16 Finest Hikes in San Francisco You Should Strive


Many vacationers know in regards to the world-renowned Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco and flock there as quickly as they get to town and they need to, it’s an icon of San Francisco. As somebody who has lived within the metropolis for nearly twenty years, vacationer points of interest in San Francisco are good, however, I wish to share a method to boost the expertise of visiting the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay space by combining it with lesser recognized however nonetheless nice mountain climbing spots and vista factors. These are one of the best hikes in San Francisco to get you open air and provide wonderful views.

Finest Hikes in San Francisco, California

1. Golden Gate Nationwide Recreation Space

Golden Gate National Recreation Area Hiking Trails

Most vacationers have a tendency to start out their Golden Gate Bridge stroll on the base of the bridge, flip around and stroll again. They take some footage alongside the way in which and go dwelling. That isn’t dangerous, however, to get the extra train, absorb higher views, and find yourself feeling extra happy by having a day stuffed with extra diversified experiences let’s take issues a bit additional.

The Golden Gate Nationwide Recreation Space boasts miles of mountain climbing trails, and unobstructed views and is the proper strategy to see a special aspect of San Francisco. It spans each of the Marin and San Francisco sides of the Golden Gate Bridge and has mountain climbing trails for each health degree. For extra info on mountain climbing and parking go to the Golden Gate Bridge Web site.

2. Lands Finish

Lands End Hike in San Francisco

The path alongside Lands Finish Hike isn’t too lengthy, however, it’s fairly magical. The stroll gives great vistas distinctive to San Francisco. On a transparent day, the hikers can see far into the depths of the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Marin Headlands to the north, and the Golden Gate Bridge to the east.

Begin off within the Outer Richmond space on the fringe of Lands Finish Golden Gate Space close to the Cliff Home and the historic Sutro Baths and Park on the Lands Finish Fundamental Parking Lot. From there, a path leads into Lands Finish inside the Golden Gate Nationwide Recreation Space, and your journey begins.

The realm is known as Lands Finish as a result of its position actually on the finish of all land to the west as its cliffs finish on the base of the Pacific Ocean. The slim path that parallels the cliffs doesn’t disappoint. It rapidly leads the vacationers proper alongside the sting of the cliffs, beneath which the Pacific Ocean waves crash into the rocks.

Surprisingly, the park additionally has the most effective artwork museums in San Francisco. The Palace of the Legion of Honor is a superb place to take a break for an hour or two and absorb some Picasso and Rembrandt earlier than lastly heading off to Golden Gate Bridge.

The Lands Finish Path ends (no pun supposed) on an avenue known as El Camino Del Mar, which has a few of the finest views of the ocean in your complete metropolis and is in a prestigious neighborhood.

Viewpoints embody the Sutro Baths, Jap Coastal Path Lookout, Lands Finish Labyrinth, Useless Man’s Level, and the Golden Gate Bridge.

3. Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco

Strolling again from Lands Finish Path, you’ll be able to stroll all the way in which to the Golden Gate Bridge. The road El Camino Del Mar passes China Seaside after which turns into Lincoln Boulevard which leads towards the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a highway-like avenue, however fairly quickly, smaller strolling trails grow to be out there as detours and lead in the direction of the bridge by way of a quieter and extra scenic strolling route unhindered by vehicles.

As soon as on the bridge, the normal and basic expertise of strolling the bridge gives a few similar views of San Francisco Bay from a lot of completely different angles. As well as, as you get nearer to the opposite aspect of the bridge, views of San Francisco downtown open up, with the long-lasting Transamerica construction standing tall above the remainder.

On heat and clear days, there are various little sailboats proper beneath the bridge, throughout the bay, and close to Alcatraz Island.  As well as, there are various gigantic freighter ships coming into the San Francisco and Oakland ports from every single place on the planet.

All of the ships to those ports come via the bay and they’re fairly a deal with to see. On fortunate days, there are even navy automobiles that come into the port and I’ve personally ever seen a submarine cruising above the water about ten years in the past.

4. Batteries to Bluffs

Batteries to Bluffs Hiking Trail San Francisco

Sticking across a similar space because the Lands Finish hike is the Batteries to Bluffs path hike in San Francisco. Positioned in San Francisco’s Presidio, a 1,500-acre park on a former navy put-up, the Batteries to Bluffs path hike gives views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco Bay space, and the rugged shoreline. That is only a 2-mile (3.2 km) hike spherical journey, so it may possibly simply be added to your San Francisco Itinerary.

