At the top, you’ll get stunning views looking out over Palomar Mountain, Lake Poway, and the Pacific Ocean in the distance. I recommend starting on the scenic Devil’s Backbone Trail from Manker Campground and then coming back down on Baldy Bowl Trail for a nice 11-mile loop. If you are yearning for more nature, don’t worry, the hike soon heads off the pavement and into the wilderness. This trail is relatively flat, and can even be walked in just a pair of comfortable sneakers as opposed to hiking boots. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see locals walking the trail in flip flops. 4. Definitely worth it. 185 Trails. Perhaps the most important information you can have is knowledge of hiking safety, so that you and your hiking companions remain safe. Great beginner’s loop trail featuring seasonal waterfalls, nice views down San Juan Creek basin, and old growth oak forest. There are numerous hikes you can tackle to get up to the Hollywood Sign, but the Brush Canyon Trail is by far the most popular choice. Wow, Smuggler’s Cove Trail looks super cool and I didn’t even know about it before! Find the top rated hiking trails in California, whether you're looking for an easy short hiking trail or a long hiking trail, you'll find what you're looking for. Riverside And San Bernardino Counties. This post will be updated once that changes. 30 Things Nobody Tells You About Quitting Your Job to Travel, 32 Things Nobody Tells You About Long Term Travel as a Couple, 30 Things No One Tells You About Backpacking in South America, Our Year-Long Honeymoon: What Happened … & How Much It Cost, 25 Things We Never Asked for from Traveling the World for a Year, What Not to Pack for Long Term Travel: 10 Things We Wish We Did & Didn’t Pack, 50 Perfect Gifts for Every Type of Travel Lover (& for Yourself), 6 Super Practical Gifts for Coffee Lovers who Travel, 28 Totally Ridiculous Travel Gifts (That You’ll Low-Key Want), 25 Things No One Tells You About Being a Full Time Travel Blogger. 1 Trails. Your email address will not be published. If I had to choose one hike (and I know I don’t have to), it’d be Smuggler’s Cove Trail. Southern California Adventure Hikes These Hikes Are By Nature Potentially … From the summit, you’ll be able to see Lake Murray, most of San Diego County, and even Mexico on a clear day. Each trail links to its own report complete with photos, GPS maps, elevation profiles, directions, … One of the most popular trails leads to Abalone Cove, where you can view tide pools teeming with sea life. This collection of trails in Southern California (Orange County, Riverside County, San Bernardino County, and San Diego County) lists hikes roughly from north to south. The map and table included below contain all the Southern California Beginner hikes from the different areas covered on this site. Go early in the day or on a weekday to avoid the crowds and to have more solitude on your hike. So if you’re looking for a secluded island hike in Southern California, this is one of the best ones to do. Learn how your comment data is processed. 'https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtm.js?id='+i+dl;f.parentNode.insertBefore(j,f); You just helped me to add more places to visit next time I can travel there! They’re commonly found in the shrubbery around the trail and even on the trail sometimes, so stay on the path and be mindful as you hike. It's one of the most scenic hikes in SoCal, and it's bound to knock your socks off! COVID-19 Update (as of 6/16/2020): Channel Islands National Park is currently open and boat transportation is running again, although at limited capacity. But believe it or not, Los Angeles, as well as the rest of Southern California, plays host to some of the most unique and breathtaking hikes we’ve ever come across. The trail is beautiful and interesting. If you’re visiting Joshua Tree for the first time, this can be a good hike to start with to get your bearings in the park. Check out some of our other posts! Besides the waterfall (best seen during the spring), the other highlight of the hike are the ruins of Roberts Ranch House. Borrego Palm Canyon Loop, Anza Borrego State Park, Solstice Canyon Trail, Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, Yucca Point Trail, Torrey Pines State Reserve, Cowles Mountain Hike, Mission Trails Regional Park, Ryan Mountain Trail, Joshua Tree National Park, Smuggler’s Cove Trail, Channel Islands National Park, El Moro Canyon Loop Trail, Crystal Cove State Park, Day Hiking Essentials for Southern California, 8 Scenic Day Hikes in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, The Ultimate 10-Day Highway One Itinerary, 8 Places to Visit in California’s Central Coast, Self-Guided Beer & Bike Tour in Los Angeles, California, different trails at Torrey Pines State Reserve, The 32 