The Top 10 Best Places To Hike In California — Power Ranked

Cathedral Rock in Sedona hike

San Francisco is the best hiking city in California. This is according to Lawnstarter, a startup that analyzed the 150 biggest US cities across 11 key indicators. While San Francisco ranked No 1. in California, it also ranked No 1 in America. In fact, in the top 10 hiking cities in America for 2021, 8 California cities ranked in the top 10, so if you’re looking for one of the best places to hike in California, here are the best cities to book.

These are the top 10 best hiking cities in California.

best hiking cities in America
Best hiking cities in America

1. San Francisco

2. Oakland

3. Los Angeles

4. San Diego

5. San Jose

6. Huntington Beach

7. Moreno Valley

8. Long Beach

9. Oceanside

10. Riverside

Portland, Oregon was ranked No. 2 in the top cities to hike in America. Tucson, Arizona came in at No 9.

Best hiking city in California - Lawnstarter
Majority of Best Cities to Hike Are In California – Lawnstarter

Lawnstarter’s hiking ranking was dominated by California. While almost every city in the Golden State performed well in the Climate categories due to mild weather and plentiful sunshine, the cities also are well rounded in other metrics such as number of hiking routes, number of camping sites, and variety in route difficulty. California is a hiker’s dream.

Hiking Atacama Desert in Chile
Hiking is great for your health.

The key indicators used to determine the top cities included access rank, quality, safety and climate.

Amazon has one of our favorite hiking boots. Check them out here!

If you’re going to one of the best places to hike in California

When it comes to hiking, making sure you are in good condition, and always go on a buddy system if you’re planning on doing a longer hike than normal. I’ve had the rare incidence once of accidentally going off a trail, getting lost for three hours in the sweltering heat of Arizona, only to finally come across a highway. Someone was very generous enough to stop and give me a ride back to my hotel.

So, buddy systems are great, as well as good hiking boots. That’s especially important, because your feet and calves could go through plenty of hurt the next day, or even during the hike. You want to make sure they are snug and sturdy but also comfortable. This is coming from personal experience!

Lastly, know your limit. My friends and I have gone on many hikes, and some of us weren’t built for it. You know, how some people are wired for certain things (like Michael Jordan was meant to be a basketball player?). One of my friends has asthma, and I have a back condition. So I can’t go for a hike for more than an hour. So if you’re going to one of the best places to hike in California, plan accordingly knowing your limit!

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Jimmy Im has traveled to 113 countries, stayed in over 600 hotels and has flown a million airmiles. He lives in New York City.

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