Hike Around California!

Jamie

Created By:
Jamie

 
If you're up for a long road trip with a loved one, definitely check out this itinerary. My partner and I hit some must-see National Parks in California summer of 2017 and they are truly unique places. Get ready to put away your phone, pick up a hiking trail map, and go.

Sequoia National Park

Sequoia National Park - Foothills Visitor Center, Generals Highway, Three Rivers, CA, United States

This was definitely my favorite stop of the entire trip. The Giant Sequoia trees are the biggest trees in the world, which is an ineffable fact - something that you truly need to experience yourself. I'd recommend parking at the visitor center, grabbing a map and hiking whichever trails lead where you want to be - a waterfall, up a mountain, through the trees, to a campsite, to a lake - the list goes on and on. Bring water and snacks, you can spend your entire day out there hiking without wanting to go back just for food (although there are restaurants and gas at the top of the mountain - which is about an hour out from the main road).

Yosemite National Forest

Yosemite National Park, Tioga Pass Road, CA, United States

Yosemite is everyone's favorite National Park - and it holds up in my book. More touristy than Sequoia which isn't necessarily bad. Easy to get away from the crowds if you choose a more difficult hike - of which there are many. There are also very moderate but unbelievably scenic hikes if you're looking to relax. There's kayaking, tubing along a river, and plenty of food if you're hanging out in one of the two villages. If you want to camp, I'd recommend looking into getting a permit WAY in advance as these place book up very quickly for obvious reasons (goes for any National Park).

Pacific Coast Highway

17 Mile Drive, Pacific Grove, CA, United States

Overall a great way to travel the coast. You can pay $10 to do the 17-mile drive in Monterrey which has beautiful views of the coast, possibly seals if they're in season, and many of the beautiful mansions in this exclusive private neighborhood. The drive continues on southbound along the PCH and goes right through Big Sur National Park. Check the weather and the roads before you head over though - inclement weather and mudslides can close down portions of the road and make driving a pain.

 

Sequoia National Park

Explore
Sequoia National Park - Foothills Visitor Center, Generals Highway
This was definitely my favorite stop of the entire trip. The Giant Sequoia trees are the biggest trees in the world, which is an ineffable fact - something that you truly need to experience yourself. I'd recommend parking at the visitor center, grabbing a map and hiking whichever trails lead where you want to be - a waterfall, up a mountain, through the trees, to a campsite, to a lake - the list goes on and on. Bring water and snacks, you can spend your entire day out there hiking without wanting to go back just for food (although there are restaurants and gas at the top of the mountain - which is about an hour out from the main road).
 

View on Map

 

Yosemite National Forest

Explore
Yosemite National Park, Tioga Pass Road
Yosemite is everyone's favorite National Park - and it holds up in my book. More touristy than Sequoia which isn't necessarily bad. Easy to get away from the crowds if you choose a more difficult hike - of which there are many. There are also very moderate but unbelievably scenic hikes if you're looking to relax. There's kayaking, tubing along a river, and plenty of food if you're hanging out in one of the two villages. If you want to camp, I'd recommend looking into getting a permit WAY in advance as these place book up very quickly for obvious reasons (goes for any National Park).
 

View on Map

 

Pacific Coast Highway

Get Around
17 Mile Drive, Pacific Grove
Overall a great way to travel the coast. You can pay $10 to do the 17-mile drive in Monterrey which has beautiful views of the coast, possibly seals if they're in season, and many of the beautiful mansions in this exclusive private neighborhood. The drive continues on southbound along the PCH and goes right through Big Sur National Park. Check the weather and the roads before you head over though - inclement weather and mudslides can close down portions of the road and make driving a pain.
 

View on Map