16 Greatest Hikes in San Francisco You Should Strive

Many vacationers know concerning 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 20 years, vacationer sights in San Francisco are good, however I need to share a technique 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 climbing spots and vista factors. These are the very best hikes in San Francisco to get you outdoor and provide superb views.

Greatest 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 round and stroll again. They take some footage alongside the way in which and go house. That isn’t unhealthy, however to get extra train, soak up higher views, and find yourself feeling extra glad by having a day stuffed with extra various experiences let’s take issues a bit additional.

The Golden Gate Nationwide Recreation Space boasts miles of climbing trails, and unobstructed views and is the proper method to see a unique facet of San Francisco. It spans each the Marin and San Francisco sides of the Golden Gate Bridge and has climbing trails for each health stage. For extra info on climbing and parking go to the Golden Gate Bridge Website.

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 affords 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 Major Parking Lot. From there, a path leads into Lands Finish throughout the Golden Gate Nationwide Recreation Space, and your journey begins.

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

Surprisingly, the park additionally has among the best 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 soak up some Picasso and Rembrandt earlier than lastly heading off to Golden Gate Bridge. The Lands Finish Path ends (no pun meant) on a avenue known as El Camino Del Mar, which has among the greatest views of the ocean in all the metropolis and is in a prestigious neighborhood. 

Viewpoints embrace the Sutro Baths, Japanese Coastal Path Lookout, Lands Finish Labyrinth, Lifeless 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 Seashore 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 turn into obtainable as detours and lead in direction of the bridge by way of a quieter and extra scenic strolling route unhindered by automobiles.

As soon as on the bridge, the normal and traditional expertise of strolling the bridge affords among the similar views of San Francisco Bay from a a lot totally different angle. As well as, as you get nearer to the opposite facet of the bridge, views of San Francisco downtown open up, with the enduring Transamerica constructing standing tall above the remainder.

On heat and clear days, there are a lot of little sailboats proper under the bridge, throughout the bay, and close to Alcatraz Island.  As well as, there are a lot of gigantic freighter ships coming into the San Francisco and Oakland ports from in all places on the earth.  All of the ships to those ports come by the bay and they’re fairly a deal with to see. On fortunate days, there are even army 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 the similar space because the Lands Finish hike is the Batteries to Bluffs path hike in San Francisco. Situated in San Francisco’s Presidio, a 1,500-acre park on a former army publish, the Batteries to Bluffs path hike affords 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 could 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 Court docket Car parking zone. This parking zone connects to the paths resulting in the Golden Gate Welcome Middle which options the Golden Gate Overlook and the batteries used to guard the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco from 1891 to 1946. You possibly can stroll by these historic websites with views of the Golden Gate Bridge from Presidio, Battery Boutelle, Battery Marcus and Battery Cranston.

The Golden Gate Overlook is likely one of the premier spots to {photograph} the Golden Gate Bridge so the path is busy, however for good motive. It affords the very best views of the Golden Gate Bridge within the metropolis. There are numerous picket steps alongside this hike and among the best locations to for sundown is to take the steps all the way down to Marshall’s Seashore.

5. Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks Hike in San Francisco

Twin Peaks is likely one of the greatest San Francisco climbing trails for spectacular metropolis views. It’s a closely trafficked path 3.4 mile loop path, and you’ll drive or cycle as much as the lookout. Twin Peaks is an city climbing path situated throughout the metropolis limits it’s the second tallest peak in San Francisco (922-foot tall ) that overlooks all the San Francisco Bay space, and town’s landmarks. The hike feels far-off from town with forest trails, eucalyptus timber, rocky outcrops, picket walkways and grime 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 descend on the North Aspect to Christmas Tree Level for the very best views of the Pacific and town of San Francisco. Christmas Tree Level bought its identify from the large Christmas tree that’s erected every year by town. On the way in which again, hop on to the Gum Tree Women Path for a unique perspective.

6. Mount Sutro Loop

Mount Sutro Loop in San Francisco

If you wish to proceed strolling, it’s one other 1.1 miles from Twin Peaks alongside the highway to the Mount Sutro Open Area Reserve with climbing trails and greenspace overlooking town. Or you’ll be able to stroll this 1.9 mile loop path (3.2 kilometer) alongside The Historic Path from seventeenth and Stanyan. It takes you as much as the Mount Sutro Open Area Reserve which is a 61 acre open house reserve owned by the UCSF. It’s a fashionable 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 part of the Fairy Gates path to the Fairy Gates Trailhead at Stanyan Avenue 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

One of the crucial iconic issues to do in San Francisco is to stroll throughout the Golden Gate Bridge. Leaving from the Golden Gate Welcome Middle 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 climbing trails within the Muir Woods.

8. Muir Woods

Muir Woods in San Francisco Hiking

Situated simply outdoors of San Francisco, Muir Woods Nationwide Monument affords among the most gorgeous climbing trails close to San Francisco. There are many totally different trails spanning throughout the 554 acres of Muir Woods. There are a number of trails in Muir Woods to select from.

Word that Parking reservations are required upfront. Parking fills up rapidly and when you don’t ebook upfront you gained’t get in. Verify with the National Parks Service for more information.

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

Leaving from the Muir Woods Customer’s Middle 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 acquire.

