Off Hwy 1 in Carmel, the Point Lobos State Natural Reserve offers a number of trails with views of marine animals such as Sea Otters, Harbor Seals, Whales, Dolphins, and Sea Lions along with great coastal views among Cypress groves.
This 8.5 mile hike takes you on the Bay Area Ridge Trail and winds along Moore Creek, with a couple creek crossings, before climbing into the hills overlooking Lake Hennessey.
This is a great hike to a seasonal waterfall on the Canyon Creek trail at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park, continuing on to a nice loop around the meadow at the center of this park.
The short hike to Cascade Falls offers a great trail with views of Cascade Lake, Lake Tahoe and many of the peaks that surround the lake, leading to Cascade Falls in Desolation Wilderness.
This short hike to Linda Falls in Angwin treats hikers to a great waterfall that will inspire the photographer in everyone.
A great 8.5 mile hike to the top of Fiske Peak via the Blue Ridge Trail from Cache Creek Recreation Area.
A great hike in Napa County through Napa Land Trust lands takes you to the top of Maggie’s Peak for some great views before descending to the multiple falls at Devil’s Well.
A counterclockwise 7 mile loop through Lynch Canyon and into Newell Open Space Preserve offers nice views of the San Pablo Bay, Mt. Diablo, Mt. Tamalpais, and Mount Saint Helena as you wind through the grassland hills. Lots of cow encounters await as well.
A rainy 10.8 mile hike with 2800 feet of elevation gain on the Judge Davis Trail down to Wilson Valley offered great views and some seriously mud-caked hiking shoes.
Cows, mushrooms, and views of Napa Valley and the northern section of the San Francisco Bay await you on this loop hike through Lynch Canyon Open Space.
Probably best during warm weather, this hike through Benicia SRA offers nice views of the most narrow portion of the San Francisco Bay and includes unique views of the Carquinez Bridge.
My first mushroom foray proved extremely bountiful through the pygmy and coastal forest of Salt Point State Park.
A short hike along Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, CA offering nice coastal views and beach-worn glass.
Gorgeous northern California hike along the coastal bluffs of the Pacific Ocean in Mendocino.
Great 12 mile out and back hike with gorgeous fall colors overlooking Napa Valley on the Oat Hill Mine and Palisades Trail.
Great hike in southwestern Lake Tahoe from Glen Alpine Trailhead in Desolation Wilderness up to Lake Gilmore on an Autumn day.
A gorgeous fall hike on a rainy day through Jack London State Historic Park with a wine picnic among giant redwoods and ferns.
Pretty hike on a not-so-maintained hike to Veteran’s Peak in Yountville behind the Veteran’s home.
A nice showing of Fall colors, this hike to Maggie’s Peak and Devil’s Well is a personal favorite any time of year, but it’s a real treat after some rainfall.
A beautiful hike in the sierras to two subalpine lakes with calm lakes mirroring the sparsely forested granite peaks and cabins surrounding them.
Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland has numerous trails winding through Eucalyptus and Redwood groves with some excellent views of Oakland, mountain biking opportunities, and a wide variety of hikes to discover.
This was a short hike with fire roads, single track, a waterfall, great views of San Francisco and its bay, and a look down into the canyon with Muir Woods.
A gorgeous but foggy coastal hike on the Kortum trail from Shell Beach to Goat Rock Beach offers a great hike through coastal wetlands on wooden walkways and a great view of shale bluffs and the Pacific coast from Sonoma Coast State Park.
This hike through the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias at Yosemite National Park might be crowded, but it yields breathtaking examples of some of the earth’s oldest and largest trees.
The hike down to the Sequoia tree grove at Tuolumne Grove in Yosemite is hilly but hikers are rewarded with numerous large Sequoias and an old tree tunnel, without the crowd.
This is a nice short hike to Grass Lake from the Glen Alpine Trailhead into Desolation Wilderness with a view of Grass Lake, Lily Lake, the waterfalls into Grass Lake and a few streams that are required to cross.
