Wild and scenic places on this website in Central/Southern California, from North to South including counties of Tulare, Kern, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego.

In addition to hiking many of these areas also include camping, picnic areas, mountain biking trails, horseback riding trails, wildflower viewing, tide pool viewing, wildlife & bird watching and beaches. 

Click any picture or link below for more information.

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Tulare County

Kern County

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Sequoia National Monument, Trail of 100 Giants

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Lake Isabella

Santa Barbara County:

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Gaviota State Park

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Refugio State Beach

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El Capitan State Beach

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Douglas Family Preserve & Arroyo Burro County Beach

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Carpinteria Salt Marsh

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Carpinteria State Beach

Ventura County

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San Buenaventura State Beach

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Santa Clara Rivermouth Beach

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McGrath State Beach

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Ormond Beach & Wetlands

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Wildwood Park & Paradise Falls

 

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Anacapa Island

Anacapa Island

Smallest of the Channel Islands, activities include scenic/wildlife cruises, tidepool and water sports landings.
 

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Santa Cruz Island

Santa Cruz Island, Scorpion Harbor Landing

One of two harbors on the island.  Santa Cruz is the largest of the Channel Islands.  Activities include camping, watersports, a beach and miles of scenic trails.

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Santa Barbara Island

Santa Barbara Island

The smallest of the Channel Islands but still has over 5 miles of scenic hiking trails.
 

Angeles Forest/San Gabriel Mountains/Los Angeles County

Sturtevant Falls, 2-18-08
Sturtevant Falls

Hike three miles along a beautiful flowing creek down to Sturtevant Falls.
Hungry Valley Wildflower by Oak  Preserve 4-21-06
Hungry Valley Wildflowers near Oak Woodland Preserve

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Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve, 4/12/08

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Arthur B. Ripley Desert Woodland Park (click pic for more info)

Near Tejon Ranch, the I5 and Hwy 138.  Known for it's spring wildflowers.  Several lakes, hiking, camping and an off highway vehicle park.  Deer can usually be spotted on the back roads.  Only 20 minutes away from the Antelope Valley Poppy Preserve. Also visit nearby Tejon Fort Historic Park, a restored fort from the 1850's.  Historic road Old Ridge Route running from Hwy 138 to Castaic Lake through the backcounty is only minutes away.

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Malibu Creek State Park

Malibu Creek State Park

Very scenic with a lot to do!  Camping, rock climbing, hiking, mountain biking are among the activities.  Many movies and TV shows have been filmed at this park.  Year round running streams, lakes, grasslands and groves of trees are found here.  Miles of trails, most are not difficult with very little altitude gain.  I have pictures of Malibu Creek, the Rock Pool and Grasslands Trail, click on the picture or the link above.

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Topanga State Park

36 Miles of trails through groves of live oaks, grasslands, canyons and views of the Pacific Ocean.  Activities include free guided nature walks, camping, picnic areas, hiking, horseback riding trails and mountain biking trails.

Abalone Cove Shoreline Park,  Rancho Palos Verdes
Abalone Cove, 3/21/08

Many trails with fantastic ocean views, nature preserves, beach access, tidepools and spring wildflowers.

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Malibu Lagoon State Beach
Malibu Lagoon State Beach
Lagoon, wetlands, nature trails, beach, museum & Adamson House

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Solstice Canyon Waterfall

Solstice Canyon Park

Creekside trails, picnic area, two waterfalls, trees and shade.  Also includes historical ruins of early canyon residents with plenty of interpretive signs.
 

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Corral Canyon

Corral Canyon & Sara Wan Trailhead

Creekside trail, loops around the hillsides.  Ocean views.  Seasonal trail through small wetlands habitat, under PCH to Dan Blocker State Beach.

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Point Mugu State Park

Point Mugu State Park

In addition to scenic beaches, miles of trails, many with ocean views and/or connecting to other Santa Monica Mountain areas.  Waterfall and creekside trail (seasonal).

