Along the long journey from the Mexican border to Canada, the city of Tehachapi is a much-needed resting place on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Located just over 20 miles from downtown Tehachapi, the Pacific Crest Trail serves as a conduit for hikers looking to experience the Western states in a way very few ever do. For those traveling south to north, Tehachapi marks the point where the Pacific Crest Trail emerges from the Mojave Desert and ascends into the Sierra Nevada.

During the right season, the trail takes hikers past wildflowers, with scenic views available all year long. With a trailhead along Highway 58 at the Tehachapi Pass, southbound travelers hike along the Oak Creek Canyon and through a wind farm.

Embracing their role as neighbors to one of the country’s most well-known trails, some Tehachapi residents have become “trail angels” and maintain caches of water at points along the Pacific Crest Trail. Others allow hikers to wash up and even sleep overnight in their homes.

From Tehachapi, the Pacific Crest Trail extends 81 miles to the Walker Pass Campground, just outside Sequoia National Forest.

If you're hiking, be prepared for wind. There’s a reason why dozens of wind turbines populate the area.

Tehachapi Mountain Park

For those uninterested in spending multiple days trudging toward Canada, Tehachapi Mountain Park offers a welcome alternative to the Pacific Crest Trail.

The 490-acre park is located just south of Tehachapi and features two trails for beginning and experienced hikers. The site is open all year, and has a campground for those interested in staying overnight.

If you’re looking for a nice afternoon walk, the Nuooah Nature Trail is perfect. At only a quarter-mile, it's short and sweet. A total of 20 interpretive markers inform walkers about the surrounding area, including details about rock mortars used by the area’s native people to pound acorns and seeds, and about how gold was discovered nearby in 1878.

For those interested in more of a challenge, the Tehachapi Mountain Trail offers beautiful views of the surrounding area. A 4.8-mile out-and-back hike with 1,994 feet of elevation gain, the Tehachapi Mountain Trail can be challenging, but rewarding.

The trail begins in the park before ascending to the peak of Tehachapi Mountain. It offers a classic experience of the California wild.

Golden Hills Nature Park

This repurposed golf course is great for a morning or evening stroll. Located within Tehachapi, the property sat dormant for 20 years before the city reimagined the space with walking trails in 2016.

Visitors can expect to see wildlife like deer and ducks. Sometimes, even a horse rider decides to take a stroll through the park.