It’s no secret that northern California is a beautiful area, complete with over a hundred state parks. It’s quite easy to find a beautiful hiking trail without having to travel far. Just as well, camping in northern California is a popular activity.
If you’re looking for the best hiking trails to try for your upcoming camping trip in northern California, look no further. We put together a list of the best places to hike while camping in northern California.
The options are virtually endless when it comes to finding the best hiking trails in northern California. Emerald Bay State Park is a great spot to try, seated directly in the middle of a large pine forest on the shore of Lake Tahoe. After a day of hiking, there’s really nothing like jumping into the cool waters of the lake.
Just as well, Donner Memorial State Park is an excellent choice for camping and hiking if you’re looking for some beautiful views. Enjoy recreational activities and fishing for a full experience that is fun for the whole family.
Are you a fan of mines and California history? Empire Mine State Historic Park was once a major area during the Gold Rush, with ample gold located deep underground. Huge tunnels were dug for this purpose, and visitors can enjoy a tour of the mine. If you enjoy long walks but don’t want to hike intense trails, this is a good spot to visit and camp. Malakoff Diggins State Historic Park and Marshall Gold Discovery State Historic Park are great mining towns to check out as well. Those who prefer seclusion would enjoy the unique Angel Island State Park.
Let’s break down a few of the more popular (and challenging) hiking trails you can try while tent camping in northern California. We wouldn’t necessarily recommend these trails for families with children, though the campsites nearby are perfectly suited for families.
Palisade Creek Trail
If you’re a photography buff or want to hike while camping in the northern California coast, Palisade Creek Trail is worth looking into. With a beautiful lake and tons of flora and fauna, this out and back trail is lush with nature. However, this can make the trail more difficult, as it is overgrown with foliage. You may need to use an SUV to get close to the trailhead, where there is parking near a warming hut. We’d recommend taking on this somewhat difficult trail after June when the snow has melted and there is less ice. Pack plenty of water as well.
Mission Peak Loop
Located near Milpitas, Mission Peak Loop is a 6-mile popular loop trail that is dense with incredible wildflowers. The views from this trail are incredible, but the hike itself is not for the faint of heart. It’s a rocky, challenging trail with little in the way of shade. Always wear your sunscreen? Dogs are permitted on this trail as well as horses. We’d recommend taking on this trail during overcast days where direct sunlight isn’t as brutal. The steady, steep incline of this trail can be tough to get through, but it’s worth it for the views of the world below.
Mount Whitney Trail
Looking for a challenge? Try Mount Whitney Trail. Not only is this the spot for the best lake camping in northern California, but this 22.5-mile out and back trail has some incredible sites. We would only recommend this trail for very experienced hikers and backpackers. Between the high elevation and long mileage, this trail is rocky and intense. While dogs are allowed on this trail, it is not recommended to bring them along. Be sure to pack some walking poles and acclimate yourself to the elevation before beginning this hike. Give this spot a visit between April and October.
Ice House Canyon Trail
This is an excellent trail to take on if you are camping in northern California with dogs. This 10-mile loop trail is located close to Mount Baldy and features a beautiful river. This is the spot to visit if you want to catch some beautiful natural sites. While dogs are permitted, keep in mind that they must be leashed. This trail is also notably difficult and best suited for experienced hikers, as it is at a 2,637-foot elevation and can be quite icy in the winter. Microspikes are recommended.
Northern California really is an excellent destination for campers who love to hike.
Are you excited about hiking in northern California for your next camping trip? Explore all the Tentrr options for camping in California.
Photo source: Pixabay