I'm from southern california and love to take weekend trips to the outdoors / backcountry with friends. We work hard so any time we get off from Friday night to Sunday night, we like to plan fun outdoors trips that don't require over 7 hours of driving from southern california. We like to car camp or backpack, as long as the crowds aren't overwhelming.
We've done many hikes in Sequoia, Kings Canyon, Yosemite, Tahoe, Zion (most of the slot canyons, subway, etc), Bryce, Joshua Tree, Grand Canyon, Paria River, Havasupai, Sedona, etc. For example, I'm planning a trip in two weekends to Zion. Though I've been there many times before I just don't know of other options really.
Anything you guys have in your back pockets that are backcountry gems? I love backpacking, canyoneering, packrafting, mountain biking, and am open to anything else that involves the outdoors! Would love any and all suggestions !! Everything I've heard from this forum so far has been spot on.
P.S. Never been to Mexico :)