Walkabout California

Hiking Inn to Inn

The Joys of a Multi-Day Hike from Inn-to-Inn

There is a surge of popularity for hiking from inn-to-inn in Europe, and the same is true in California.  Adventurers hike trails connecting coastal villages along the wild Pacific.  They trek through the majestic Sierra Nevada Mountains, along the serene beaches of Southern California, and through the parklands around the San Francisco Bay.  Each day ends with a comfortable bed, a hot shower, a good meal, and perhaps even a therapeutic massage or a soak in a hot springs.

 

WHAT DRAWS US TO DISTANCE HIKING?

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”  -John Muir

We are drawn to wilderness to take respite from our modern urban lives, to connect with nature and with ourselves. The multiday hiker delights in a special joy from hiking in the wilderness.  Leave the car behind to hike for a few days, and you have the time to process the do-do list and plan the work that needs to be done when the hike is over, but also the time to daydream, to contemplate, to meditate, to have an unhurried conversation with a friend that might last three days.  The mind slows as the miles pass. The hiker goes, not only into the woods, but deeper into herself.  If a pilgrimage is a walk to a sacred site, then perhaps nature’s wild places are our cathedrals, and every extended hike in nature is a pilgrimage both to a place and into one’s heart.

THE PLEASURE OF ENDING A DAY’S HIKE AT A WELCOMING INN

Backpackers know the joys of a multiday hike, but sometimes you just don’t want to sleep on the ground.  Strap on a 12-15 lb. daypack and hike the Marin Coast from the Headland to Point Reyes, stopping each evening in a coastal village where you can explore the pubs and restaurants.  Cross the Sierra in the footsteps of the pioneers and stay in cabins on the the shores of clear mountain lakes.  Take a romantic stroll along the beautiful Mendocino Coast and enjoy gourmet cuisine at inns perched on bluffs overlooking the vast Pacific.  Hike Lassen, exploring mountains lakes, deep canyons, and otherworldly hydrothermal landscapes with a visit to a rustic guest ranch where you will enjoy sumptuous dining and a muscle-soothing soak in a hot springs pool.

Leave the car behind, and explore some of the most beautiful wilderness in the world.  Take a hike from inn-to-inn.

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Comment by Tom Courtney on September 22, 2021 at 10:18am

Karen,

Thanks for your post. You hiked a spectacular section of the Southern California Coast. Yes, we were a few weeks ahead of you, hiking and exploring the Southern California coastal routes, plus lots of swimming, boogie boarding, great food and fun inns.  The ocean is warming up.  Its a great time to take a walkabout on the SoCal coast.

Comment by Karen Orwig on September 19, 2021 at 4:28pm

I didn't realize there was an opportunity to add a blog or make comments until now. Last week, I hiked with my sister and 2 friends from Manhattan Beach to Newport Coast using Walkabout Malibu to Mexico as our guide. I read about this in Sunset magazine a few years ago and have ever since wanted to give it a try. All in, we hiked roughly 55 miles in 5 days. We combined 2 segments but eliminated Catalina and admittedly bypassed the San Pedro port via a LYFT. Other than that, followed along very closely. It was great to have the guidance of the book to remind us of things like checking the tide tables. The hike on the Palos Verdes coastline is stunning but the one section of beach with rocks would have been a problem had we not been paying attention. 

The funniest bit on our trip was talking with a man at the front desk of the Bay Peninsula hotel in Newport - I described how we'd arrived and he said sounds like a guy who was here the other day and reached behind his desk and pulled out the book. The person who had visited was no other than Tom Courtney so seems we were right behind you. Small world. I am eager to try more hikes in this book and will be purchasing the Northern California version to see what we might have in store closer to home. 

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