Best Trail Running in California

Trying to find the best trail running in California? Bivy has great hiking, biking, paddling, climbing, skiing, riding and more, with hand-curated trail maps, as well as detailed driving directions.

1

California, San Francisco

00 :59 hrs
3 mi
75.974075 ft
Moderate

The trail connecting Crissy Field to Baker Beach follows the California coastline. It mostly follows a narrow trail as it wanders through coastal brush and shrubs which wont obscure the several bay views you'll find along the trail from beginning to end. Sections of the trail include sets of stairs.

2

Nevada, Zephyr Cove-Round Hill Village

01 :16 hrs
1.8 mi
73.308105 ft
Moderate

Connecting to a network of trails that run all along the lake on both sides of the border, the Lake Tahoe Bike Trails are multi-use trails, providing great opportunities for running through natural and rural areas near the lake. This trail on the southeast side of the lake runs through wooded areas and provides a great natural experience.

3

Nevada, Henderson

01 :08 hrs
1.8 mi
23.997742 ft
Moderate

These trails through residential Henderson pass through two neighborhood parks and connect with the Boulder Highway trail. This is an urban type trail through the city, not the open country. There are various places along the trail where you can expect to find water, at least if you detour slightly from the path.

4

Nevada, Henderson

02 :53 hrs
4.6 mi
118.41266 ft
Easy

A nice, straight-shot riding trail, the Boulder Highway Trail is a great ride for beginner and aspiring cyclists looking to get started in the sport. The trail is a paved surface separated from the main thoroughfare, making it both safer and easier to navigate than the road surface. Marked for stops at several crossings, most are lighted for safe passage. Moving from Northwest to Southeast, this trail has a gradual climb of 300 feet over 5 miles, it is also a good path for walking or running.

5

California, Mill Valley

05 :54 hrs
6.8 mi
413.20157 ft
Expert

Beginning in 1905, the Dipsea is one of the oldest trail run races in the country. The trail climbs up and down along coastal rolling grass hillsides and through dense forests of the Muir Woods to Stinson Beach. This is a long run which includes several steep climbs, endurance is must. Parking is available at Stinson Beach and can be done as a one-way. There are restroom facilities at the beach.

6

Nevada, Incline Village-Crystal Bay

01 :11 hrs
3.5 mi
96.367065 ft
Moderate

Connecting to a network of trails that run all along the lake on both sides of the border, the Lake Tahoe Bike Trails are multi-use trails, providing great opportunities for running through natural and rural areas near the lake. This trail through Incline Village offers a great run on the northern shore of the lake close to local businesses and other great attractions.

7

California, Placer County

02 :35 hrs
7.4 mi
183.9851 ft
Hard

Very remote trail through Royal Gorge to backside of Devil's Peak

8

Nevada, Henderson

02 :06 hrs
3.3 mi
58.033447 ft
Hard

Running through 5 former railroad tunnels, this trail follows the bed of a railroad track used to haul supplies for the Hoover Dam project in the 1930s. The tracks were dismantled in 1962, and then converted into a hiking and biking path. Each of the tunnels is approximately 300 feet long and 25 feet wide, and the open trail provides views of Lake Mead. Don’t miss this adventure, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

9

Nevada, Kingsbury

02 :28 hrs
2.6 mi
364.97534 ft
Hard

Rising through the mountains above Lake Tahoe, this is a great short trail for a run or hike. Near neighborhoods of Kingsbury, this is not a very well-known trail and doesn’t see a lot of visitors, though locals are more likely to be found here. As mapped, this is a downhill path, but this trail can be run either direction.

10

California, Santa Barbara

04 :03 hrs
4.2 mi
921.8056 ft
Hard

Located in Santa Barbara, San Ysidro Trail meanders through a lush wooded canyon and follows alongside a rocky boulder filled stream to a narrow waterfall and pool before steeply climbing the mountainside to a ridge. The waterfall is a good place for those not up for the steep climb, however, those who do will be rewarded with spectacular open views of the surrounding mountains and coastline. Beyond the waterfall the trail is narrow, makes several tight switchbacks, and has steep drop offs.

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