We’ve compiled a list of the best national parks that are off the beaten path so that you can see a lot more sights than just crowds of people.
You know what they say. West coast, best coast…. And we’ve got the scenery to prove it. The West Coast is nothing short of iconic with its breathtaking landscapes and enticing history. With great weather, hidden beaches, and incredibly scenic drives, it’s a paradise for outdoor lovers looking to get their fill of adventure and nature-induced bliss. And nothing combines the two better than an epic hike leading up to a postcard-worthy view. We’ve put together a list of our 10 favorite hikes located on the West Coast so you can see what the hype is all about.
Pack your bag, lace-up them hiking boots, and maybe (definitely) stock up on snacks. You’re going to want to get out there ASAP once you see what views await you.
Hidden Valley Trail - Joshua Tree National Park, California
Hidden Valley Trail
No, not the ranch dressing. Hidden Valley Trail has incredible, golden boulder formations that tower over the desert. A 19th-century homesteader by the name of Bill Keys once blasted through the rocks that make up the walls of the desert canyons to open up grazing land for his cattle; others have been rumored to hide their bovine herd there. It’s a short 1-mile hike that gives a sample of the unique wilderness areas that Joshua Tree National Park has to offer— yucca, Joshua trees, and creosote bushes to name a few.
Overall, it’s a well-marked, easily walkable trail, even doable with kiddos (you can even enjoy a family picnic in designated picnic areas after the short walk).
Freeman Homestead Nature Trail - Saguaro National Park, Arizona
Freeman Homestead Nature Trail
Another easy, short walk to get you started. The Freeman Homestead Nature Trail located near Tucson, Arizona is only a 1.1-mile loop, well-known for its massive cacti. Fun fact: Saguaro National Park was established as a national monument in 1933 to protect these incredible, rare plants. You’ll find plenty of wildlife along this trail, along with some interactive information about other desert plants you’ll spot along your journey.
Not to mention, you get a front-row seat to see the ginormous cacti for yourself.
And because the desert is so hot and dry, be sure to stock up on some products from the Every Man Jack Shea Butter Collection to deeply moisturize your skin and hair afterward. Your body will thank you.
Hall of Mosses Trail - Olympic National Park, Washington
Hall of Mosses Trail
The Olympic National Park is home to the Hoh Rain Forest, an incredible scene that looks straight out of a movie. With a round-trip distance of only one mile, this is one of the easiest, one-day hikes on this list. Don’t let the short distance fool you, though— there’s plenty of lush licorice fern, hanging club moss, and the turquoise twinge of Sitka spruce needles to live up to this trail’s name.
This picture alone is giving off bigggg Every Man Jack Eucalyptus Mint Body Wash vibes with all that green. And because it’s an easy and relatively flat hike with such epic scenery, it often leads to dense crowds and heavy foot traffic. You’ve been forewarned!
Delicate Arch Trail - Arches National Park, Utah
Delicate Arch Trail
Easy to navigate with well-marked trails, the Delicate Arch Trail is a 3.2-mile trek that leads to Utah’s most recognizable natural arch. With unique geological features, you’ll enjoy the views of red rock slabs, stone arches, balanced rocks, and plenty of tall sandstone fins. Although it’s a moderate hike perfect for year-round accessibility, there’s absolutely no shade along the trail, so slather on the sunscreen and stay hydrated.
We recommend even treating your body afterward to something that’ll boost your energy and revitalize your skin after all the sweat you’ll probably lose that day. Something from the Every Man Jack Natural Menthol Collection should do the trick. It also wouldn’t be a bad idea to plan a visit sometime in the fall, specifically in October when the temps rarely reach over 75 degrees.
Cedar Creek Falls Trails - Cleveland National Forest, California
Cedar Creek Falls Trails
Cedar Creek Falls Trail is our intro to some more intermediate-level picks. With 6 miles of epic views of the San Diego River Gorge, the work will be worth it once you arrive at Cedar Creek Falls, the 80-foot waterfall that plunges down into a crystal clear swimming hole. The trail is wide and well-marked, leading hikers through the backcountry hills of eastern San Diego.
You’ll catch views of black oak, cedar, and cottonwood trees along the mostly downhill trail, but be forewarned: the hike back requires a consistent uphill trek (pack lots of snacks to power through).
Heads up: you need a permit in order to hike the trail, so plan in advance!