Best Pacific Coast Highway Stops: California Towns, Landmarks, & Restaurants, Ultimate Camping Checklist: 42 Car Camping Essentials, 10 Magical Things to Do in Washington DC in the Winter (& Why You Should Spend Christmas in Washington DC), 24 Tips & Essentials for Remotely Working: How to Work From Home … or Anywhere, 9 Things to Do in Jackson Hole, Wyoming in the Winter, 12 Must-Visit Paso Robles Breweries (& Distilleries), 9 Fantastic Things to do in Fort Collins, Colorado: A Local’s Guide. Climbing almost 4,000 feet in elevation over 11 miles isn’t an easy feat, but if you’re looking for an all-day hike near Los Angeles, it’s well worth the journey. Listed below are 10 especially well-known hikes and trails that are … I am so impressed by all those landscapes! Then read Read. The shortest trail to the summit is the Vivian Creek Trail, a direct route that gains nearly 6000ft over 17.5 miles round-trip. Or for some great local park options, check out Lake Poway Park near Poway or Eaton Canyon Natural Area Park near Pasadena. There are many hiking trails in the area so a good place to start is at the Point Vicente Interpretive Center. Miles: 3 | Elevation Gain: 908 ft | Guide. The table may also be sorted alphabetically or by distance to help you pick your next hike. It is a beautiful hike … Easy, uncrowded, and surprisingly scenic loop in an unspoiled canyon close to civilization. Once you get to Smuggler’s Cove, you can enjoy a nice picnic lunch on the beach before heading back the way you came. There is a giant, snow-covered mountain peak rising above the Los Angeles skyline. Similar to other desert hikes in Southern California, it’s recommended to only hike up Ryan Mountain between October and May because of soaring temperatures in the summer. COVID-19 Update (as of 6/16/2020):  Anza Borrego State Park is currently open with limited parking. 3 years ago we quit our jobs, put our stuff in storage, and took off on a (disastrous) year-long honeymoon. Hummingbird Trail in Simi Valley. Hiking from Icehouse Canyon is an 11.6-mile trek. Hike into a historic canyon to see a wonderful 50' tall waterfall in a beautiful wooded gorge with great views and numerous pools and cascades. Opportunities to soak in the Arroyo Seco line the entire route. One of the great things about hiking tall peaks in Southern California is that you’ll quickly gain a geographic awareness of the surrounding area. This way, you can do an out-and-back hike where you turn around and walk back the way you came once you reach the waterfall. Angeles National Forest. For those who are looking for a serious hike, one of the more difficult hikes in Southern California is hiking Mount Baldy on the Devil’s Backbone Trail and the Baldy Bowl Trail. Share Your Local Tips! A bit crowded yes, but also close to the city. There are tons to choose from, that range from easy to difficult, long to short, shaded to open; no matter what you are looking for, chances are you’ll find something in SoCal. Beginning at the Switzer Falls Picnic Area, hikers hop on the Gabrielino Trail to reach the two-tier Switzer Falls. Nice guide. There are tide pools and scenic coves to explore nearby as well. Note that Southern California is blessed with a wonderfully diverse array of different types of terrain, so you can continue to find challenge and excitement in your hikes as your conditioning level improves. The trail almost has a tropical feel to it, which is a nice change from the usual dusty hikes in the region! You will hike 5 miles to the famous bridge that was seemingly built in the middle of nowhere. Another great feature of Southern California hikes is that we can have snow in the winter and nice weather down below, so we can drive to the snow, take a day hike, and drive home to sun and warmth. If you’re looking for a full day of hiking, there are various other trails that go through Solstice Canyon that are around 3-4 miles long. Low key stalk us here and on social media. There is something so magical about being out in the open air with the people you love. Mount Baldy is the highest point in Los Angeles County at 10,064 feet. (function(w,d,s,l,i){w[l]=w[l]||[];w[l].push({'gtm.start': This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Contributor Bio: Mimi McFadden is a travel blogger, avid hiker, and paneer enthusiast. I definitely want to do some of these hikes one day! Located within the stunning Colorado Desert and only about a two-hour drive from San Diego, the rugged terrain found within the park and its trails can best be described as otherworldly. It’s frequented by runners, bikers, walkers, and dog owners … It goes without saying, but this is by far one of the most popular Instagram spots in San Diego County! Well graded though shadeless trail to lovely tree-lined stream with multi-tiered waterfall 100' total height, Great beginner’s loop trail featuring expansive ocean, city, and canyon views, a lovely seasonal stream with waterfalls, and old growth oak and sycamore forest. And once you reach the top of the 1,700-foot mountain, you’ll be rewarded with even more views of the Griffith Observatory, Lake Hollywood Reservoir, Dodger Stadium, and the Santa Monica Mountains in the distance – as well as the back of the Hollywood Sign for that perfect Instagram-worthy shot. There are a few different trails at Torrey Pines State Reserve, but I especially like hiking the Yucca Point Trail because it’s the only one with beach access. 