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168 1 Day Treks to explore in California

The most populous U.S. state and the third-largest by area.

Alameda Creek Regional Trail2250 Isherwood Way, Fremont, CA 94536, USA

The Alameda Creek Regional Trail runs from the mouth of Niles Canyon in Fremont to the San Francisco Bay, allowing recreational access to the levees on both sides of Alameda Creek and its flood control channel. The trail on each side of the creek is roughly 12 miles long. The trail on the south bank provides access to Coyote Hills Regional Park. An additional 3.5-mile-loop trail off the Alameda Creek Trail, into and out of Coyote Hills, and back onto the Alameda Creek Trail.

Almaden Quicksilver County Park21785 Almaden Rd, San Jose, CA 95120, USA

4,163 acres (17 km²) park that includes the grounds of former mercury ("quicksilver") mines. The park is named after the New Almaden Quicksilver Mines, which were named after the mercury mine in (old) Almadén, Spain, and produced mercury that was used to process ore during the Gold Rush.

Alum Rock Park15350 Penitencia Creek Rd, San Jose, CA 95127, USA

The 720 acres (2.9 km2) park offers 13 miles (21 km) of trails. The narrow floor of the valley includes a visitor center, a small museum/animal rehab facility, picnic areas, playgrounds, lawns, sand volleyball pits, mineral springs, lush plant life, woodlands, creek play opportunities, and occasional group camping.

Ancient Bristlecone Pine ForestWhite Mountain Rd, Bishop, CA 93514, USA

The Methuselah Grove in the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest is the location of the "Methuselah", a Great Basin bristlecone pine that is 4,851 years old. It is considered to be the world's oldest known and confirmed living non-clonal organism. The Methuselah Grove trail includes the side valley of the Methuselah Grove where the oldest tree lives

Anderson Lake County Park19245 Malaguerra Ave, Morgan Hill, CA 95037, USA

This is an artificial lake in Morgan Hill, located in southern Santa Clara County The 4,275 acre Anderson Park also features the Coyote Creek Parkway multiple use trails, the Jackson Ranch historic park site, the Moses L. Rosendin Park, and the Burnett Park area. It provides limited fishing, picnicking, and hiking activities. Although swimming is prohibited, boating, water-skiing and jet-skiing are permitted in the reservoir.

Anderson PeakAnderson Peak, California 92305, USA

Anderson Peak is a mountain on the Mount San Gorgonio crestline in Southern California's San Gorgonio Wilderness, which is part of the San Bernardino National Forest. It is 3.2 miles from Jepson Peak. Although not above the tree line, snow tends to cover the crest from the northern hemisphere early winter until late spring.

Anthony Chabot Regional Park9999 Redwood Rd, Castro Valley, CA 94552, USA

Anthony Chabot Regional Park is located in the hills of Oakland, in Northern California. Popular activities include hiking, cycling and horseback riding. Camping is a major activity in the park with a 75-campsite family campground and seven group camps. It is part of the East Bay Regional Park District system, and covers 5,067 acres.

Artists DriveArtists Dr, Furnace Creek, CA, USA

Artists Drive is a scenic viewpoint in Inyo County. It crosses a sloping mountainside composed of vibrant soil colored by rich metals. The drive passes an area dubbed the Artist’s Palette, which is among the unique landmarks in Death Valley National Park that must be seen to believe. Artist’s Drive is a one-way road traveling from south to north. For those coming from Badwater Basin, this is an ideal side trek en route to Furnace Creek.

Backbone TrailSycamore Canyon Rd, California 90265, USA

The Backbone Trail is a long-distance trail extending 67.79 miles across the length of the Santa Monica Mountains in the U.S. state of California. Its western terminus is Point Mugu State Park, and its eastern terminus is Will Rogers State Historic Park in Pacific Palisades. The trail is open to hikers throughout its length. Dogs, mountain bicyclists and horseback riders are only allowed on portions of the trail as posted.

Baldy Bowl Baldy Bowl Trail, California, USA

Baldy Bowl is a fluvial cirque, in the San Gabriel Mountains of the U.S. state of California, that forms much of the upper south face of Mount San Antonio. It is one of the most visited backcountry locales in the San Gabriels, and is popular with skiers, hikers, and climbers. It has a base elevation of around 8,200 ft.

