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California is as varied and beautiful as it is large. What makes California such a great place for hiking is the sheer variety of terrains available for hikers to explore. From sun-drenched beaches to shadow-shrouded forests to sky-scraping mountains, California’s got a trail or dozen worth your time.

Mist Trail, Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is one of California’s most stellar locales (if not the brightest period). The Mist Trail, open and spectacular year round, is an iconic hike in the park. The most interesting point of the whole hike is walking alongside and partially through a waterfall. Three miles long, but all uphill, the hike is moderately rigorous. Ascending from the Yosemite Valley floor, it undergoes a series of switchbacks before crossing the Merced River via bridge. The trail is so named because of the mist that permeates it, and the source of this mist, Vernal Falls, can first be glimpsed at the point that you cross the bridge. The final view is well worth the hike and there’s even more trail for hikers who still have steam left, as the path continues at the top to Nevada Falls.

Broken Hill, Torrey Pines State Preserve, San Diego

The Broken Hill Trail (technically a pair of trails that are interconnected, north and south) is probably the Torrey Pines State Preserve’s best hiking. The reserve is known for being the home of North America’s rarest pine tree, the eponymous pinus torreyana, which only grows in the park’s confines and in some of the Channel Islands off California’s coast. The Broken Hill trail is a great place to see what California might have looked like hundreds of years ago. Midway through the hike, you’ll be able to enjoy a stunning 360 degree view of the area from atop Broken Hill. Hikers can see Mount San Jacinto, eroded sandstone cliffs, miles of Torrey Pines, and the Pacific Ocean filling the horizon with blue.

Lost Palms Oasis, Joshua Tree National Park

Known for its tumble-down rock formations and unique Joshua Trees, Joshua Tree National Park is frequently visited by rock climbers. Besides rock climbing, the park plays host to some fantastic hiking trails, including the Lost Palms Oasis Trail. The trail offers a variety of terrains and some truly stunning views as it ascends gently from the Cottonwood trailhead for about a mile before leveling out on a short plateau. More experienced hikers will certainly wish to proceed to Mastodon Peak, a detour of about half a mile to the north, in order to catch some great views from the top. The hike, regardless of skill level, continues on through boulder-strewn plains, narrow slot canyons, and stands of Joshua Trees. The hike ends at the Lost Palms Oasis, named for the stand of fan palms (the only in the park). From here, one can see the Salton Sea and the surrounding desert landscape. The hike is about seven miles all told and can be extremely hot during the summer. Bring extra water and don’t hesitate to turn around if you start to feel too tired.

Visit Richardson's RV Centers

Before you hit the road in your RV in search of hiking opportunities, don't forget to stop by Richardson's RV Center to make sure that your rig is in good shape for travel. If it's time to shop for your next RV, let Richardson's RV Centers help you find the perfect motorhome for your road trip this summer.


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