California is world-famous for its spectacular landscapes, stunning beaches, enchanting forests, and mesmerizing mountain views. Spread across 900 miles of sweeping sights from its tip to its tail; this Golden State is warm and inviting along the shore, scorching hot in the desert routes and moderate in the national parks – a real treat for roadies who want to do it on a budget!
Our Best Picks for Backpacking on a Budget in California
Four Lakes Loop for Year Round Wilderness
With 600 miles of sheer wilderness, this heavily forested trip will take you through an alpine wonderland filled with colorful meadows, wildflowers, white trinities, and red and white stone spires. It starts with a steady uphill hike, moves to the Deer Creek Pass and from this high point begins the circumnavigation of Sligo Peak which gradually descends towards the infinite pool of four lakes – where every aspect will compete for your attention!
Big Sur Backcountry – If Your Trip is During the Offseason
One of California’s most beautiful landscapes for backpacking, Big Sur is where you can hang, have drinks, and also go hiking without having to spend a fortune! At only $15 a night you can enjoy the enchanting views of the Ventana Wilderness and relieve your stress with a chilled beer at the River Inn. And when you get tired contending with the rocks, you can indulge your senses with a late-night soak in the Esalen hot springs.
Santa Cruz Trail – Best Done in the Spring
Spring is when the natural splendor of Santa Cruz is in its full bloom so make the most of this season. With bountiful campgrounds, it is also a surfer’s paradise where you can get cans of bud for only two bucks and also go boardwalking!
Mount Etna Summit – for a Steady Uphill Climb during Hot Summer Days
An ideal hiking spot with stunning views of sunrises and sunsets, the Mount Etna offers a steady uphill climb and gradually descends to the Upper Ruffey Lake, for a refreshing cool off from the heat. Bushes will cover a considerable chunk of your climb so make sure your hiking boots are tough enough for the challenging terrain. But once you get to the top, it’s all about relaxing and enjoying the beauty of the sunset beside a bonfire.
Plumas National Forest – Perfect for Adventure Enthusiasts who Love their Pets!
Finally a dog-friendly backpacking trip with beautiful scenes and a wide range of topography for those who want to escape the city life! This hike will take you through the fascinating ranges of Cascade and Sierra Nevada. Here you will also get to witness the beauty of Bucks Lake Wilderness before you reach to the spectacular glacial lake.
San Luis Obispo County Hike has it all – Mountains, Ocean, Wine & Beer!
Yes! This all-in-one Californian coast has everything; from the oceans and the mountains to irresistible beer deals and baseball games. Whether you prefer a country-inn or a luxury hotel, SLO has something to suit every taste and fit every budget. The best time to be here is during the baseball season because if the home team scores, then you get your beers for just a dollar!
And with this, we sum up the top 6 picks for backpacking in California. Now depending on your budget, travel preferences, and skill level, you can finalize the most appropriate site and plan your supplies.
A backpacking trip that is filled with total enjoyment also requires proper financial planning, especially if you are on a budget. So, make sure you have saved enough before you embark on your trip and also have a financial backup such as a personal line of credit for travel purpose. A personal line of credit is a great vacation financing option that comes with a no-usage; no interest feature. It works just like a travel loan except that you don’t pay any interest until you actually use the money that is lying in your account.
This convenient travel loan can be used as cash or card to pay for your food and accommodation and can be repaid in pocket-friendly EMIs over a convenient duration. So, while you may not use the cash, you will still remain covered, just in case!