A diverse terrain of mountains, coastlines, and gorges provides beautiful hiking and walking trails for all skill levels. The prefecture's most prominent mountain and flagship hike is Mt. Hakusan. Pilgrims have climbed Mt. Hakusan, a focus of local esoteric mountain worship, for over a millennium. This volcano's three peaks top out at around 2,700 meters, meaning there is often snow on the summit well into summer. There are ten main routes to the top, and the most popular route takes about 8–10 hours. Mt. Hakusan is designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve for its lakes, forests, and diversity of alpine plants and flowers. For a much shorter hike with mountaintop views, try the three-hour round trip up Mt. Sanpoiwa.
Take a mellow walk along one of Ishikawa's nature trails to relax in the lush scenery. The Kaga Coast Nature Trail runs about 4 kilometers along the Sea of Japan, passing dunes and cliffs eroded by the wind and waves. In the hot spring village of Yamanaka Onsen, a walking trail lines the densely forested, 1.3-kilometer-long Kakusenkei Gorge. The Suzu Point Nature Trail weaves past forests, rocky reefs, and sandy beaches along its 8-kilometer route at the tip of the Noto Peninsula. Walk the trails of Mt. Utatsu for a taste of nature near downtown Kanazawa, punctuated with a small shrine, a cozy cafe, and views over the city.