Hikers vanish from California trails every year, sometimes without a trace. No one knows what happened to them. We do know that they were not alone. Strange things happen in the woods and deserts of California. Not all of them are easily explained by science.
These tragic accidents often occur in places with a violent history. Hikers beware. The following trails provide more than a physical challenge. The dangers on these trails seek your body, your blood, and your soul.
From documented crimes to alleged sightings, the level of paranormal activity and psychic phenomena in these areas is insane. Be prepared for ghost towns and Nazi fortresses, haunted forests and jealous prospectors, and everything in between.
California has a rich and violent history. From savage Indian massacres to the Gold Rush, blood stains California’s soil.
Your blood could be next.
Have you ever felt like you were being watched in the woods? Have you seen things you can’t explain? Have strange entities invaded your dreams? If so, you might want to steer clear of these hikes. The spirits here don’t like intruders.
Table of Contents
- #10 – Niles Canyon, Fremont
- #9 – Haunted Forest, Altadena
- #8 – Black Diamond Mines, Antioch
- #7 – Corralitas Red Car Trail
- #6 – Bodie Ghost Town
- #5 – Prospector Road
- #4 – Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite National Park
- #3 – Black Star Canyon, Orange County
- #2 – Murphy Ranch, Santa Monica
- #1 – The Old Zoo Trail, Los Angeles
- Choosing A Paranormal Hike
#10 – Niles Canyon, Fremont
Picking up hitchhikers may not always be the safest of ideas.
Especially in Niles Canyon.
A woman in a torn and bloodstained white dress wanders this area. She was thrown from her carriage in the 1920 and struck by an oncoming car.
She did not rest in peace.
Niles Canyon is disturbing by car.
It is even more disturbing on foot.
Hikers are known to disappear along this road.
Could you be next?
#9 – Haunted Forest, Altadena
Ever feel like you are being watched?
In the haunted forest, it might be more than a feeling.
The forest has a dark and bloody history. Lynching’s, burnings, witchcraft and murder stain the forest floor, leaving more than the remnants of old blood behind.
Hikers report sightings of figures hanging from trees, apparitions, and the sense of being stalked. In these woods, the danger is real.
Whatever you see, don’t stray from the path.
#8 – Black Diamond Mines, Antioch
Not everyone comes out of the Black Diamond Mines.
Even if you do emerge after a walk through this paranormal hotspot, you’re still not safe.
If the ghost of Sarah Norton in nearby Rose Hill Cemetery doesn’t scare you, the Wailing Witch will. Ever since her execution, the wailing witch has haunted these mines.
She failed the children in her care, leading to their deaths.
Now she waits to lead you to yours.
#7 – Corralitas Red Car Trail
If you like old railroads, this is the hike for you.
Old train cars and machinery still litter the sides of this hike.
They are not alone.
According to a sage adept at reading Tarot cards, more than psychic remnants remain; the skeletons of long dead rail workers rest there too, killed during the construction of the red car route. All that remains today of their work are cement foundations.
And their ghosts.
As the sun fades, the angry spirits of the rail workers might just join you on the path.
#6 – Bodie Ghost Town
This ghost town is haunted.
Above all else, touch nothing.
The residents of Bodie might be long gone, but their spirits will curse anyone who steals from their land.
#5 – Prospector Road
We like to think our pets protect us.
Animals often pick up on paranormal activity long before we do. On Prospector Road, it might be the last thing your pet ever sees.
He wouldn’t be the first pet to vanish along the seven-mile stretch.
Legend has it that the miners who lived here in the 19th century preyed upon one another along this road.
Now, an angry apparition is all that is left.
#4 – Bridalveil Falls in Yosemite National Park
A national treasure.
A national nightmare.
The Miwok Indians believed an evil wind inhabited Bridalveil Falls at Yosemite. They named it “Po-ho-no.”
Stray too close to the edge of the falls, and Po-ho-no might lure you over.
If you hear Po-ho-no whispering, those railings might not save you.
#3 – Black Star Canyon, Orange County
Black Star Canyon is one of the most haunted hikes in California.
It is also one of the most challenging.
The trail leads deep into the wilderness to the side of an abandoned Indian Village, the site of a brutal massacre.
Hikers report movement in the trees and hooded figures.
The news reports a savage murder, a deadly school bus accident, and horrific rapes.
Whatever lurks in Black Star Canyon, it doesn’t wish you well.
#2 – Murphy Ranch, Santa Monica
The paranormal and pure evil shaped the history of Murphy Ranch.
Nazi sympathizers tried to build an Aryan utopia here in the 1930s. They believed in the power of Hitler’s Germany, and in the occult.
All that is left of the site are creepy staircases and abandoned buildings.
Several local children went missing during construction. Whether they were experimented on, brainwashed, or worse, we’ll never know.
You could always try asking the expressionless children with red eyes.
If you dare.
#1 – The Old Zoo Trail, Los Angeles
The trail starts near the Crystal Springs Ranger Headquarters, past an old wooden carousel, up through the chaparral to Bee Rock and through the ruins of the Old L.A. Zoo.
Watch out for the ghost of Dona Petronilla watching from the window and a ghostly man descending a nearby staircase. If you see a man on horseback, run.
Choosing A Paranormal Hike
First, get directions here.
Then grab your friends, water bottle, and try out one of California’s more disturbing hiking trails. Bring a camera, but don’t plan on taking any souvenirs.
Whatever happens, stick together, and don’t get lost. You don’t want to be on any of these trails alone at night.