Banner PeakBanner Peak, California, USA

This is the most picturesque peak in the Sierra Nevada. It is the second highest peak in the Ritter Range. The mountain is 12,942 feet tall, and there are several glaciers on its slopes. It lies within the boundaries of the Ansel Adams Wilderness. Banner Peak is most photogenic from the northeast: it seems to be floating on the vast 2-mile wide waters of Thousand Island Lake, while bulky Mount Ritter is hidden from view

Bear Creek SpireBear Creek Spire, California 93514, USA

Bear Creek Spire is an amazing high peak on the Sierra Crest, located at the head of the Rock Creek drainage. It is striking from all sides and has two classic routes that every Sierra mountaineer should experience, all the way to the top of an exciting summit block. It is the 46th highest mountain in California and the 225th highest mountain in the United States. The first ascent of Bear Creek Spire was a solo climb by Hermann Ulrichs in 1923 up its west face.

Bernal Heights Park3400-3416 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA

Bernal Hill provides visitors with a breathtaking 360-degree panorama and clear views of San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, downtown, San Bruno Mountain, and the hills of the East Bay. At its highest elevation is a privately-owned equipment building and 50-foot tall telecommunications tower. The tower does not have an official name, but some residents call it "Sutrito", as it resembles a shorter version of Sutro Tower​​​​​​​.

Big Bear Mountain Resort880 Summit Blvd Suite A, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315, USA

Big Bear Mountain Resort offers the best skiing and snowboarding experiences in Southern California at Snow Summit and Bear Mountain. It is also an alpine oasis for outdoor adventurers near Los Angeles in the summer, featuring plenty of family-friendly options like mountain biking, hiking, and base area activities, with discounts available for kids and seniors.

Bishop Pass TrailheadS Lake Rd, Bishop, CA 93514, USA

This Trailhead offers fantastic views nearly all the way, six lakes together with many ponds, streams and floral meadows, and ending by traversing a rocky slope above the final lake and climbing steeply to a saddle along the Sierra Crest at 11,972 feet. The hike begins at South Lake, reached by a paved road off Hwy 168, so the easy access, the relatively gentle elevation gain and the route to the Kings Canyon backcountry with the incredible scenery make the route often relatively busy.

Black MountainBlack Mountain, Palo Alto, CA 94022, USA

This is a mountain in the Diablo Range of eastern Santa Clara County, east of Poverty Ridge and Arroyo Hondo, and about 10 miles from Milpitas.The peak is one of the highest in area. The northern half of Black Mountain is an oak woodlands while the southern half is barren. Black Mountain can be clearly seen from most parts of the Santa Clara Valley including Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Mountain View and San Jose. The peak is visible from the Mount Hamilton and Monument Peak.

Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve18000 CA-1, Huntington Beach, CA 92648, USA

A nature reserve to protect a coastal wetland, and its resident threatened and endangered species.

Boney PeakBoney Peak, California 90265, USA

A majestic peak of the sandstone Boney Mountain formation, in Circle X Ranch Park of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. you can have views of the Pacific Ocean, Channel Islands, and Mount Baldy. Plus Camarillo, Oxnard and Ventura city, Newbury park and some parts of Simi Valley.

Boulder PeakBoulder Peak, California 95223, USA

Boulder Peak is Boulder's highest and least traveled summit at 8,549 feet. The summit is rocky and requires some scrambling, but the views at the top are well worth it. This peak is accessed by connecting the Mesa Trail with Shadow Canyon that places you at the saddle between South Boulder Peak and Bear Peak. It offers a demanding 3.7-mile hike situated above the South Mesa in the famous Flatirons region near Boulder Colorado.

Box Springs MountainBox Springs Mountain, California 92557, USA

This is the highest peak in the Box Springs Mountains range, standing 3,083 ft. Most of the mountain is part of the Box Springs Mountain Reserve, a 1,155-acre park. Because the mountain is one of the more prominent features in the Inland Empire, the summit is used for numerous telecommunication towers, including transmission towers for the KOLA 99.9 and KGGI 99.1 radio stations.