Guide to California Trails and Taquerias

There’s nothing more gratifying after a long hike than a plate full of tacos and a cold cerveza. Trust us, we Toads are experts. With half of HQ born and bred Californians and the rest happy transplants, we’ve got this state pretty well covered. If you find yourself in the Golden State, here’s where we recommend heading. And we know you know, but stay on trails and pack-in-pack-out. Save your reckless abandon for the taquerias.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SAN DIEGO

Torrey Pines State Park – Easy trail along the Pacific coast with a glimpse of the rarest pine tree around.

The Taco Stand – Tacos al pastor, Mexican street corn, mango chile paletas. YUM.

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK

Willow Hole Trail – Big rocks and an oasis; great spot to see wildlife like big horn sheep.  

Algobertos Taco Shop – Hole in the wall taqueria with burritos bigger than the front door.

LOS ANGELES

Bronson Canyon – Part of LA’s Griffith Park, so hike up to the Observatory and channel James Dean.  

Ricky’s Fish Tacos – There are 3 options: fish, shrimp, and special. Get all 3.

OJAI  

Horn Canyon – Crisscross streams toward an epic pine grove with distant views of the Channel Islands.

Ojai Tortilla House – Cash only, handmade tortillas daily. Buy some to go if you know what’s good for you.

SANTA BARBARA

Rattlesnake Trail – Named for the twisty nature, not the inhabitants. Moderate to the meadow, then steep for .5 miles to the top. Good views abound.

Mony’s Tacos – Great salsa bar (hello pistachio salsa) and 5 minute walk to the beach.  

SANTA CRUZ

Old Cove Landing Trail – 3 of the 34 miles of trails in the Wilder Ranch State Park. Bonus: Wheelchair and stroller accessible!

De La Hacienda Taqueria – Carnitas are bomb, but so is the veggie burrito. Something for everyone!

BISHOP

Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest Trail – 4.4 miles through the oldest trees in the WORLD. Like 5,000+ years old.

Taqueria Mi Guadalajara – A sedentary taco truck with bizarro hours and delish barbacoa.

EAST BAY/OAKLAND

East Ridge Trail – In Redwood Regional Park; you can see SF on a clear day then hike down into the redwoods.

Mariscos La Costa – Cash only so you know it’s legit. Great ceviche tostada. 

SAN FRANCISCO  

Golden Gate Park – Start at 9th and Lincoln, mosey through the Botanical Garden, loop around Stow Lake.

Taco Shop at Underdogs – sports bar-slash-taqueria. $1 margaritas Fridays 6- 6:30.

 

NORTH BAY/MILL VALLEY

Dipsea Trail – 9.5 mile trail from Muir Woods to Stinson beach. Steep grades = amazing views of San Francisco Bay, Golden Gate Bridge, Mt. Tamalpais and the Pacific.

Parranga – Tacos and ceviche; get the slow-roasted rotisserie chicken plate. 

 

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE

Maggie’s Peak – Make your way to Granite Lake and keep on going. The sweeping views of Lake Tahoe are worth it.

Chimayó Tacos y Tortas – Taqueria meets BBQ meets bar. Not as “divey” but just as delicious.

 

SHASTA-TRINITY NATIONAL FOREST

Pacific Crest Trail – A portion of this epic 2,650 trail makes a great day hike to Middle Deadfall Lake; start at the Parks Creek Trailhead.

El Zaguan Food Truck – Parked in Weed, CA. Cheap street tacos with a million dollar view of Mt. Shasta.