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.
We asked Tom Courtney, author of Walkabout Northern California: Hiking Inn to Inn to tell us more about hiking inn-to-inn in California so we can add it to our list of trips to do ASAP.
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.T he 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.