The path begins at Lincoln blvd the place you’ll be able to park on the Langdon Courtroom Car parking zone. This car parking zone connects to the paths resulting in the Golden Gate Welcome Heart which options the Golden Gate Overlook and the batteries used to guard the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco from 1891 to 1946.

You may stroll via these historic websites with views of the Golden Gate Bridge from Presidio, Battery Boutelle, Battery Marcus, and Battery Cranston.

The Golden Gate Overlook is, without doubt, one of the premier spots to {photograph} the Golden Gate Bridge so the path is busy, however for good motive. It gives one of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge within the metropolis. There are loads of picket steps alongside this hike and the most effective location for sundown is to take the steps right down to Marshall’s Seaside.

5. Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks Hike in San Francisco

Twin Peaks is without doubt one of the finest San Francisco mountain climbing trails for spectacular metropolis views. It’s a closely trafficked path 3.4-mile loop path, and you may drive or cycle as much as the lookout for.

Twin Peaks is a city mountain climbing path positioned inside the metropolis limits it’s the second tallest peak in San Francisco (922-foot tall ) that overlooks your complete San Francisco Bay space, and the town’s landmarks. The hike feels far-off from town with forest trails, eucalyptus timber, rocky outcrops, picket walkways, and filth paths taking you as much as Eureka Peak and Noe Peak.

Beginning in Glen Canyon Park, the Twin Peaks path climbs 1.7 miles to Eureka Peak and Noe Peak after which descends on the North Aspect to Christmas Tree Level for one of the best views of the Pacific and the town of San Francisco.

Christmas Tree Level received its identity from the enormous Christmas tree that’s erected every year by the town. On the way in which again, hop on to the Gum Tree Women Path for a special perspective.

6. Mount Sutro Loop

Mount Sutro Loop in San Francisco

If you wish to proceed to stroll, it’s one other 1.1 miles from Twin Peaks alongside the street to the Mount Sutro Open House Reserve with mountain climbing trails and greenspace overlooking town. Or you’ll be able to stroll this 1.9-mile loop path (3.2 kilometers) alongside The Historic Path from seventeenth and Stanyan.

It takes you as much as the Mount Sutro Open House Reserve which is a 61-acre open area reserve owned by the UCSF. It’s a standard spot for locals with 5 miles of public, multi-use trails, and a 900-foot elevation acquire.

On the way in which down you’ll be able to be a part of the Fairy Gates path to the Fairy Gates Trailhead at Stanyan Road to stroll again alongside the road to the place you began.

7. Golden Gate Bridge to Marin Headlands

Hking out to the Marin Headlands in San Francisco

Some of the iconic issues to do in San Francisco is to stroll the Golden Gate Bridge. Leaving from the Golden Gate Welcome Heart a stroll throughout the bridge to the Golden Gate Nationwide Recreation Space to the Marin Headlands.

Most individuals discover this sufficient of a stroll, however, if you wish to discover extra, There are many mountain climbing trails within the Muir Woods.

8. Muir Woods

Muir Woods in San Francisco Hiking

Positioned simply exterior of San Francisco, Muir Woods Nationwide Monument gives a few of the most gorgeous mountain climbing trails close to San Francisco. There are many completely different trails spanning the 554 acres of Muir Woods. There are a number of trails in Muir Woods to select from.

The word that Parking reservations are required prematurely. Parking fills up rapidly and should you don’t e-book prematurely you gained get in. Verify with the Nationwide Parks Service for extra info.

This stunning space gives spectacular bay space for mountain climbing among the many old-growth coastal redwoods. Muir Woods has varied trails, with The Muir Woods Fundamental Path being a well-liked beginning place that hooks up with different trails within the space.

Leaving from the Muir Woods Customer’s Heart and following Redwood Creek, this straightforward hike is finished on a boardwalk and is appropriate for all ages. It’s a 2.0-mile loop path (3.2 km) with solely a 30-foot elevation acquired.

