If you’re the kind of person who hates the hike but lives for the view, we feel you. These beginner hikes in California give you the fastest way to the top. You don’t even have to break a sweat!

We’ve scouted out seven beginner hikes that give you nothing but gorgeous views along the way. Think wildflower fields, cascading waterfalls, and drool-worthy beach views. There’s a reason why people say the west coast is the best coast.

Castle Rock Trail 

Price: Free!

Location: Big Bear Blvd, Big Bear Lake, CA 92315

Why you should go: This 2.6-mile hike will give you a stunning bird’s eye view of Big Bear and Big Bear Lake!

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Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve & State Beach

Price: $15 Monday - Thursday and $20 - $25 Friday - Sunday

Location: 12600 N Torrey Pines Rd, La Jolla, CA 92037

Why you should go: This flat sand trail leads you through beautiful flowers overlooking jaw-dropping views of San Diego’s cliffs and the Pacific Ocean. 

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Red Rock Canyon

Price: Free!

Location: Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park, Red Rock Trail, Lake Forest, CA 92610

Why you should go: You would never guess this spot is in Orange County! The flat sand trail will lead you to vibrant red rocks that look more like Sedona than So-Cal.  It’s the ultimate hidden gem!

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Runyon Canyon Park

Price: Free!

Location: 2000 N Fuller Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

Why you should go: Think gorgeous city skyline views overlooking all of Los Angeles. It’s especially spectacular at sunset.

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Eaton Canyon Falls Trail

Price: Free!

Location: 1750 North Altadena Drive, Pasadena, CA 91107

Why you should go: This easy hike takes you through the middle of the San Gabriel and Santa Monica Mountains to a gorgeous 40-foot waterfall.

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Moro Canyon

Price: Parking is $15.

Location: Crystal Cove State Park, 8471 N Coast Hwy, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Why you should go: This easy hike takes only an hour to complete. It’s 3 miles roundtrip and when you’re halfway through the hike, you can take a break and head down the stairs to the beach. There are plenty of gorgeous tidepools to explore. Make sure to bring a swimsuit so you can cool down in the ocean!

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Top of the World, Laguna

Price: Free!

Location: W Ridge, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Why you should go: You can totally cheat and drive to the top. Once you’re there, you can soak up the views and choose to explore the trails at your own pace. Plus, you’ll get some of the best views in all of Laguna Beach!

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Editor's Note: Please check the conditions of the hiking trail you plan to visit before your trip. California experiences draughts, so the best time to visit waterfall hikes will be a few days after a rain.

We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.

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