If you’re hoping to plan an amazing getaway on the other side of this country, the western states of the US offer amazing outdoor activities and pleasant, warm weather. Many hiking enthusiasts flock to the following destinations each year for the views and experiences. Here are the West Coast regions that feature the absolute best hiking trails.
Two Regions, One State: California
California is a massive state jam-packed with hiking trails and sights. For convenience, let’s explore the best trails in both Northern and Southern California.
Residents of Los Angeles have access to numerous outdoor trails, which dot the bustling metropolitan area. The Griffith Park trails, Runyon Canyon Trail, and Crags Road in Malibu Creek State Park are among the most popular, offering a moderately challenging opportunity to explore the surrounding valleys. Outside of L.A., the Bridge to Nowhere Trail in Angeles National Park is a must-see, and Salt Creek Interpretive Trail in Death Valley is a difficult yet highly rewarding destination for hiking enthusiasts.
Northern California arguably has the best trails and parks in the Golden State, including the ever-popular Big Sur trail, Rubicon Trail, and Sempervirans Falls Trail in Big Basin Redwoods State Park. However, the Yosemite Falls Trail in Yosemite National Park is the trail you must visit when in NorCal.
Pacific Northwest: Washington State
The most northwestern state in the continental United States is a gem for hikers and outdoor explorers. Washington offers many unique experiences and sights, including hikes through alpine forests and lakes and views of the Cascade Mountain Range (home of Mount Rainier). Rattlesnake Ledge Trail and Lake 22 Trail are just two of the many excellent Washington hiking paths. Remember that this northern state can experience extreme weather, so plan your trips around certain seasons and forecasts—some trails are closed in the winter.
American Southwest: Utah
While not technically on the West Coast, the close proximity of the American Southwest is worth mentioning. Utah is famous for its national parks, specifically the “Big Five”: Zion National Park, Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyonlands National Park, and Capitol National Park. Each destination features spectacular views of unique earth formations through challenging and entertaining hiking trails.
The Delicate Arch Trail in Arches National Park is 3 miles long round-trip, offering sights of some of the park’s 2,000 breathtaking arches. The most popular hiking trail in Utah is the Narrows at Zion National Park, which takes you 10 miles round-trip at the base of a colorful, winding canyon. For a fantastic nature hike, consider the Navajo Loop Trails in Bryce Canyon National Park.
These West Coast regions feature the absolute best hiking trails throughout the Pacific region, and nearby states are worth visiting if you enjoy travel and outdoor exploration. Find the area that works best for you and plan an active vacation unlike any other!