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

Distance: 2.0 mi (3.2 km)
Elevation Acquire: 30 ft
Time: 2 hours
Trailhead: Muir Woods Customer Middle
Google Maps Directions

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 outdoors 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. It is a excellent day journey and the views over East Bay hills are spectacular. The summit path right here ranges in size and problem and is greatest suited to seasoned hikers.

For the very best views we suggest the Donner Creek Loop path. This out-and-back path has among the most spectacular views and is extra of a average path.

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

One of many causes you’ll love this path is that you just really go a number of waterfalls and weave by the plains through the second half of the path. In case you are searching for a day of climbing, close to the San Francisco bay space be certain to take a look at this State Park.

10. Tennessee Valley Path, Marin Headlands

Situated simply north of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Tennessee Valley path is a hike that results in a sandy seashore a gorgeous lookout. You possibly can select from two totally different seashores. From the Tennessee Valley trailhead, you’ll be able to both hike straight to Tennessee Seashore for an out-and-back hike or do the more difficult loop to Muir Seashore by way of the Pirate’s Cove Path. This hike begins from the Tennessee Valley Trailhead and is a couple of 9-mile loop.

In the event you select the Tennessee Valley path it winds its manner by stunning coastal hills and ends on the seashore at Tennessee Cove. Right here you’ll be able to have a picnic and take within the views of the Pacific Ocean. See extra: 24 Of The Greatest Seashores in California

Distance: 7.0 mi (14.6 km) by way of Muir Seashore Loop
Elevation Acquire: 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 an usually missed place to hike within the Bay Space, regardless that it is just a 40min ferry experience from Pier 41 in downtown San Francisco. There are 2 important 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 straightforward hike and provides you many various viewpoints in addition to locations to study concerning the historical past of the island itself. In case you are visiting the bay space for a number of days then Angel Island is unquestionably value a go to even when climbing shouldn’t be on the prime of your checklist. You may also camp on the island.

  • Easy methods to Get to Angel Island:

12. Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park

Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park Hikes San Francisco

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

Our advice is to hop on the Stream Path, Mill Path, and French Path Loop. It is a path with numerous ups and downs however the odor of the redwoods mixed with the gorgeous forest panorama make this an ideal hike particularly when it will get actually sizzling.

 Begin on the Skyline Gate Parking Lot and observe 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 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 affords a number of totally different climbing trails which are alongside the coast. It additionally hooks up with the longer Coastal Path. This 32 acre wetland park has among the greatest views of the ocean within the Golden Gate Nationwide Nationwide Recreation space.

The two trails we suggest are the Previous Mori Path, which is extra of a stroll as it’s flat as a pancake. It does nonetheless carry you out to some unimaginable views. And you’ll head down the steps to get to the seashore when you like. Simply bear in mind, you need to come again up the 185 steps.

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

Distance: 1.5 mi (2.4 km)
Elevation Acquire: 1200 ft
Time: half-hour
Trailhead: Mori Level Parking Lot (Directions Here)

14. Tomales Level Path at Level Reyes Nationwide Seashore

Tomales Pooint Trail near San Francisco

This hike is likely one of the classics. Not solely due to the gorgeous views, however as a result of it is likely one of the quieter hikes close to San Francisco. The Tomales Level Path is situated in Level Reyes Nationwide Seashore between Tomales Bay and the Pacific Ocean.

There’s a lot to see throughout this hike. Duck Seashore, Sand Level, Tom’s Level and views of Hen Rock simply to call a number of. What can be cool is that it’s fully within the Tule Elk Protect, so your probabilities of seeing some elk are fairly good.

That is an out-and-back path so be certain to offer your self time to get again. One observe, this path is usually lined in fog. This doesn’t take away from the hike itself, however when you put within the time to get to the lookout and it’s fogged in you may be upset. That being mentioned, the hike is value it 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 all the things for everybody. Completely different trails with differing ranges of problem and size. Rookies, seasoned hikers, walkers, joggers, and bikers all have a spot at Mount Tam.

Its various panorama makes making it one of the crucial fashionable 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 Middle

16. Half Moon Bay Coastal Path

Half moon Bay State Beach in California

Also referred to as the coast facet path, get pleasure from scenic trails with breathtaking views of the pacific ocean. Although this path is on a cliff it’s in all probability one of many best on this checklist as all the terrain is generally flat. The climbing path is about 6-mile roundtrip and is ideal for bikers, walkers, or hikers.

All the 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 nicely value it.

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

What to Pack on your San Francisco Hikes

What to Pack for Hiking in San Francisco

In terms of climbing across the San Francisco space you need to be sure to pack a number of requirements because the climate can change rapidly and also you need to be ready for any scenario, even on the shorter hikes. Here’s what we propose you pack in a day pack earlier than hitting the paths.

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

No matter which hike you select, getting out onto the paths is a superb exercise so as to add to your San Francisco Itinerary. To say that we had been impressed with the sheer quantity of trails could 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 outdoor.  He’s presently engaged on uniting the numerous totally different small climbing teams dispersed all through the Bay Space right into a extra united outside neighborhood. You will discover out extra about nice San Francisco hikes at Hiking San Francisco. This publish has been up to date by ThePlanetD Group.

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