Fern Canyon is one of my favorite hikes along the NorCal coast. This short, easy hike takes you up a canyon covered with 8 different types of ferns.
Anza-Borrego is the largest CA state park and has tons of its own unique features. Mainly for 4WD, offroading, and dirt biking enthusiasts, we still had a lot of fun on foot and with just 2WD. Fish Creek Is just a tiny portion of the park, but the wind caves are truly unique and offer an amazing view for sunset. Hint - if you camp at Fish Creek Primitive Campground nearby, it's free and there are fire rings and a very clean toilet.
Island in the Sky was our favorite district within Canyonlands. Although it was definitely more crowded, you can drive between all of the attractions, and the hikes are all short and easy with just as rewarding payoffs. If you only have the time or energy for one, definitely do Grand View Overlook (at sunset for an extra bonus), because the view of the white rim is stunning.
The Grand View Overlook parking lot is easy to reach by car, and there were plenty of other hikers at this very popular overlook. It's a very easy but scenic trail - Clark and I actually hiked it all in flip flops. If you only have time for one short hike at Island in the Sky, I would recommend this one!
Bryce canyon is a relatively small National Park, but if you are in Utah you should definitely make a small side trip to see this unique canyon. There aren't too many trails to choose from, but if you have a couple hours to spare, this easy dayhike is the perfect way to see all the best parts of the canyon up close. The trail is well-maintained with not much elevation change, the only downside is that it is quite exposed, dusty, and can get pretty hot in Utah sun. No matter how long you expect to hike, be sure to bring extra water.