November 10 2014
Written By
Josey Orr
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The 9 Best Adventures in California

A shortlist of the 9 best adventures in the Golden State.

1. Surf The Lost Coast

Along the beautiful coast of northern California there lies a secret stretch of beach that is truly a surfer’s paradise. The Lost Coast has perfect waves, a beautiful redwood studded backdrop, and rarely are there a ton of other people there. The perfect time to go? Anytime. 

2. The Death Ride

Not just any old pansy can hack this one. The Death ride is one of America’s premier cycling events that includes five passes, encompassing 129miles and a lung busting 15,000 foot climb. To register and get more details head on over to The Death Ride website.

3. Hike Half Dome

No list of California adventures would be complete without including something from Yosemite National Park. Half Dome is the crown Jewel of Yosemite and hiking it is totally doable. The hike is 17.2 miles long and gains a steep 4800ft in elevation. Just remember, as the great Vince Lombardi once said; “The man at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there”.

4. Hike The Sierra High Route

You’ll need a month of free time and years of experience to handle this trail. Mountaineer and overall badass Steve Roper created this thing because the John Muir Trail wasn’t enough for him. National Geographic sums it up best with this quote; “The High Route, arguably the best kept wilderness secret in the lower 48, shadows the John Muir Trail as the two traverse the remarkable kingdom of granite that lies between Kings Canyon and Yosemite National Parks. But whatever the JMT does, the High Route does it higher, harder, and more spectacularly.” 

5. Paddle Santa Cruz Island

The worlds largest sea caves reside here and you can paddle directly into them. The island is located just 20 miles off of mainland California and is mostly owned by the National Parks Service. 

6. Mountain Bike The Tahoe Rim Trail

This bike trail encircles the country’s largest alpine lake. During the 165 mile trek you’ll witness some of the most beautiful views available of Lake Tahoe. The International Mountain Bicycling Association named one 21.8-mile stretch as one of its Epics. This means that it is viewed as one of the best bike trails the world has to offer.

7. Bodysurf The Wedge

This ain’t your average body surfin brah, this is the wedge. The locals here say that if you have to ask for direction on how to body surf the wedge, you shouldn’t be there. When it comes to body surfing, the wedge is the real deal and you actually will need to demonstrate to the lifeguards here that you are capable of doing it before they let you anywhere near the thing. We’d recommend bringing your fins and practicing on the smaller waves first.

8. Raft The Forks of the Kern

Here you have 22 miles straight of class IV and V white water rapids and they are only 150 miles away from Los Angeles. All you have to do to go on the three day trip with a guide is pass a swimming test. Kern River Outfitters’ ( three-day all-inclusive trips start at $798, and depart on fixed dates between May and July, depending on flows.

9. Ski Mountaineer Mount Shasta

Have you ever wanted to ski on top of a volcano? Well, head on over to Mount Shasta and you’ll be able to. The mild terrain and consistently sunny days make this one of the best places to climb as well. We’d recommend checking out Shasta Mountain Guides ( on a prescheduled trip, starting at $595, from May through June. This way, you can learn the basics and still have a blast.


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