5 Energizing Hikes in California

By Carly Zinderman

5 Energizing Hikes in California

If you’ve grown bored with easy hikes, it’s time to up the ante. Throughout California, you can find intermediate hiking trails that help you to increase your workout. Some of the best trails in the state’s numerous national parks are short enough for anyone to try, but have intense terrain that is more suitable for a hiker looking for a challenge. Here are just a few of the most energizing hikes in California! 

1. Lower Holcomb Canyon

The Lower Holcomb Canyon hike requires some dexterity as you must boulder hop and be a little adventurous in creating your own trail. Depending on your fitness level and sense of adventure, you can make the hike loop around easily or explore some of the features of the canyon to extend your time outdoors.

2. Mishe Mokwa Trail to Split Rock

Located in the scenic Santa Monica Mountains, this 3.5-mile roundtrip trek is of moderate difficulty. You’ll break a sweat, but you’ll also be afforded views of Balanced Rock and Carlisle Canyon. The oak grove of Split Rock provides a shady area—perfect for setting up a picnic after your adventure. 

3. Little Sycamore Canyon Loop

The wilderness area of Laguna Beach offers a rare glimpse into seldom seen coastal canyons. Rocky terrain and steep bluffs make for stunning views and a workout that you can’t get at the gym. Come prepared with plenty of water as you walk through the acres of beautiful wildlife.

4. Meysan Lakes at Inyo National Forest

The Meysan Lakes trails are around Mount Whitney but do not lead to the famous peak. However, you can find some pretty strenuous hiking trails in the area, especially if you plan to visit all three lakes in one day. Check trail conditions and understand what you are getting into before you make your plans. The rewards of this rigorous hike are breathtaking. 

5. Mist Trail

The Mist Trail is one of Yosemite’s most celebrated hikes, thanks to new and stunning views at every twist and turn. Although beginners can start on the trail, they likely won’t finish as the full hike can get take up to five hours. The higher you climb, the more strenuous it gets, which means that you can temper the hike according to your comfort and skill level. Earlier in the day tends to be better if you’re looking to avoid crowds. 

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