Los Angeles, CA
This 5.2-mile journey through the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve showcases an eruption of flame-orange flowers in the high desert of the Western Mojave. Though the poppies’ displays are unpredictable, peak bloom usually occurs between mid-March and mid-May, turning the rolling hillsides into a sea of fire-colored petals. Bloom updates: (661) 946-6092; 1.usa.gov/popres Trip ID 7749 Los Angeles, CA
Tahquitz Peak via Devils Slide
Follow this 8.4-mile route through the San Jacinto Wilderness to an 8,828-foot summit, complete with fire lookout. On a clear day before summer smog sets in, you’ll score 100-mile views to Catalina Island.Trip ID 44924
Pack your rain shell for the 2,500-foot ascent of this Coast Range peak, but the odds are good you won’t need it as the Northwest enters its dry season. Enjoy views stretching to the Pacific from the 3,226-foot summit. Trip ID 8236
This 164-foot seasonal cascade (best after big rains, November to May) is a favorite destination of local photographers, who journey off-trail to capture the thin rope of water pouring over a sheer basalt cliff into Coal Canyon. Spot two other cascades (76-foot Ravine and 45-foot Hollows) on a 7.8-mile loop. Trip ID 1547220
This 4,167-foot peak in the western Cascades foothills is a favorite among Seattle locals in the early season for its quick snowmelt, 360-degree views, and easy access (just 40 minutes from downtown). The 7.6-mile out-and-back abruptly ascends 3,400 vertical feet to a summit basin strewn with Cascadian wildflowers in spring. You’ll glimpse Mt. Rainier from atop the rocky crest, whose profile was made famous on television’s Twin Peaks. Trip ID 477765
*Trip ID: Get free maps and GPS data by adding the Trip ID to backpacker.com/hikes/______.