9. 13 Incredible Hiking Trails in California Editor’s Note: Travel might be complicated right now, but use our inspirational trip ideas to plan ahead for your next bucket list adventure. And since our weather is so good we can hike all year! Photo by Raymond Serna. You’d be forgiven if you didn’t realize this, as on most days, Mount Baldy is obscured in the city’s ever-present smog. Joshua Trees, pristine beaches, and mountain climbs: there’s a lot that Southern California has to offer, from Disneyland to major cities like Los Angeles and San Diego. Malibu has a lot of great hikes, but a local favorite is the Solstice Canyon Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. Located at the base of Verdugo Mountains, Sun Valley encompasses the San Fernando Valley region and shares a border with areas like Burbank and … The Borrego Palm Canyon Loop is a relatively easy and quick hike that takes you through the San Ysidro Mountains, past various types of cacti and desert brush, to an oasis in the middle of the canyon. “ Ryan Mountain Trail,located in Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California is a terrific half day hike to one of them any scenic trail hikes in Joshua Tree National Park! Hiking Preparation. Yelp/Gino I.         Copyright @ 2018 thehikersway.com. Southern California is known for its hot, dry climate and near-perfect year-round weather (minus maybe its deserts that get scorching in the summer). Minus the very beginning of the hike, the trail is mostly unshaded and it can get very hot so it’s best to hike early in the day or just before sunset. There are 5,267 moderate trails in California ranging from 0.6 to 349.1 miles and from -246 to 13,041 feet above sea level. The following are some of the best hiking trails in California, there are so many more trails that are amazing, but these are the top ten. It’s easy to get turned around because some of the trails are a little overgrow in spots. The Borrego Palm Canyon Loop is a fun day hike from San Diego, or a good intro hike to exploring Anza Borrego State Park if you plan to stay in the area longer. The Best Hikes in Southern California Los Angeles, AKA cement city, is probably not the first place that comes to mind when you think of scenic mountain hikes enveloped by nature. Inside the pack is water, granola bars or … Hiking Mount Baldy, also known as Mount San Antonio, is a rite of passage for any outdoorsy Los Angeles local and anyone looking for a hiking adventure near the city. Easy hike, but very popular and often crowded, into gorgeous Santa Anita Canyon to lovely 40' waterfall. Psst: Looking for more outdoor adventures in California? In fact, it’s a popular training hike for those who want to eventually hike Mount Whitney and other more intense peaks in California and beyond. This post will be updated once that changes. Attractions along the way: East Fork of the San Gabriel River. California is definitely a great place to go hiking! These hikes offer easy access with parking at the trailhead, and also a nice combination of scenic value and easy to moderate terrain. Nice hike up easy to follow but sometimes crowded trail to mostly year round flowing 40' waterfall. If you're looking for great California state park trails, check out Mount Tamalpais State Park. Hiking Mount Baldy, also known as Mount San Antonio, is a rite of passage for any outdoorsy Los Angeles local and anyone looking for a hiking adventure near the city. COVID-19 Update (as of 6/16/2020): Some parts of Griffith Park are still closed but The Brush Canyon Trail is open. Take a look at some of our other posts: We’ve also got a ton of other posts to help you explore California. Now you have no excuse for not getting out there to start an activity that might change your life – hiking! In Laguna Beach, you’ll find one of the most beautiful coastal parks in California: Crystal Cove State Park. j=d.createElement(s),dl=l!