There are tons of great places to hike in South California. The top 5 rated locations being:
1. Mount Whitney
2. Cottonwood Lakes to Upper Rock Creek (backpacking)
3. Holy Jim Falls Trail
4. San Gorgonio Mountain
5. Santa Anita Canyon Loop Trail
More can be found at http://www.trails.com/toptrails.aspx?area=12578, they list the rest of the top rated hiking spots #5- #19
Trails.com recently did a search of the most popular hikes in the U.S., and number 8 on their list is Deep Creek in Hesperia. It is known for the multitude of hot springs there with what are described as perfect temperatures. It’s a good day hike and you have a couple of options; there is a steep 2 mile trail or a more relaxed 6 mile walk up. Just a heads up, clothing is optional once you get to the springs, but that is what makes it popular for a lot of the visitors.
Mount Whitney is the highest peak amongst the continental United States. The summit has an elevation of 14,497 feet and it has a 6,000 foot vertical gain. With an approximate 30,000 visitors per year (10,000 of them completing the hike to the top) this 11 mile hike is certainly one of the largest tourist attractions in the area. Mount Whitney boasts some of the best views of the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range as well as Owen Valley. This famous mountain has several hikes and different trails to take, but the most popular is the “Mt. Whitney Trail” that takes you from he parking lot all the way to the summit. Some people chose to do this hike in two days, but the brave can do it all in one day.
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