Orange County Foothills & Cleveland National Forest:

Holy Jim Falls, 3-15-08
Holy Jim Falls, 3-15-08

Fun drive 5 to 6 miles out bumpy unpaved Trubuco Creek Road and then hike 1 or 2 miles to the falls.  Beautiful area, trail crosses a running creek numerous times before you get to the waterfall.  Popular for hiking & mountain biking.

Rinker Grove Trail, Santiago Oaks, 3/2/08
Rinker Grove Trail, Santiago Oaks Regional Park

Hiking, mountain biking & horseback riding trails.  Also popular for bird watching.  Has nice picnic area, nature center & trail in addition to a number of trails which connect to the Anaheim Hills trail system.
 

Peter's Canyon Regional Park, 3/1/08
Peter's Canyon Regional Park

Part of the Mountains to Sea Trail, many paths around the lake, popular for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding.  Small picnic area by the parking lot.
Black Star Canyon
Black Star Canyon
The road running through the canyon ends in Corona and along the way connects to many Santa Ana Mountain trails including Main Divide.  Popular for mountain biking and hiking.

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Laguna Coast Wilderness Park

Near Laguna Beach, Pacific Coast Highway, Crystal Cove State Beach and Laguna Canyon Road--the Laguna Greenbelt.  A number of Wilderness Parks and trails including James Dilley Preserve/Barbara's Lake, Woods End, Aliso-Woods Canyon, Laguna Coast Wilderness Park, El Morro Canyon/Crystal Cove State Beach. 

Donna Oneil Land Conservancy, 2-17-08
Donna Oneil Land Conservancy

Guided hikes and nature walks through a 1200 acre wilderness reserve located on Rancho Mission Viejo.

View of Bolsa Chica Wetlands from the Mesa 2/29/08
View of Bolsa Chica Wetlands from the Mesa

Located in Huntington Beach, bird watching is very popular here.  Upper mesa above the wetlands has several trails with great views of the area, spring wildflowers and wildlife.

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San Clemente State Beach

San Clemente State Beach

Bluff top trails with great ocean views, beach trails, day use/picnic areas, camping and beach-going.

The map below shows the locations of all Orange
County areas described on this page.


View Larger Map

 

Limestone Canyon 3-9-08
Limestone Canyon

Located in Irvine Ranch Land Preserve along Santiago Canyon Road.  Pictures of Dripping Springs prior to the 2007 Santiago fire.  More recent pictures of Limestone Canyon from Santiago Canyon Road.  Guided only hikes are again available in this area--if you can find them.

Silverado Canyon, Maple Springs Road, 10/2/05
Silverado Canyon, Maple Springs Road

Pictures before the fire and current pictures.  Landscape has recovered well.  Enjoyable creekside hike, paved forest service road with stream crossings.

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Santiago Creek running through Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary

Recent pictures of the areas not burned and Tucker Wildlife Sanctuary which was not burned and is now opened.

San Diego County

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Torrey Pines State Reserve
Scenic overlooks, beach bluffs,
rock/sandstone formations, tidepools,
beaches and numerous hiking trails.

San Mateo Campground, San Onofre State Beach
San Mateo Campground, San Onofre State Beach, 3/26/08

San Onofre State Beach
Main San O page linking to every page we have for all areas of San O from the backcountry to the beaches.


San Mateo Campground & Trestles Beach, San Onofre State Beach
Overview page with pictures & descriptions highlighting everything you find at San O including camping, places for bicycling or hiking, the walk from San Mateo Campground to the famous Trestles surf, natural preserve and lagoon.   

San Onofre Bluffs, San Onofre State Beach 3-26-08
San Onofre Bluffs

Day use areas, camping, beach access trails and beautiful ocean views.

Trestle Beach, San Onofre State Beach3-26-08
Trestles Beach

 


To find more trails for areas not listed on this site see
Links page under "Trail Information".


Things we have to say:
Warning:
  
All areas described on this site have dangers including rattlesnakes, poison plants, poison insects, coyotes and mountain lions.  Please see the Safety page.