The Bay Area is known for its natural beauty, and there are killer views everywhere. Hiking is also great for your health, so lace up your shoes this weekend and head to one of these five great hikes in the Bay Area:
The Dipsea Trail
Often called San Francisco’s most technical trail, The Dipsea Trail is approximately seven miles long. It runs from the tiny Marin County enclave all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Within the first mile you’ll encounter nearly 700 steps, so make sure you do plenty of stretches beforehand! Then you’ll hike up an elevation that will eventually take you up nearly 2,000 feet.
Be sure to wear a sturdy pair of hiking boots because this trail is rigorous! The trail also crosses Redwood Creek in Muir Woods National Monument. The views along the trail are second to none. On a clear day you can see the San Francisco Bay, Golden Gate Bridge, and Mount Tamalpais.
Lands End Trail
Beautiful flowers and magnificent views of the Pacific are just partly what the Lands End Trail has to offer. The trail is 3.5 miles long and is rated as a moderately difficult hike on crushed stone and dirt paths. So, take that into consideration before you start on your journey.
As you hike along the trail, you can choose to take a cliff-top walk to catch California views that stretch for 30 miles. The views here are incredible! There are also several great stops along the trail including the USS San Francisco Memorial. You can also catch a glimpse of the Mile Rock Lighthouse.
At the edge of Central Valley is Mount Diablo. The view here is unique because there is nothing to stand in the way of the upper slopes of the mountain, so you can pretty much see the entire area. The peak is 3850 feet above sea level, and there are several different routes you can take depending on how rigorous a hike you set out to accomplish. There is something for every skill level. Along the way, check out the wildflowers and blooming shrubs.
Tomales Point Trail
Located near Inverness, the Tomales Point Trail offers spectacular views as well as a chance to get a glimpse of some wildlife. The trail is just over nine miles long and is rated as moderate. Hike through the Tule Elk Reserve where you can stop along the way and see the Bodega Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
It is here that you may also see some wildlife like the Tule elk. If you make it all the way to the Point, the view there is unmatchable. Just a few notes, don’t get fooled by the first three miles which are well-marked because the remaining route can be a little tricky. There are also some overgrown shrubs so you may want to wear long pants.
East Ridge Trail Loop East Bay
If you’re looking to explore the Redwood Regional Park, then the East Ridge Trail Loop East Bay is the way to go. The loop descends on the East Ridge Trail and connects to the Stream Trail via the Canyon Trail.This route is just about six miles. But, you can make it shorter by taking one of the side trails. The terrain here falls into the moderately difficult range for hiking although some people found it a little tougher, so keep that in mind! The entire loop takes an average of two to three hours to complete depending on how many times you stop along the way.
Hiking in the Bay Area offers a wide variety of difficulty and locations; whichever direction you go, have fun!