10 Unique Weekend Hiking Trips In Southern California That Are An Absolute Must-Do

Amazing weekend hiking trips full of WOW!

Get out and live a little!

Go with friends, family, or your hiking group to bask in the glory of nature.

10 Unique Weekend Hiking Trips In Southern California That Are An Absolute Must-Do

Take a hike in this stunning view.

Updated 2/9/2020 – The perfect way to abolish stress and open your mind to optimism – hiking!

One of the clear-cut amazing things about hiking is there really are no limitations.

Anyone can do it at any age and any level of fitness!

You can hike whether you’re 5 or 95, and it’s only going to strengthen your body and mind.

A sport you can take on individually or in group format, and you can do it for fun or competition.

So you aren’t allowed to make any excuses!

Really…what more can you ask for?

Hiking in California pretty much guarantees spectacular weather and plenty of luscious Mother Nature sights to see.

The visuals range from stunning to super stunning and everything in between.

Need I say more?

Whether you are looking to slip in a quick hike for the day or elongate it into a weekend jaunt, weekend hiking trips are yours to discover.

Here are a few hiking favorites that warrant consideration for your next or premiere hiking excursion!

10 Unique Weekend Hiking Trips In California

1) Devils Punchbowl, Los Angeles County

1) Devils Punchbowl, Los Angeles County - 10 Unique Weekend Hiking Trips In CaliforniaJust skip over to the other side of Mount Baldy to a park called Devil’s Punchbowl – Don’t worry it’s not evil!

It’s one of Mother Nature’s creations of wonder, great for hiking.

A huge rock juts up from the earth which sits incredibly in the middle of the surrounding desert.

A seriously spectacular vision that doesn’t do justice with words.

Make a point of visiting this little piece of fascination on your next weekend hiking trip!

Photo credit: flickr/124464287@N07

2) Sturtevant Falls, Sierra Madre

2) Sturtevant Falls, Sierra Madre - 10 Unique Weekend Hiking Trips In California

A fabulous spot to hike because whether you like it long or short, Sturtevant Falls delivers!

Hiking the trail attached to Mount Wilson trail takes you a good 15 miles plus.

And if you are in for a shorter challenge you can knock it down a notch or three and turn into an hour walk, depending on your pace.

Something for everyone!

Photo credit: flickr/mikechen-metalman

3) Barker Dam, Joshua Tree National Park

3) Barker Dam, Joshua Tree National Park - 10 Unique Weekend Hiking Trips In California

This is a one of the best California weekend hiking trips for kids, just because it’s short; only a little over a mile long.

It’s located in a National Park that has plenty to discover; petroglyphs and old cattle ranches to start.

Lots to see and do if this is your chosen hike!

Photo credit: flickr/tomgrubbe

4) Escondido Falls, Malibu

4) Escondido Falls, Malibu - 10 Unique Weekend Hiking Trips In California

If you’re venturing toward the Pacific Coast Highway, this is the hike you want on your list.

A three tier jaunt that takes you up over spectacular terrain; a photographers dream come true.

Each tier has a different level of difficulty; be warned – the third level is for experts only!

Photo credit: flickr/prepfolio

5) Cowles Mountain, San Diego

5) Cowles Mountain, San Diego - 10 Unique Weekend Hiking Trips In California

A local favorite through and through with this comfortable Cowles Mountain trek.

Probably the most popular of the weekend hiking trips in California!


Because anyone can hike it and you get a phenomenal view of Coronado, San Diego, and Tijuana, Mexico on a sunny day!

Photo credit: flickr/samantonio

6) Potato Chip Rock, Ramona

6) Potato Chip Rock, Ramona - 10 Unique Weekend Hiking Trips In California

This is more of a secretive hike if that turns you on!

What’s so special about this trek is not the spectacular view from Mount Woodson; rather it’s the gigantic rock that sits just below the summit that resembles a potato chip.

If you feel the urge to sit on a potato chip, this should be your pick of weekend hiking trips.

Photo credit: flickr/chrispy_photography

7) Big Horn Mine, Wrightwood

7) Big Horn Mine, Wrightwood - 10 Unique Weekend Hiking Trips In CaliforniaAn excellent trail for people that may be new to hiking or just don’t want to engage their brain on a difficult trail.

Everyone has those days right?

The treasure if you choose this as the winner of your weekend hiking trips, is the mystical and adventurous abandoned mine that’s pushing 100 years-old!

It’s yours to discover after you’ve finished your hike!

Photo credit: rachelreyes.us

8) Kelso Dunes, Mojave National Preserve

8) Kelso Dunes, Mojave National Preserve - 10 Unique Weekend Hiking Trips In CaliforniaThis is one of those challenges you’ve gotta just dig in and DO IT!

Fact – This is one of the biggest sand dunes you’ll find in California; which makes it a difficult but not impossible hike if you choose it as one of your weekend hiking trips.

Just DO IT!

Photo credit: flickr/elenanorthroup

9) Ranchos Palos Verdes Shipwreck Hike

9) Ranchos Palos Verdes Shipwreck Hike - 10 Unique Weekend Hiking Trips In California

This is a coastal hike that leads you to the fascinating wreck of the Greek Dominator.

So you get to climb up over lots of mystic rock and eventually end up at the shipwreck ruins that are smack dab on the beach.

It’s a bit of a slower hike but 150% worth it!

Photo credit: flickr/neilarmstrong2

10) Echo Mountain Ruins, Altadena

10) Echo Mountain Ruins, Altadena - 10 Unique Weekend Hiking Trips In California

If you are looking for “achy-butt challenging,” this is the first of many weekend hiking trips you should experience.

After the long uphill climb you are rewarded with a step back in time so you can explore the ruins of a monumental mansion perched on the hillside.


Photo credit: mrandmrsadventure.com

Your Next Step

It’s tough choosing the first of many exciting and alive weekend hiking trips, but hopefully you’ve now got a little more direction.

The great thing about hiking as adventure and sport is that it’s so incredibly versatile.

Where there’s no excuse not to be friendly with Mother Nature!

Depending on your skill level, pretty much every hiking trail can be accommodating to your hiking level, ability, and purpose.

So just because you are a super skilled hiker doesn’t mean you’ve always got to push the envelope.

Try knocking it down to find new challenges in simpler hikes.

Just something to ponder before you award the gold medal to the winner of your next weekend hiking trips extraordinaire!