Gorgeous hike with tremendous panoramic views circling and summiting the peak of Mt. Diablo in the San Francisco Bay Area. Wildflowers, vast views of the Bay Area and wildlife await.
An excellent one way shuttled hike from Robert Louis Stevenson State Park to the Oat Hill Mine Rd. trailhead in Calistoga offers a technical trail full of excellent views of the Napa Valley.
A ranger-led hike on the Smittle Creek Trail at Lake Berryessa is an informative hike along the lake and creeks full of wildflowers and wildlife
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park has several trails that offer good exercise and great views. From the Planet Walk to the trails near Bald Mountain this is one of my personal favorite north bay hiking spots.
Whether you’re disc golfing or hiking, Crane Creek offers gorgeous views in the Spring with green grass, wildflowers and oaks covered with spanish moss.
An easy 5 mile hike through Helen Putnam Regional Park in Petaluma offers views of hills of rolling grasses and oak savannah.
A gorgeous hike above Cascade Lake to Cascade Falls. Granite peaks, Lake Tahoe and snow covered mountains make a perfect backdrop for this hike to cascading waterfalls above Cascade Lake.
This fairly short but strenuous hike offers a good workout and great views of Lake Berryessa, and the higher peaks of the Central Coast Range including Mount Saint Helena.
A portion of the San Francisco Bay Area Ridge Trail runs through the Benicia Vallejo Buffer separating the cities with views of the northern San Francisco Bay and the Carquinez Strait.
Moore Creek Regional Park and Open Space is a new park in Napa with trails that are still under construction. One trail is complete offering 3.8 miles of hiking, with two others being constructed. Great views, a hidden pool and diverse terrain intermixed with cows.
Near the intersection of Hwy 29 and 12 in Napa is a trailhead for the Stanly Ranch Public Trails which are a non-contiguous (for now) portion of the San Francisco Bay Trail whose goal is to encircle the bay with a trail for hiking, biking and jogging. Perhaps the least exciting place to hike for right now…
This fantastic north bay hike to the summit and beyond in Mount Hood Regional Park and Open Space Preserve is challenging but very rewarding with great views and a mix of terrains and trail types.
A short stroll through Maxwell Farms Regional Park in Sonoma brings pleasant views of oak and bay trees along a nice creek. Easy walking with no hills.
A nice short hike through oak woodlands with a lake through Sonoma Valley Regional Park in Glen Ellen.
Currently only open weekends, this hike through Lynch Canyon Open Space has great views of Napa valley and the San Francisco Bay with over 10 miles of trails to choose from.
This area in Angwin is a great stop for mountain biking or hiking with many unnamed trails meandering through the oak and redwood forests near Los Posadas State Forest.
A nice, small park with a vast number of trails, grasslands, oak woodlands, a lake and a number of rock formations and boulders offers nice views of the east bay.
Great short coastal hike within the GGNRA Marin Headlands offers several trails to choose from in a valley leading to the coast.
A short, easy hike with great views in China Camp State Park on the western shore of San Pablo Bay.
Starting at Summit Lake this relatively easy hike to Echo Lake takes you by several smaller lakes and includes crossing a beautiful meadow. Excellent views of Lassen Peak and Bumpass Mountain.
This loop trail around Silver Lake in Lassen County takes you through a pine forest and up on a rocky bluff overlooking the lake. Several small mountain lakes and large picturesque trees greet you.
Several short loop hikes to choose from through Oak woodlands and grassy hills in Windsor, CA.
This great hike in Novato, CA at the north end of the San Francisco Bay Area takes you through 4 different parks, starting at Ohair Park, onward to Little Mountain OSP, a short stroll through Verissimo OSP and on through Indian Trees Open Space Preserve.
Great spring hike in Mount Burdell Open Space Preserve offering miles of trails, scenic hilltop views and wildflowers galore. Watch for cow patties.
A great trail in spring, the Sonoma Ridge Trail is part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail offering wildflowers, butterflies, historic sites and some great views.
