The 13 Beautiful Places to Backpack in Northern California

Overnight backpacking northern California

Overnight backpacking northern California abounds with a lot of treks you can choose for multi-night backpacking enjoyment. We have pulled together some of the best options here for Beginner Backpacker.

Definitely, you would never find a bad option here. You need an extensive pre-planning for the most of the following suggestions. You need to consider that, there are limited permit quotas (there are a limited number of spots remain reserved for walk-ins). Here, we are offering some best options for Overnight backpacking in northern California

So, Why to delay? Pick up those hiking boots, get going to start to study your maps and make a plan for a new overnight backpacking northern California from the following list.


overnight backpacking northern california
  • Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite

    Tuolumne is a dome-studded sub-alpine meadow gentle in Overnight backpacking northern California. It is the Best place for backpacking in northern California. It situates on the bank of the river Tuolumne near the Mount Dana. The meadows have an enchanting view of the Lembert dome and Mount Dana to the north and Unicorn peak, Cathedral range in the south. You find amazing camping opportunity at the Tuolumne campground. But it has a limited reservation. So, you need book it earlier. There are alluring hiking and rock climbing opportunity beginning to form Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley.  You can’t but grab it. There are two trail route _the John Muir Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail which comprise the Lyell Canyon and the Yosemite National Park. It’s one of the best trips from the possible options in Northern California Guided Backpacking Trips California


    PROS: Incredible scenery. Well secluded and planned. Natural water slides. Wilderness area.

    CONS: Crowded in summer.

    REGION: Yosemite and Central Sierra region

    CONGESTION: Low or medium

    PREFERABLE SEASONS: Spring, summer, and Fall

    DAY-USE/PARKING PASS REQUIRED: National Park Pass Fee $5

    TOTAL DISTANCE: 45.06 km





overnight backpacking northern california
  • Lost Coast Trail

    The lost coast is actually the Atlantic coast of Humbolt and Mendocino Counties in Overnight backpacking northern California. It includes the vast remote area of King Range, Petrolia, Shelter Cove and White Throne area. The whole coastline of the area comprises the Sinkyone Wilderness State Park and the King Range National Conservation Area. You would find an amazing opportunity to enjoy a wild and unique adventure along the Lost Coast trail through the area.

    You would find alluring views, a variety of wildlife and flora, and a glimpse of some rarely seen California coastal terrain, through the trail.


    PROS: Attractive landscape. Only for backpacking.  Plenty of wildflowers.  Amazing water.

    CONS: Long and adventurous shuttle ride. Several river crossings.

    REGION: Humboldt, California

    CONGESTION: Low or Medium

    PREFERABLE SEASONS: Spring, summer, and Fall


    TOTAL DISTANCE: 24.60 mi (39.59 km)





overnight backpacking northern california
  • Four Lakes Loop Via Long Canyon

    Hi, I am offering you for amazing adventurous backpacking trips through a route encompassing four lakes at once. You would enjoy over 600 miles of trails and 500,000 acres of wilderness land through the Long Canyon. The trail locates at the Trinity Alps of the alpine wonderland in Californias northern area. You can reach to the crest of the eastern portion of the Trinity Alps: the peridotite-stained Red Trinities.

    In addition, you can reach the Four Lake Loop in the  Long Canyon through several routes.


    PROS: Less visited and remote. Alluring water views. Wildflowers in summer.

    CONS: the Dirty road.

    REGION: Trinity Alps and Marble Mountain Wilderness

    CONGESTION: Low or Medium

    PREFERABLE SEASON(S): Summer and early Fall


    TOTAL DISTANCE:  28 km

    DOGS ALLOWED: Yeah, you can take it.




overnight backpacking northern california
  • Rae Lakes Loop

    In California’s hiking history, the Rae Lakes Loop is one of topmost. It locates in Sequoia and Kings Canyon in the northern parts of the state. Rae lakes loop is another place for Overnight backpacking northern California

    In summer, you would see a big crowd here to grab it by a lot of people. So, you should make an air reservation, trailhead quotas often fill up.