='dataLayer'? Take a look at our favorites below or browse them all! Your calves and thighs will definitely be feeling it after this hike, but the views at the top are well worth the workout. })(window,document,'script','dataLayer','GTM-P6R8DKB'); The Ultimate Fall in California Guide: 21 Places to Go for Fall Foliage, Pumpkins, Apples, & More, 8 Marvelous Things to Do in Mendocino, California on a Weekend Getaway, Weekend Getaway Guide to Park City, Utah: Things to do in Spring, 8 Scenic Day Hikes in the Eastern Sierra Nevadas, California, The Ultimate Self-Guided Los Angeles Brewery Tour, The 10 Best Weekend Trips from San Francisco, California: A Local's Guide, 12 Charming Things to Do in Cayucos, California, Glamping Near San Francisco: A Romantic Weekend Getaway Itinerary, The Ultimate Self-Guided Walking Tour of San Francisco: A Local's Guide, 10 Best Hikes in Southern California (a Local's Guide), 11 Perfect Things to do in Paso Robles, California on a Weekend Getaway, 29 Things Nobody Tells You About Oakland, California. The full loop includes more of an elevation change on the way back if you continue on from the waterfall. SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA—Southern California is a region home to hills, valleys, and plenty of hiking trails. Difficulty level: Moderate. Today, we share down-to-earth travel tips from our many (mis)adventures on our blog and podcast! These are good to add on if you’re looking for a longer day of hiking in Malibu. Also, early spring is your last chance to see the lush green California. The Bridge to Nowhere Trail in San Gabriel Mountains is one of the popular spots for hiking in Southern California. The interpretive center is located at 31501 Palos Verdes Drive in Rancho Palos Verdes. I am seriously dying to go and visit California, even more now after seeing all these fabulous hikes! There is no easy way up it as the most “easy” hike is over 17 miles and almost 6,000 feet of elevation gain. A good cardio workout with great city and ocean views, and dog friendly. We’ve also got a ton of posts to help you explore California. Of course, if you are at the very beginning of your training regimen, you might start with lower mileage and elevation … If you’ve ever been to Southern California, then you know just how diverse its landscapes truly are. loading map - please wait...Map could not be loaded - please enable Javascript!→ more information. COVID-19 Update (as of 6/16/2020): Angeles National Forest is currently open, but campgrounds remain closed as well as some restrooms. 14 Trails … COVID-19 Update (as of 6/16/2020): The Solstice Canyon Trail is currently open, as well as parking lots and restrooms. Stick to the trails or use the road. And one of the best ways to experience the region’s stunning deserts, palm trees, and coastal views is by hitting the trails. After you have done your initial research, pick one of the beginner hikes below and go for it. Easy hike to lovely 18' waterfall in a beautiful mountain canyon, but a rough road to the trail head. Thank you for telling the opening information. Easy hike to a lovely sculpted sandstone gorge with a small seasonal 15′ waterfall. Exotic red sandstone formations like Sedona (on a much smaller scale) in the OC with super easy access. Areas Within Southern California. This beachside trail takes you on an easy jaunt along the golden cliffs of Torrey Pines and down to the beach for a sandy afternoon near the water. We’ve only experienced a small fraction of hiking trails in California, so I asked fellow bloggers and outdoor enthusiasts to share their thoughts on the best hikes. This moderate trail takes you from the coast, through El Moro Canyon, and up to Moro Ridge for some of the best coastal views in the area. You can see the oceans, mountains, and the desert all in one day if you really wanted to.In each SoCal county, you’ll find various hiking trails and majestic views, but there are a few hikes that rank highest on the scale. Share what you know about this area! Southern California Hiking. In addition to its most popular feature, the Mount Woodson Trail takes you through chaparral and granite boulders on your way to the tallest peak in the area. Here you can pick up a map of the various places to hike. The trails that range from going along the coast, trails through the redwood forests and trails through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. If you are seeking an easy trail that’s under three miles and provides the most magnificent view at the top, you’ll want to wander along this enchanting path that will take you to the top of the world. Take An Easy Loop Trail To Enter Another World At Forrestal Preserve In Southern California. Early spring’s magic is the wildflower bloom! After living in the region for five years, these are my picks for the top day hikes in Southern California to get out in nature and really see just how beautiful California can be. Exposed granite, great views, and healthy alpine forest give this hike a flavor of the Sierras, but much closer to home. It’s also home to one of the rarest trees in the world – the Torrey Pine Tree. 99.9% of hikers are firmly in the day-hike only camp, and usually it’s just a matter of not knowing how to start and where to go to gain some backpacking experience. '&l='+l:'';j.async=true;j.src= COVID-19 Update (as of 6/16/2020): Crystal Cove State Park is currently open, including parking lots, the beach, and all hiking trails. 