California’s Three Greatest Mountains

They’re Not the Most Beautiful or Well-Known. But Their Panoramic Views Can Help the State Define Itself.

Mount Diablo peak

It’s a hot and angry September, and your boss or your spouse has just told you to take a hike. But where?

Hiking usually means mountains, and California has more than its share of bucket list summits. Half Dome draws the tourists. Mount Whitney is the tallest. Mount Shasta is the prettiest. And there are few experiences more mystical than a tram ride up San Jacinto.

But for most Californians, these are not middle-class, everyday peaks. They are destination mountains, beautiful and stunning because they stand so far apart from where most …

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