    Here, you can enjoy, 66 km long loop and climbs from 5035′ (1535m) at the trailhead to 11,978′ (3651m) at Glen Pass. You would be charmed to see high water at stream crossings in May and early June. You might not be able to pass Glen Pass until mid-late July and even later for stock.


    PROS: Amazing lakes. The enchanting scenery of the great high Sierra.  Adventurous trail.

    REGION: Southern Sierra area

    CONGESTION: Moderate to high


    DAY-USE/PARKING PASS REQUIRED: At national Park Pass






overnight backpacking northern california
John Muir Trail
  • John Muir Trail

    The John Muir is one of the most popular long-distance trails in California. It situates in the Sierra Nevada mountain range of the northern locating northern parts of the state.

    This 338 km long trail comprises almost a third of high Sierra backcountry and 260 sq km wilderness area.

    The trail is WELL-KNOWN as “America’s most famous trail”. Almost 1,500 thru-hiking attempts are done in the trail each year.


    PROS: One of the top scenic trails in the USA. Trail comprises three national parks. The great High Sierra Scenery.

    CONS: Getting Permission is not easy.  Complex thru-hiking is logistically complex.

    REGION: Central Sierra Nevada

    CONGESTION: Moderate OR high

    PREFERABLE SEASON: Summer and sunny days


    TOTAL DISTANCE: 338 km





overnight backpacking northern california
  • Mount Whitney Cottonwood Pack Station

    Mount Whitney Cottonwood Pack Station is located at Golden Trout, Inyo National Forest, and Sequoia National Park Wildernesses.

    Here, you can enjoy fully outfitted pack trips through hiking and riding if you want to travel into the remote. Thus you can adore the 14,505-foot Mount Whitney which is the highest point in the continental United States.

    For that purpose, you need purchase tickets from Mt Whitney Trains from Rock Creek Pack Station.


    PROS: Incredible views. The highest point in the continental U.S.  Less crowded as then the Whitney Portal route.

    CONS:  Very long route. Resembling dust.

    REGION: Eastern part of Mt. Sierra  and  Mt. Whitney Area

    CONGESTION: Moderate

    PREFERABLE SEASON(S): Summer, Fall, Spring.

    TOTAL DISTANCE: 100 km





overnight backpacking northern california
  • Sawtooth Pass Trail

    Sawtooth Pass Trail is a small range out and back trail in California. This 18 km long, and 4586 feet out & back trail locates near the Three Rivers of the northern region of the state. You can find a lot of enjoyment opportunities here through the year.Here you can enjoy a lot of amazing places like Mineral King Valley, Lost Canyon, Monarch Lakes, Columbine Lake etc. enjoying 12,343 feet climbing to the top of the Sawtooth Pass in Mineral King Valley.

    You can enjoy abundant wildlife and massive landscape through 12,600 acres. Finding the hike unique as for its unique attributes of the geology, forest, and glacial lakes of the area.

    So why are you delaying to backpacking here in the trail in Mineral King?




overnight backpacking northern california
Glacier Pass and Big Five Lakes Hiking Loop
  • Glacier Pass and Big Five Lakes Hiking Loop

    Enjoy the great glacier parks and big five lakes together in Northern California. Hiking access to some of the most spectacular high country in the southern Sierra and the Mineral King area of California’s Sequoia National Park. You could enjoy 40 km Mineral King Road to access this subalpine glacial valley, where you can backcountry hiking for several days.

    PROS: Easy access to the high Sierra. Fishing opportunity.  Excellent mixture of trail and cross-country travel.

    CONS: Less access road. Marmot issues at the trailhead from spring to early summer.

    REGION: Southern Sierra, California

    CONGESTION: Medium OR low

    PREFERABLE SEASON(S): Summer Late Spring


    TOTAL DISTANCE: 43.45 km





overnight backpacking northern california
  • Big Pine Creek North Fork Hiking Trail

    Big Pine, a 20 km long amazing Creek in California. It situates in Inyo County, of the north-eastern parts of the state. It covers the vast area of the eastern Sierra Nevada down to the Owens Valley, where it is a major tributary of the Owens River near Big Pine.

