The Bay Area, aka the San Francisco Bay Area, presents an amazing geographic diversity and is home for no less than 7 million inhabitants, including cities such as San Jose, San Francisco and Oakland.
We all know the Bay Areas for its special lifestyle, high-tech industry and liberal politics. However, the avid hiker knows it best for its amazing hiking places. Without any further introduction, here are 5 of our favorites.
This is definitely a hiking trail made for the dedicated, experienced hiker. It’s a 4 miles long hiking trail and is one of the most secluded, natural trail from the Marin County.
You may find it in the bosom of peaceful Fairfax and is a starting point for some other beautiful hiking trails.
As you enter the par, you go pass the elementary school, take left and climb some switchbacks on Deer Park and Buckeye Trails, going to a small hill. As you enjoy the nice views of the surrounding towns of San Anselmo, San Rafael and Fairfax, try to get a good pace, as the next climb may be a bit more challenging.
You continue with a short ascent up Warm Springs Fire Road and get to the crest of Bald Hill. This area gives you a nice view over Marin, the East and South Bays, but also the ridge of the mountains that rise out of the sea, near the Stinson Beach. You should do this hike on a cloud, clear day to fully enjoy the breathtaking views. You may admire the banks of fog to the west, whereas to the east a clear sky lets you see San Pablo Bay, from the swamps of Vallejo to the oil refineries of Richmond. The hills of Marin are right into the north and the Mountain Tamalpais massif is somewhat into to the south.
Take a deep breath and enjoy the moment. Breathe in the fresh, cold air and smell the nice perfumes of moist earth, fresh grass and flowers.
When you get back home, treat yourself with a beer and a bratwurst at Gestalt Haus, near Bolinas Avenue.
When you’re ready to enjoy something more exciting, go chade the 40ft. tide fall that cascades down a cliff, right onto the beach.
The impressive waterfall is definitely the cherry on top, but this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t enjoy the ocean views as you hike along the cliff either.
The hike is for the experienced hiker as you may encounter some steep parts and the trail may get crowded in some points.
Don’t forget to bring a swimsuit and a rope also. Chances are you’re going to splash a bit as bass Lake and swing on your way back.
Diablo Foothills Regional Park
We do have to admit this isn’t quite the most popular hiking place, but this isn’t our fault for us. The Diablo Foothills gives us broad green fields that form a bowl, nicely surrounded by forested mountains.
This mild hike begins at the Alamo Trail, until the Briones-to-Mt.Diablo Regional. Take right and another right at the next fork, up to the China Wall. This isn’t the same we all know, but it’s a small outcropping of stones that does look a lot like the original Great Wall of China. You do deeper into Mt. Diablo State Park. Go along the American Discovery and Hanging Valley trails until you get to the parking lot.
The 9.5 miles trail isn’t difficult, but rather moderate to difficult and brings so many great things to the table for the experienced, and not the beginner hiker for sure.
This place is all about the views and you get to see everything in the area: Mt. Tam, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay, the Stinson Beach, and also the Pacific Ocean. You may encounter some wildlife as well and walk the well-known Dipsea Stairs. After you crossed a creek, you get to the Steep Ravine also.
Some may feel that this is a long hike, but it’s totally worth it and you should get plenty of water and layers to fully enjoy the hike.
If you feel it’s too much for you, get the shorter hike that begins as Stinson and is only 7.5 miles long.
Tomales Point Trail, Point Reyes National Seashore
The bare land of Point Reyes National Seashore gives amazing views of the rocky coastline, grasslands, wildlife galore and some coastal trees as well. It’s only an hour north of the city and typically is covered by a peculiar layer of fog.
The 10 miles hike is great as it gives not beautiful scenery, but it’s not that difficult to try either. It begins at the Pierce Point Ranch, where you may admire the Tule elk that roams freely.
When you get to the end of it, you should enjoy the views of the Pacific and Bodega Bay.
Additional tip: always pack windbreakers and some extra layers as the weather can be quite unpredictable.
We chose some nice ending for our selection and the wild, rocky corner of San Francisco is pretty popular among the hikers and tourists as well.
This is why you’d better want to go early on a weekday morning so that you may enjoy the astonishing place all by yourself.
The views of the rough coastline and the Golden Gate Bridge are amazing and you should go for the out-and-back if that’s a first for you.
Extra tip? Check for the shipwrecks if it’s a low tide and you won’t regret it all!