Short hike on a hill in Bernal Heights Park in southeastern San Francisco with great views of the bay and city.
A beautiful and serene hike from Aetna Springs to Wildlake through Napa County in late winter.
This hike through Claremont Canyon is a good leg workout and offers breathtaking views of San Francisco and the bay.
A brisk winter walk along the beach of Lake Tahoe from Camp Richardson through Taylor Creek offers history, wildlife and great scenery.
Hikers flock to this scenic hike on sandy stairways along the Pacific coast with views of the Marin Headlands, Golden Gate Bridge, and the northwest tip of San Francisco.
A great walk through Ecocentro Danaus near La Fortuna in Costa Rica. Farmland reforested by nature chock full of plants and animals.
A great hike in Costa Rica’s Monteverde Cloud Forest on the famed Sky Walk. Great flora and fauna and well constructed bridges.
Hiddenbrooke Trail in Fairfield offers great views west toward the north portion of the San Francisco Bay and southward toward Mount Diablo.
A beautiful historic hiking trail along an old wagon wheel rutted road which once led to Oat Hill Mine where material for quicksilver was mined until the 1960s.
Free parking at Lincoln Park in Napa for the trailhead of the River to Ridge Trail in Napa offers a good hike with lots of options for loops through Skyline Wilderness Park.
The hike to Traverso Homestead in Bothe-Napa State Park gives visitors a taste of everything the Bothe-Napa State Park has to offer.
Find a nice day and take a hike on the short Matin’s Path trail to the Pacific Ocean near Stinson Beach.
Marin offers this great coastal hike in Northern California on the Steep Ravine Trail. Gorgeous redwoods, ocean views, and a cool sea breeze welcome you.
A hike on the Lake Hennessey Trail in northern Napa county offers wildflowers, lake views and an abrupt end at a No Tresspassing sign.
Hiking along serene San Francisco Bay wetlands converted from a landfill and salt production area. This is a birder’s paradise with a large amount of wildlife, both winged and not.
Took a very short hike along the beach at Limantour Beach in Point Reyes. The beach is very long and not all that crowded. The beach’s proximity keeps the waves fairly small here.
One of my personal favorites, the hike on Tomales Point Trail in Point Reyes is almost ten of the most scenic miles you’ll ever find yourself hiking. Tule Elk, wildflowers galore and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean in northern Pt. Reyes.
A fairly strenuous 11 mile hike on Napa Land Trust parklands, the John Hoffnagle Trail starts at Poppy Flats and takes you along Deer Lake, Wild Lake and Rattlesnake Ridge.
Gorgeous hike in Archer Taylor Preserve takes you to the top of Maggie’s Peak for a great view of the San Francisco Bay Area and to Devil’s Well and a number of other waterfalls while hiking among pines, maples and redwoods.
A 10 mile loop trail through Santa Rosa’s Anndel State Park offers great northern California meadow views, Ilsanjo Lake, and lots of red clay trails with a number of boulders scattered about.
Healdsburg Open Space Preserve offers a fairly new network of trails with several loops and a small pond (Fox pond) for hikers with views of Healdsburg Simi Valley and the Russian River.
A short hike with good views overlooking the city of Sonoma and into the San Francisco Bay, the Sonoma Overlook Trail offers a few miles of single track trails and a couple loop choices.
This little-known trail takes hikers above Rector Reservoir on Department of Fish and Game land with excellent views of the Napa Valley from the east.
A historic hike from Bothe Napa State Park on the History Trail to Bale Grist Mill State Historic Park. Several biomes, an old cemetery, and a grist mill are on the agenda with this hike.
A short hike around trails through Tomales Bay State Park. Fern-covered forests and several beaches await.
Two separated hikes along the Napa River Trail offer 10+ miles of hiking with two very different feels. Eventually this trail will be contiguous with a middle section added to connect them.