    In the wilderness area, there are several peaks exceeding 14,000-feet along the Palisade Crest, and some part of the Great Western Divide. There is a 14,153-foot Mount Sill and Temple Crag, which is home to some of the tallest rock climbs in the entire Sierra region.

    You can choose numbers trailing options here. The best time you can grab it, start from March to October.

    Dogs are allowed here.

    PROS:  Palisades Range and High Sierra.

    CONS: Trailhead access until late October.

    REGION:  Both of the Eastern Sierra and White Mountains Area.

    CONGESTION: Low Or Moderate

    PREFERABLE SEASON(S): Spring, Summer, and Fall

    DOGS ALLOWED: Yeah… You can take it.




overnight backpacking northern california

  • Sky Trail and Bear Valley Loop

    The Sky Trail and Bear Valley together form 17 km Loop. This Moderately Trafficked loop trail locates near the Point Reyes Station in the northern region of California. You can take a good some activity options over the years. You can enjoy a horse ride on the trail. At old Pine, you can enjoy hike meandering at  800 feet up through a rainforest

    You can enjoy this trail within one but you need have a backpacking for the night before.


    PROS: Enchanting forests views. Dozens of loops.

    CONS: crowded in summer.

    REGION: Marin, Bear Valley, Northern California.

    CONGESTION: Medium







overnight backpacking northern california
  • Skyline-to-the-Sea-Hike

    In the Pacific bank of northern California, the Skyline-to-the-Sea Trail is an amazing option for Northern California Guided Backpacking Trips California. It is a 47.2-kilometre hiking trail that descends from the ridge of the Santa Cruz Mountain.whole the area of Castle Rock State Park and Big Basin Redwood State Park It covers, of which the last of is the oldest state park in California.

    You will find, s beautiful waterfalls and some of the largest, tallest, and oldest Redwood forests left in existence.


    PROS: A good numbers of large vistas. Old-growth redwoods, nice Backcountry Camp.

    CONS: N/a

    REGION: San Francisco Peninsula  and Santa Cruz, California

    CONGESTION: Moderate

    PREFERABLE SEASONS: Spring, Summer, and Fall






overnight backpacking northern california
  • Wilbur Hot Springs Trail

    In Californias Northern Region, Wilbur Hot Springs is one of the naturally occurring historic Hot Spring hiking spots. In this health sanctuary, personal retreat you can enjoy the single day or multi-day backpacking trip.

    Through the whole 1,800-acres of the land, you can visit an amazing nature reserve in Williams and Colusa County in Northern California.

    The trail locates 60 km northeast of the San Francisco Bay area, 50 km north of the Sacramento Airport.

    PROS: Excellent Backcountry Camp.

    CONS: N/a

    REGION: Near lake area, Francisco Peninsula, California

    CONGESTION: Moderate

    PREFERABLE SEASONS: Spring and summer

    TOTAL DISTANCE: 7.3 km





overnight backpacking northern california
  • Sykes Hot Springs

    Sky hot spring is a 33 km you can have a single day relax after a strenuous medium long hike than to take a dip in a soothing hot spring. Sky hot spring is the best for overnight backpacking northern California. It locates in the Big Sur area. It is one of the most famous and popular backcountry hot springs in California. You can enjoy skiing in nestled deep in the Ventana Wilderness, a 234,000-acre protected area that was first established in 1969. It is one of the top destinations for backpackers in Northern California Guided Backpacking Trips California.


    PROS: Enchanting canyons and forests. Relax and smooth hot springs.

    CONS: Extremely crowded in summer.

    REGION: Big Sur Coastline, CA

    CONGESTION: High or Medium

    PREFERABLE SEASON(S):  Spring, Summer, and Fall


    REQUIRED: Day Use Fee ($5.00)

    TOTAL DISTANCE: 33.47 km



So Overnight backpacking northern California can change your can also  read my another article is about Overnight Backpacking San Diego


Check Also

Top Beginner Backpacking Mistakes

15 Beginner Backpacking Mistakes Every Beginner Makes

15 Common Backpacking Mistakes to avoid!  “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” – …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: