: A hiking list wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Malibu. It’s probably one of the best waterfalls in Los Angeles. The hike is a little under 4 miles and takes you to a magical 200 foot waterfall. Being there, you feel light years away from the hustle and bustle of the city. It’s definitely a sight to see. Some hikers climb up the rocks behind the falls. It might be a little slippery so if you do it, do it with caution. It does make for some amazing photo ops though.

*Photo: Barker Dam, Joshua Tree by Ron Clark

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