Stunning Backpacking Trips in Southern California

Escape the city traffic and head out for a night under the stars

1. Estrella Camp in the Silver Peak Wilderness

    • Trail: Start at the Salmon Creek TH off of Highway 1 and hike to Estrella Camp

    • Length: 7 miles out & back

    • Elevation gain: 2,000 ft

    • Highlights: Lounging by the enormous waterfall at the beginning of the trailhead

Yes.. that is whip cream…some things are worth their weight in gold

2. Cone Peak

    • Trail: South Fork Campground in the Sierra National Forest

    • Length: 16 miles loop

    • Elevation gain: 5,000 ft

    • Highlights: Appreciating the solitude of being one of the few people on trail

3. San Jacinto

    • Trail: Hike from Devils Slide Trail to Round Valley Campground, with the option to summit San Jacinto peak weather permitting

    • Length: 20 miles out & back

    • Elevation gain: 3,000 – 5,000 ft

    • Highlights: Finding the “Hidden Lake”, which is actually a unique forest vernal pool

Forest Vernal Pool

Can you spot the rattler?



4. Barker Valley

    • Trail: South Fork Campground in the Sierra National Forest

    • Length: 8 miles out & back

    • Elevation gain: 1,200 ft

    • Highlights: Appreciating San Diego’s backcountry wilderness

The trail goes through an ancient old growth tunnel of Red Shank chaparral

Fields of Goldfields (Lasthenia californica)

Don’t forget to Leave No Trace, read all regulations for the park you will be in, and check the weather forecast before setting off on your journey. Happy Trails! – Dendrophile Danielle

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