A hike through Knoxville Wildlife Area leading to a little known seasonal North San Francisco Bay Area Waterfall offers solitude and poison oak!
A hike to the top of Bald Mountain (2729 ft) in Sonoma County’s Sugarloaf Ridge State Park in Kenwood offers a multitude of biomes, excellent wildlife viewing, and supreme views of the North San Francisco Bay Area.
Watch for a nice clear day and escape the heat hiking from San Pedro Valley Park to Montara State Beach and McNee Ranch starting in Pacifica and ending in Montara, CA.
Timberhill Park offers a nice serene hike among grassy hills and oak trees on the west side of Napa, CA. Bring your cowbell and you’ll fit right in. Take a side journey to a fun rope swing.
This fairly long loop trail takes you to the top of Sugarloaf Peak in Skyline Wilderness Park in Napa, CA. The elevation change is about 2200 feet and this hike treats you to excellent views and a number of varying terrains
A gorgeous vertical hike along the Cataract Falls Trail on Mt. Tamplpais in Fairfield, CA. Seemingly endless waterfalls cascade along this wooded out and back trail. The hike ends with gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean overlooking Bolinas.
A very short but bird-filled hike through Napa Ecological Reserve east of Yountville and north of Napa, CA.
Table Rock and the Palisades Trail offer an excellent wine country hike just outside of Calistoga, CA from the same parking lot as the hike to Mount Saint Helena. This trail heads South and East from the lot along rocky peaks visible on the drive up.
Breathtaking views from the top of Mt. St. Helena, the highest peak in the Northern San Francisco Bay Area. And how can you beat free entry into Robert Louis Stevenson State Park.
A great hike in Napa Valley to Bothe Napa Valley State Park (on the closure list). This hike was to Coyote Peak and a couple other trails to make a loop through Ritchey Canyon.
Skyline Wilderness Park is a county park in Napa with a lot of different activities including two of my favorites: Hiking and Disc Golf. Play an 18 hole course or hike one of the eight trails through the park.
A very dog-friendly park on the west side of Napa with an off-leash area. Several short trails to choose from, this is a very wide open park with very few trees surrounding a wine vineyard.
A vast number of shorter distance single track and fire road trails await among rolling hills, oaks and mossy rocks in Napa.
A volunteer guided 11 mile out and back group hike along the Fifield-Cahill and Bay Area Ridge Trails starting at Skyline Quarry out to Mile Marker 5.75 and back.
A 4.6 mile hike through Pulgas Ridge Open Space Preserve winds through oak woodlands and chaparral in San Carlos just east of Hwy 280.
A pleasant hike in Edgewood County Park and Natural Preserve which contains a nearly 500 acre woodland full of interesting native plants and rare animal species offering views to the bay and the SF watershed.
A simple but scenic 2+ mile hike encircling Spooner Lake in Nevada-Lake Tahoe State Park.
The Fifield-Cahill Trail meanders through Douglas Fir forests in San Francisco’s watershed between Crystal Springs Reservoir and Lake Pilacitos. The land is owned by the SF Public Utilities Council and only guided hikes are currently permitted.
Russian Ridge lies east of Palo Alto right off Hwy 35 a little south of Hwy 84. Grand views of wind swept hillsides mixed with shaded oak forest and a natural spring await.
This is a short, easy hike at elevation to Grass Lake in Desolation Wilderness from the Glen Alpine Trailhead. Time your trip well or you may experience a lot of snow, flooded trail, and several dangerous river crossings.
The SF Bay Trail’s most southern portion of the San Francisco Peninsula runs along a couple sloughs with plenty of wildlife habitat including areas set out for endangered species.
The SF Bay Trail circles the San Francisco Bay. This paved hike’s portion of the trail starts at Shoreline Park in San Mateo and ends beyond the San Mateo bridge in Foster City.
Gorgeous tree-canopied hike through the Redwood Loop Trail and it’s giant redwood trees, followed by an out and back journey to Berry Creek Falls along the Skyline to the Sea Trail.