Mount Constitution Loop Trail - Moran State Park, Washington
Mount Constitution Loop Trail
This is a bit of a tough one, but if you’re a sucker for lake scenery, the views at this summit are well worth it. Located near Olga, Washington, this 6.7-mile hike takes you through the heavily forested San Juan Island up to the highest peak in the area, aka Mount Constitution. The beautiful stone towers give you access to a 360-degree view of the entire lake region. Pro-tip: Start counter-clockwise at the trailhead to give yourself a nice warmup before the elevation gain, steeper climbs, and descents.
The work will be worth it once you’re showering off with Every Man Jack Cedarwood Body Wash and bringing the scents of these wooded forests back to civilization with you.
Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point - Yosemite National Park, California
Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point
This strenuous trail is a 9.6-mile round-trip hike from the starting point near the base of Sentinel Rock up to the top of Yosemite Valley at Glacier Point. With spectacular views of the best that Yosemite has to offer, you’ll get your scenery fix thanks to epic sights of Yosemite Valley, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, and the Half Dome (if you’re up to it).
Although strenuous, the imposing peaks, incredible wooded environment, and the overlook with a picture-perfect view make this a must-try for any seasoned hiker.
Bear Canyon to Seven Falls Trail - Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, Arizona
Bear Canyon to Seven Falls Trail
Be ready to activate your inner mountain goat. If you’re all about taking a refreshing dive after a killer hike, or a sucker for a waterfall, this is the perfect hike for you. This 8-mile hike leads up to a series of seven (yep, seven) cascading waterfalls. You’ll make the trek up the valley by following a running stream splitting down its center.
Once you reach the lowest level of Seven Falls, you can advance to the next level by climbing a few rocks to the Northwest side of the “swimming” pool. The third (and arguably the best) level greets you with a deeper pool of water created by the falls, perfect for swimming.
Spoiler alert: There are several water crossings, so you WILL get wet. Bring water shoes or wear shoes you don’t mind getting soaked!
Oregon Coast Trail - Ecola State Park, Oregon
Oregon Coast Trail
So, this trail is a monster. We’re talking 363 miles of trails kind of monstrous. BUT its many acres of rocky headlands and sea salt stacks are one for the books. Luckily, Ecola State Park located in Oregon features a much more digestible 8-mile segment of this trail (as well as the popular two-and-a-half-mile-long Clatsop Loop Trail) that will give you fantastic peaks of the Pacific Ocean and unreal views of tide pools, sand dunes, wildlife, and sun-soaked Beachwood.
If you’re a dedicated backpacker looking to check off a big, beachy hike from your bucket list (and have 4 weeks to spare trekking along the 363-mile coastline) then there are plenty of campgrounds along the trail to accommodate!
Dipsea Trail, Steep Ravine Trail, and Matt Davis Loop - Mount Tamalpais State Park, California
Dipsea Trail, Steep Ravine Trail, and Matt Davis Loop
Nothing’s better than having a front-row seat to such awesome scenery right from your own backyard. No really, Mt. Tam is literally in Every Man Jack HQ’s backyard, located right in the Bay Area. Don’t plan a leg day before or after this one... there’s plenty of sights to be seen on this workout of a loop trail.
This moderate hike is 7.2 miles of spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean, including three separate trails that take you along different sections of the hike. Starting off at the Dipsea trailhead, you’ll face a gradual climb with panoramic views of Stinton Beach before reaching the Steep Ravine Trail junction. Steep Ravine Trail looks like something out of a storybook with dense, lush forests, towering Redwoods, and rushing Webb Creek— you’ll spot two significant waterfalls along this creek while on this trail. Finish off the hike by taking Matt Davis Trail for a nice decline back down Stinton Beach.
Don’t let the fog get you down either, it actually adds to the beauty of it all.
Adventure Awaits You
Although we’re a bit biased and think these west coast hikes rank pretty dang high on the epic scale, there are so many more incredible hikes and trailheads just waiting to be traveled. Let adventure (and trail markings) guide you to your version of heaven on earth. No matter what epic vistas get you your fix— from green, grassy meadows to burnt-orange canyons— we encourage you to get outside, oh and to not forget your sunscreen.
Psst...stay tuned for our East Coast edition of our favorite hikes. Appalachian trails, Hudson Valley...we’re comin’ for ya.