The most beautiful hike I've done in California is without a doubt the Half Dome.
We started our hike from the Curry Village in Yosemite National Park. From that point, it's a 16 miles round trip hike. The top of the Half Dome is your destination and half-way point. We got up at 4 am and were on our way just shy of 5 am on the John Muir Trail. We passed Nevada Falls while the sun was rising (gorgeous!) and we came back by Vernon Falls (quite a strenuous way down if you ask me, unless you love to go down steep stairs for miles...).
Here's an excerpt from the NPS.gov:Read More