In case you are on the lookout for an extended hike be a part of The Ben Johnson Path for a 6.3km loop that can take you thru a few of the most beautiful landscapes within the Muir Woods Nationwide Monument.

Distance: 2.0 mi (3.2 km)
Elevation Achieve: 30 ft
Time: 2 hours
Trailhead: Muir Woods Customer Heart
Google Maps Instructions

9. Mount Diablo State Park

Hiking Trails in Mount Diablo State Park San Francisco

In case you are up for a little bit of a drive exterior of San Francisco, you’ll be able to head out to Mount Diablo State Park, which is a couple of 40-minute drive east of town. This can be a good day journey and the views over East Bay hills are spectacular. The summit path right here ranges in size and issue and is the finest fitted for seasoned hikers.

For one of the best views, we advocate the Donner Creek Loop path. This out-and-back path has a few of the most spectacular views and is an extra reasonable path.

Begin within the car parking zone on the north entrance at Regency Drive and hike alongside  Donner Creek Hearth Street after which take the Again Creek Path Again.

One of many causes you’ll love this path is that you just truly move just a few waterfalls and weave through the plains throughout the second half of the path. In case you are on the lookout for a day of mountain climbing, close to the San Francisco bay space be sure to take a look at this State Park.

10. Tennessee Valley Path, Marin Headlands

Positioned simply north of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Tennessee Valley path is a hike that results in a sandy seashore and a good-looking lookout. You may select from two completely different seashores.

From the Tennessee Valley trailhead, you’ll be able to both hike straight to Tennessee Seaside for an out-and-back hike or do the more difficult loop to Muir Seaside by way of the Pirate’s Cove Path. This hike begins from the Tennessee Valley Trailhead and is a couple of 9-mile loops.

If you happen to select the Tennessee Valley path it winds its approach via stunning coastal hills and ends on the seashore at Tennessee Cove. Right here you’ll be able to have a picnic and take the views of the Pacific Ocean.

Distance: 7.0 mi (14.6 km) by way of Muir Seaside Loop
Elevation Achieve: 900 ft
Time: 4 hours
Trailhead: Tennessee Valley Trailhead

11. Angel Island State Park

Views of Sanfrancisco from Angel Island State Park

Surprisingly, Angel Island State Park is a typically neglected place to hike within the Bay Space, although it’s only a 40min ferry experience from Pier 41 in downtown San Francisco.

There are 2 major mountain climbing trails within the state park. The Sundown Path goes to the summit of Mount Livermore and is a bit more difficult than the opposite one. The payoff is the 360 diploma views of the skyline, the Golden Gate Bridge, and East Bay.

The opposite path in Angel Island State Park is the Perimeter Path. That is a simple hike and offers you many various viewpoints in addition to locations to be taught in regard to the historical past of the island itself. In case you are visiting the bay space for just a few days then Angel Island is certainly valued as a go-to even when mountain climbing shouldn’t be on the high of your listing. It’s also possible to camp on the island.

12. Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park

Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park Hikes San Francisco

Positioned within the East Bay Regional Park District, only a 20-minute drive from downtown San Francisco, Redwood Regional Park is the finest understood for the previous progress redwood forest that makes for the proper backdrop to any hike. It’s truly the biggest remaining pure stand of coast redwood in East Bay.

Our suggestion is to hop on the Stream Path, Mill Path, and French Path Loop. This can be a path with loads of ups and downs however the odor of the redwoods mixed with the attractive forest panorama make this an ideal hike particularly when it will get actually scorching.

Begin on the Skyline Gate Parking Lot and comply with the Stream Path till you come to the place it meets the Mill Path. Observe this for a bit till it hooks up with the French Path and take this again to the car parking zone.

13. Mori Level, Pacifica

Mori Point Pacifica near San Francisco

Mori Level is a spectacular lookout that’s simply south of San Francisco. Located in San Mateo County, Mori Level gives just a few completely different mountain climbing trails which might be alongside the coast. It additionally hooks up with the longer Coastal Path. This 32-acre wetland park has a few of the finest views of the ocean within the Golden Gate Nationwide Nationwide Recreation space.

The two trails we advocate are the Outdated Mori Path, which is extra of a stroll as it’s flat as a pancake. It does nonetheless convey some unimaginable views. And you’ll head down the steps to get to the seashore should you like. Simply keep in mind, it’s a must to come again up the 185 steps.

