It’s that time of the year when we get extra hours of sunlight, the grass is greener, the hum of cicadas wafts through the air, and crispy lagers become the symbol of peak refreshment.
You know us…we’re happiest when we’re out on the trails. And we always keep our eyes open for a chance to treat ourselves to a delicious, ice-cold beer. That’s why we’re feeling especially inspired by today’s blog post — pairing your beer with a killer view in the wild.
In the words of English author Gilbert Chesterton: “Let a man walk 10 miles steadily on a hot summer’s day, and he will soon discover why beer was invented.”
So, whether your priority is sun-drenched hilltops or shady riverbanks, we’ve got you covered with our picks of the best hikes in California where you can soak up the scenery with a cold Gilly’s in your hand.
An Eastern California road trip on Interstate 80 takes you to Lake Tahoe where you’ll hit the jackpot. Because, here you’ll find Desolation Wilderness, a place that showcases nature in its raw form. There are plenty of hiking trails to satiate your wanderlust. From spectacular granite peaks to pristine alpine lakes to forest-covered valleys — your hike will reveal dramatic sights at every turn. If you’re hanging lakeside, toss a can or two of Gilly’s in the water and leave them in there for a chilled post-dip drink.
Lassen Peak — an ancient dormant volcano — is the star of the show of the Lassen Volcanic National Park, working with its surroundings to create a real treat for the eye. Your 5-mile trek kicks off at a 8,500 ft elevation near the parking lot From there, you go on a steep ascent to the top at 10,000 ft elevation for a bird’s-eye view of the park’s vistas. Crack open a beer and reflect about the power of the volcano’s 1914-17 devastation.
Point Reyes is one hell of an adventure playground with its stunning mix of grasslands, cliffs, beaches, and forests. It’s only a short drive from San Francisco, making it the ideal escape if you’re looking for a change of scenery. Pick up your trail map at the Bear Valley Visitor Center, and plan your route. Our favorite? The Tomales Point Trail, which offers views of Tomales Bay, Bodega Bay, and the Pacific Ocean. The trail runs for 9.3 miles and ends at the edge of a cliff overlooking the ocean. Point Reyes has been ranked as a top hiking destination, so you can bet your bottom dollar that many backpackers have roamed these soils…and likely enjoyed a refreshing beer here too.
Yosemite Falls is both dramatically scenic and demanding to hike. At one point, your trek takes you so close to the waterfall, that you almost expect to get soaked. The visual of the water tumbling off the rocks and its accompanying sound effect is truly amazing. But the best seat in the house is at the top where you can gaze at the waterfall and the surrounding Yosemite Valley, including the granite dome in the distance. This is the moment when you’ll feel like you’ve truly earned your beer.
McWay Falls is a hidden little gem that gives us some serious “wish-you-were-here” postcard vibes. If you’re more into a casual stroll than an actual hike, this Big Sur trail is for you. It’s an easy walk that takes about 30 minutes from California Highway 1. The trail is wrapped in lush green forest for the first part, but soon opens up to a close-up view of the picture-perfect waterfall that plummets into the ocean. Sip on a Gilly’s and take in the pink-hued sunset.
If you think Malibu is all about sunbathing on the beach, think again! Just north of Malibu, at a quick turn off the Pacific Coast Highway, lies the Solstice Canyon Trail, a leisurely 3-mile looped stroll that is sure to work up a thirst on a hot day.
Your journey leads you past creeks, waterfalls, bridges, and multiple house ruins — with the ocean hiding in plain sight. Take time to savor the stunning views of the Santa Monica Mountains as you cool down under the shades with a Gilly’s.
The outdoors is calling your name and you must answer because this week has been one hell of a ride and nothing is more invigorating than a cold beer and some fresh air. So let this blog post on the best hikes in California be your guide to adventure. Prep your gear and if you’re wondering “where to buy beer near me”, check out this map where you can grab a Gilly’s.
Disclaimer: We do not encourage the abuse of alcoholic beverages while hiking outdoors. Please drink responsibly and keep moderation in mind. We do not accept liability for any loss, damage or inconvenience that occurs as a result of this article.