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.
Summer camping at Lake Mendocino in Northern California with plenty of water to play in, and a disc golf course nearby!
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.
Great camping at Samuel P. Taylor State Park tucked in the Marin hills and kept cool by big redwood trees and a nearby creek.
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
Snoswhoeing around frozen Spooner Lake in Nevada was a very scenic and fairly easy trek. Spooner Lake is located a little inland from the eastern shore of Lake Tahoe.
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 weekend of camping at Pogie Point Campground on Lake Pillsbury located in the Mendocino National Forest.
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.
Camp Richardson is a resort on the Southwest end of Lake Tahoe off Hwy 89 shortly north of the Y in South Lake Tahoe. They have a general store, restaurant/bar, beach access, and offer camping for RVs and tent campers.
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.
Continuing my exploration of the SF Bay Trail, this section was in Burlingame on the peninsula and included Coyote Point County Park.
The Sawyer Camp Trail in San Bruno is a popular paved trail for bicyclists and hikers which runs alongside San Andreas Lake, a reservoir for the San Francisco area’s drinking water.
The Tomales Point Trail is a 9.5 mile hike along a northern peninsula of Point Reyes National Seashore between Tomales Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Herds of Tule Elk, flocks of sea birds, wildflowers, and excellent coastal views treat hikers on this beautiful hike in the San Francisco Bay Area.
The San Francisco Bay Trail is over 500 miles of mostly paved trails that encircle the San Francisco Bay. View a description and photos of a hike along the portion south of SFO in Millbrae and Burlingame.
The best tidepools in the San Francisco Bay Area, Fitzgerald Marine Reserve isn’t much of a hike but offers you freedom to walk around expansive tidepools and a perfectly clean beach. Watch for low tides to visit.
Somewhat seasonal, Yosemite Falls is one of the highlights of visiting the National Park. A nice short hike that isn’t too wet and offers a number of great photograph opportunities.
Bridalveil Falls flows year-round from Bridalveil Creek and is the first set of falls seen as you enter Yosemite Valley. Prepare to get a little wet on this nice, short and paved hike to it’s base.
Great views and a pleasant trail through the northeast end of Yosemite Valley, the hike to Mirror Lake is a must do short hike while visiting the Yosemite Valley.
Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite lies in the Yosemite Valley east of Curry Village. It is the closest to Happy Isles and the Mist Trail with a seasonal creek behind some of the sites. Site 174 was great.
Gorgeous views atop some famous hills in San Francisco, Twin Peaks north and south summits might be crowded, but the view is worth a visit at least once.
The tallest peak in San Francisco, Mount Davidson park bears a giant cross statue and has several short trails to choose from. Shade awaits at the top.
The lengthy SF Bay Trail runs alongside the SF Bay and 3COM/Candlestick Park in the section named Candlestick Point State Recreation Area. Two and a half miles of scenic bay hiking to be had here.
Take a ferry to hike or bike on the gorgeous island called Angel’s Island State Park. Excellent 360 degree view of the San Francisco Bay from Mount Livermore, the highest point on the island.
Wow, the beaches here are gorgeous and the Pacific Coastal Range rises abruptly along Highway 1 South of Monterey at Garrapata State Park.
The Presidio has a lot of hiking trails situated in the northwesternmost part of the city. Great views of the Golden Gate and Pacific Ocean await.
The Land’s End trail on the Pacific Ocean in San Francisco offers an excellent and relaxing hike with gorgeous sunset views.
Crocker Park Recreational Trail in Brisbane is a nice little exercise trail if you happen to live in the area. If you’re looking for a destination hike from a distance, look elsewhere.
Eagle Falls is a scenic set of subalpine waterfalls from Eagle Creek which flows from Eagle Lake above. Probably best in summer but you can go anytime. Be sure to check out the upper and lower sets to take in all the views.
McLaren Park is a large city park on the southern end of San Francisco. In addition to an offleash dog walking area it has a couple reservoirs, water towers and a few miles of hiking trails with some wonderful views of San Francisco.
This section of the San Francisco Bay Trail is in South San Francisco and Brisbane, California. The Bay Trail will eventually surround the entire bay. This is a very scenic and non-crowded section which has a number of good photo opportunities.
An excellent winter hike through Muir woods including the Bootjack trail, Troop 80 trail, Panoramic trail, Sierra Trail and the Camp Eastwood trail. Views of flowing creeks, the Pacific Ocean, Redwoods, ferns and mushrooms.
I bet Scooby Doo wouldn’t have tried sailing around Mussel Rock. This was an odd hike. The area is full of landslide, and landslide protection. In fact you hike on it. Will have to visit on a clear day but the highlight is definitely making your way down to the rocks at low tide right by Mussel Rock itself.
Mid winter was a great time to go see Alamere Falls in Pt. Reyes. The easy terrain makes this medium distance hike seem like nothing. There are three sets of waterfalls, two lakes and some mud along the way. There is a minor climbing challenge to descend to the very bottom falls, which are the best of the three.
A great snowshoe trip trailblazing the Rubicon Trail in Emerald Bay down to Vikingsholm, through the Eagle Point Campground. A highly recommended snowshoe trip while in South Lake Tahoe.
Monte Bello Open Space Preserve has a lot of trails to choose from, some of which have nice flora/fauna signage. There’s a great mix of open grass hills and fairly dense oak forest. A small creek has running water all year and offers some nice areas to relax.
Excellent coastal hike in Pacifica and Montara, CA to the summit of Montara Mountain. Excellent views and a great variety of trails, flora and fauna.
Windy Hill Open Space Preserve is in Portola Valley with several parking areas. Several trails to choose from including a couple strenuous and long loops with a good range of ecology.
San Bruno Mountain State and County Park offers excellent views of San Francisco from the south side and a view of the bay, Mt. Diablo, and even Mt. Tamalpais. The moderate Ridge Trail is my favorite and gives you a taste of the whole park.
Part of the Bay Area Ridge Trail (though not technically much of a ridge), this is a nice place to hike around in sand dunes in Daly City if you can find a day without fog. Probably best in the early fall.
We took the longer trail from Eagle Point Campground along Emerald Bay and down into Vikingsholm where we took the paid tour. Very scenic and relatively easy hike. Best in summer.
Several nice short but scenic hikes await at the Taylor Creek Visitor Center area, which serves as parking. We hiked on Pope Beach, the Rainbow Trail – which is a trail about the wildlife and plants in the area, and the Mt. Tallac Historic Trail along old log cabins from the first settlers.
Stayed here for free during “Labor Week” 2010 as a staging for backpacking the following day. We fished at the dam of Union Valley Reservoir and spent one night here. Wasn’t too bad.
A friend and I took a dispersed camping trip and what I’ll refer to as super ultra-lightweight backpacking. The location? the Southwest end of Union Valley Reservoir in Crystal Basin near Kyburz, CA off highway 50.
Poison Oak aside (I got it REALLY bad here), this was a great little campground in Guerneville which provided an excellent place to pass out after the nearby 8th Annual Russian River Beer Revival and BBQ Cookoff at the Stumptown Brewery.
Long holes, good hiking, scenic, challenging and sometimes a little muddy. Stafford Lake in Novato is home to a giant hole 8 at 1,044 feet.
Miles of hiking trails through redwoods, fir trees, and a creek, the El Corte De Madera Open Space Preserve is a destination for hikers and bikers.
This is a very beautiful and serene hike near Half Moon Bay with a perfect amount of elevation change and differing views. One of my favorites on the peninsula, go check it out!
Hiking along Fort Funston can be a little crowded but offers great ocean views and a special treat in having hang gliders flying by you as you walk.
Donner Memorial State Park is a beautiful campground with easy walking access to Donner Lake. The campsites on the outskirts are almost perfect.
Mori Point is on the more northern side of Pacific on the peninsula. It’s a fairly short hike but offers some minor elevation change and great views of the Pacific ocean. Stop by the cafe at the pier for a snack.
A stroll through the Redwoods in Woodside, CA in Wunderlich County Park. Included are the Bear Gulch Trail and others.
A cool hike through redwoods in Woodside, CA, Huddart County Park offers several choices in trails with fair distance and a nice foresty feel.
A hike along the coast in Pacifica, CA. Milagra Ridge County Park is currently going through restoration (and preservation). Offers great views north to Mt. Tamalpais and south along the Coastal Mountains.