The opposite suggestion is the Mori Level Loop Path. This 1.5-mile (2.4km) loop path gives some nice coastal views in addition to wildflowers and wildlife. It might probably get windy alongside the coast and there are some steep sections, however, it’s value it in our opinion. This can be a good place to benefit from the sundown and spot whales.

Distance: 1.5 mi (2.4 km)
Elevation Achieve: 1200 ft
Time: half-hour
Trailhead: Mori Level Parking Lot (Instructions Right here)

14. Tomales Level Path at Level Reyes Nationwide Seashore

Tomales Pooint Trail near San Francisco

This hike is without a doubt one of the classics. Not solely due to the gorgeous views, however as a result it is, without doubt, one of the quieter hikes close to San Francisco. The Tomales Level Path is positioned in Level Reyes Nationwide Seashore between Tomales Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

There’s a lot to see throughout this hike. Duck Seaside, Sand Level, Tom’s Level, and views of Fowl Rock simply to call just a few. What can be cool is that it’s completely within the Tule Elk Protect, so your probability of seeing some elk are fairly good.

That is an out-and-back path so be sure to present yourself self-time to get again. One notice, this path is usually lined in fog. This doesn’t take away from the hike itself, however, should you put within the time to get to the lookout and it’s fogged in you is likely to be dissatisfied. That being mentioned, the hike is value it is fog or no fog.

15. Mount Tamalpais state park

best hikes in san francisco Mount tamalpais state park

At Mount Tamalpais state park, there’s a little little bit of everything for everybody. Completely different trails with differing ranges of issues and sizes. Novices, seasoned hikers, walkers, joggers, and bikers all have a spot at Mount Tam.

Its various panorama makes making it one of the vital standard trails within the space. Take pleasure in gorgeous views of the rolling hills, oak forest, redwood, and scenic ocean on the paths.

The final word problem is to hike all the way in which as much as the mountain peak for a wide-ranging view of the ocean. Most guests go for a leisurely stroll alongside the Dipsea Path, steep ravine path loop, and Matt Davis loop.

Distance: 60 mi (96 km) out and again
Time: Varies
Trailhead: Pantoll Ranger Station or the East Peak Heart

16. Half Moon Bay Coastal Path

Half moon Bay State Beach in California

Also referred to as the coast aspect path, get pleasure from scenic trails with breathtaking views of the pacific ocean. Despite the fact that this path is on a cliff it’s most likely one of many best on this listing as your complete terrain is generally flat. The mountain climbing path is about 6-mile roundtrip and is ideal for bikers, walkers, or hikers.

Your entire path is well-maintained and really straightforward to stroll, think about it extra of a scenic strolling route. Take pleasure in beautiful views of actual swimming within the ocean and birds floating about. The very best half is the cooling breeze from the ocean that makes the hike properly value it.

Distance: 7.5 mi (12 km) out and again
Elevation Achieve: 213 ft
Time: 1hr quarter-hour
Trailhead: Miramontes Level Street

What to Pack to your San Francisco Hikes

In terms of mountain climbing across the San Francisco space you wish to ensure you pack just a few requirements because the climate can change rapidly and also you wish to be ready for any state of affairs, even on the shorter hikes. Here’s what we recommend you pack in a day pack earlier than hitting the paths.

  • Water
  • Digital camera or Smartphone
  • Day Pack
  • Mountaineering Jacket (Waterproof and windproof)
  • Mountaineering Sneakers or Working Sneakers
  • Snacks
  • Beanie or heat hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Sun shades
Hiking Trails near San Francisco

No matter which hikes you select, getting out onto the paths is a superb exercise to add to your San Francisco Itinerary. To say that we had been impressed with the sheer quantity of trails can be an understatement. Pair that with the coastal views and the way well-maintained the paths are and it’s straightforward to see why San Francisco is a superb place to hike.

Writer Bio

Alex Genadinik has lived in San Francisco for over 15 years and enjoys the Northern California open air.  He’s at the moment engaged in uniting the various completely different small mountain climbing teams dispersed all through the Bay Space right into an extra united outside neighborhood. Yow will discover out extra about nice San Francisco hikes at Mountaineering San Francisco. This put-up has been up to date by ThePlanetD Crew.


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