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The Long and Short of Hiking in Northern California

Whether you’ve worn down the sole of your hiking boots or you’ve done most of your tramping in your mind’s eye, there is something for you in Northern California.

For those with more experience and a higher idea of a challenge, 154 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail run through the Shasta Trinity National Forests. Not all portions of the trail are maintained however, so experience with a topographic map and compass is highly recommended. This portion of the trail is connected to the 2,600 miles of trail reaching from Canada to Mexico. It usually takes longer to plan for these extended backpacking trips than to actually complete them, so if this is the type of hiker you are, get to work well ahead of the weeks you actually want to spend on the trail.

Let’s say you’re not comfortable getting lost in the wild, but nature rejuvenates and refreshes you, you’re physically fit, and ready to get some good miles under your belt this season. Several day or weekend hiking trips might be best suited to your tastes. Try some of the Rails-to-Trails hiking trail options. The trail system is comprised of old rail road lines that have been converted to hiking and biking trails. If you’re on a fast pace you can cover 25-30 miles over a weekend and still have lots of time to relax along the way. The Bizz Johnson National Rail Trail trailhead is in Susanville and ends in Westwood.

If your prime hiking days have come and gone or your love for nature doesn’t match up with your enthusiasm for physical exertion, there are several waterfalls in the area that are accessible by a short walk-just enough to get the heart rate happy. Two of the best are Crystal Creek Falls at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area and Burney Falls at McArthur Burney State Park.

There’s no better way to get into the spirit of the west than getting a personal experience with the land; and there’s no better way to experience the land than meeting it with your own two feet.