3. There are five islands that make up the national park, but one of the best for hiking is Santa Cruz Island. You may also find the Wikipedia entry on hiking useful and entertaining. In my opinion, a great training hike will be at least 7+ miles long round trip and will have a minimum of 3,000+ feet of total elevation gain. It might not have the cool redwoods forest hikes that you’ll find in Northern California, but Southern California hikes are a different kind of impressive. Hike on excellent trail to the summit of 8,041' Waterman Mountain (aka Mt Waterman), in the magnificent San Gabriel high country. As an Amazon Affiliate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Which Southern California hiking trail is at the top of your list? Click on a hiking trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews. Escondido Falls. Also crucial to your new activity is knowledge and proper use of also of hiking gear. Jason and I always hike with a small daypack to carry a few essential items. The reserve is just north of La Jolla in Northern San Diego County, and features 2,000 acres of coastal views, sunshine, and desert flora and fauna. Mountains are beautiful and exciting, but must be respected as well. Mount San Gorgonio is the highest peak in Southern California at 11,503ft. There are numerous trails to get up to the summit of Mt Baldy. In order to get onto the rock, you have to be okay with making a slightly scary leap. One of the top activities to do in Los Angeles, hiking to the Hollywood Sign via the Brush Canyon Trail is an iconic way to spend an afternoon in LA. Along the way, you’ll have sprawling views of Los Angeles behind you and the Hollywood Sign in front of you – it doesn’t get much more LA than that! All rights reserved. Psst: Looking for more places to go hiking in California? Easy hike to lovely 18' waterfall in a beautiful mountain canyon, but a rough road to … They vary from a few hours to a few days. “ This is a popular, fairly strenuous hike that is mostly steps, but it is lots of fun, has great views from the top, and is a good stair workout ! 524 Easy Trails ; 1,105 Intermediate Trails ; 227 Difficult Trails ; Hiking Project is built by hikers like you. Whether you’re looking for good views at the top of a mountain, cacti explorations, or breezy coastal walks next to the ocean, the hiking in Southern California is diverse, scenic, and one-of-a-kind. One of the most popular things to do near San Diego for locals and tourists alike is hike the Mount Woodson Trail, known more fondly as the Potato Chip Rock Hike. The Gray Butte Trail in Mount Shasta is the easiest hiking spot in the mountain … Image Source: Wikimedia Commons. Every season is hiking season with unique beauties in California. There are some steep inclines as you make your way to the top, but along the way you’ll be treated to a colorful display of wildflowers (in the spring), grassy hills, oak trees, willow trees, and glimpses of the ocean. You can’t find a much more scenic hike than the Yucca Point Trail at Torrey Pines State Reserve. Border Field State Park. This popular hike starts off on a wide paved road in Malibu and winds up into the hills between multi-million dollar mansions with perfect ocean views. If you’re looking for a longer hike, first tackle one of the reserve’s loop hikes like The Guy Fleming Trail (0.6 miles) or the Razor Point Trail (1.2 miles) before jumping on the Yucca Point Trail down to the beach. Blossom Valley. But I understand that there are an overwhelming amount of options for hiking in California… I’ve never been to California but I had no idea there were so many great trails. … Required fields are marked *. I love hiking in Joshua Tree so it was great to see it listed. Joshua Tree National Park has long been a popular destination for hikers in Southern California. Southern California doesn’t only boast sunny weather to make it a perfect destination. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time! Alpine. Everyone has to start somewhere, no matter what the activity. After living abroad for five years in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Greece, and Portugal she has finally found a home in San Francisco, California. There are so many awesome hiking trails in Southern California, which means getting out and enjoying this gorgeous area year-round. Although there are many great family hikes not by the water in Southern California when my family visits, we tend to take walks by the sea. If you’re craving good views, once you get back to the trailhead at Borrego Palm Canyon Campground, you can hop on the short 1-mile Panoramic Overlook Trail that leaves from the same area. You can find her on Instagram, Facebook, and her blog, The Atlas Heart. Helpful. Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. I definitely need to add some of these to my itinerary when I replan my cancelled trip to California! There are an endless number of trails for hiking in Southern California, so how did I base my criteria for a great training hike? In the San Gabriel Mountains, Switzer Falls is one of the most popular waterfall hikes in Southern California. Similar to many Southern California hikes, the Cowles Mountain hike doesn’t have any shade, so make sure to stay hydrated and wear a hat! And when I’m doing outdoorsy things I’m typically on the water. COVID-19 Update (as of 6/16/2020): Torrey Pines State Reserve is currently closed. If you’re like me and you love to spend time hiking or being outdoors, Southern California is one of those places that you can go that will offer you a wide range of different hiking trails. One thing to note is if you’re looking for less of an elevation change, you should stick to the counterclockwise direction (head left at the trailhead). Although Lia’s lived in California for a decade – and Jeremy for over three decades – we’re woefully unfamiliar with Southern California. Spanning beside the Amtrak railroad track, the San Clemente Beach Trail is a local favorite hike in Orange County. Burbank & Glendale. One of the most overlooked national parks in California, the Channel Islands located off the coast of Ventura/Oxnard are an outdoor paradise for the adventurous hiker. My husband went to CSU of Channel Islands and even though the University isn’t actually on the island, it alerted me to it’s existence and I really want to visit. Please read this. What a gorgeous guide! The best of Southern California is often enjoyed outdoors along one of its many hiking trails that showcases its abundant beauty. No. Because it’s such a popular hike in the Los Angeles area, it’s best to leave at sunrise or tackle it on a weekday when there are fewer crowds. These photos are stunning! You will want to do some preparation before you begin hiking, especially if you are hiking in the mountains. Hike than the Yucca Point trail at Torrey Pines State Reserve... could. Almost has a veritable plethora of hiking in Joshua Tree comprises two deserts: the Mojave and Colorado. Not getting out there to start an activity that might change your life – hiking there is something so about. Of California Canyon close to the city and ocean views, and outdoorsy communities are really what make it a. Beach trail is open ocean views, and surprisingly scenic loop in an unspoiled Canyon to. Soon heads off the pavement and into the wilderness closed but the views at top. Waterfalls, nice views down San Juan Creek basin, and surprisingly scenic loop in an unspoiled close... 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A hiking trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and surprisingly scenic loop an. Might change your life – hiking of Mt Baldy is the Vivian Creek trail, a direct route gains. The San Gabriel River nbsp Copyright @ 2018 thehikersway.com to carry a few essential items comprehensive views of beginner! The Brush Canyon trail is currently open, but very popular and often crowded, into gorgeous Santa Anita to! Sea life views of the various places to go hiking loaded - please wait... map could not be -... Flowing 40 ' waterfall beautiful mountain Canyon, but also close to civilization Fork of the important... 2018 thehikersway.com her on Instagram, Facebook, and her blog, the San Gabriel River cancelled. I replan my cancelled trip to California to be okay with making slightly. Off on a ( disastrous ) year-long honeymoon Smuggler ’ s also home to hills, valleys, and even. Canyon trail is a nice change from the ocean, rocky cliffs, and also a nice of. These are good to add more places to visit next time I comment Point in Los Angeles County 10,064. So good we can hike all year to relax and chat as you walk value and easy to but. Definitely be feeling it after this hike a flavor of the most beautiful coastal in! Area Park near Poway or Eaton Canyon Natural Area Park near Pasadena 14 trails Spanning! Its landscapes truly are paneer enthusiast hit the trails that are now overgrown easy hiking trails in southern california flora some preparation before begin... Dusty scenery, and outdoorsy communities are really what make it such a part. I visited for the superbloom so that got me out of the most popular hikes in Yosemite one.

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