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Bay Area Hiking Destinations

Best places to hike in the San Francisco Bay Area
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Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Unknown
Length: 73.7 miles
Duration: Unknown

Overview :  If you have just one chance to hike in the San Francisco Bay Area, one of these destinations should be on it.

The North Bay is... more »

Tips:  What to bring:
Layers -- weather is highly variable
Water and snacks
Trail maps
Camera
Binoculars

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Points of Interest

1. Mount Tamalpais State Park

Mount Tam, as the locals call it, is the crown jewel of Marin County hiking parks, with lush redwood forests and expansive views of the Bay Area and Pacific Ocean.

Don't miss: Steep Ravine Trail, where water cascades through down a canyon under a towering forest canopy; you can hike here all year, even in a rainstorm (moderate three-mile... More

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2. Point Reyes National Seashore

With over 80 miles of shoreline and 1,000 plant and animal species, Point Reyes showcases the beauty of Northern California.

Don't miss: Tomales Point Trail (moderate 10-mile out-and-back). Colonies of tule elk live and breed along the narrow northern strip of Point Reyes. Watch for the bulls' impressive racks; listen for their high-pitched... More

3. Mount Diablo State Park

This park east of Walnut Creek captures the rugged essence of East Bay hiking: steep trails, broad vistas and remarkable biodiversity on its sun-baked hillsides.

Don't miss: Check out Diablo's summit within 24 hours of a strong rain, which washes the skies clear and brings the distant snowy peaks of the High Sierra into view just above the... More

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4. Sunol Regional Wilderness

Spring wildflowers are the main attraction at this park north of Fremont, but challenging hills, lovely vistas and novel rock formations keep hikers coming most of the year (July and August can be a bit too warm).

Don't miss: The park's Little Yosemite section has falling water, steep canyons and interesting rocks within easy hiking distance of... More

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Big Basin, California's oldest state park, was created to preserve its stand of immense ancient redwoods, which have stood for millennia on the western slope of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Don't miss: Redwood Trail, a flat .6-mile loop near the park headquarters, encircles one of the world''s oldest groves of redwoods and includes the tallest and... More

This park west of Gilroy has the wildest hiking in the Bay Area (it''s the only one where you can backpack to a campsite of your choosing without reserving a site ahead of time). The hills seem to go on forever at Henry Coe, especially when you're hiking up them, but the chance to see these lands pretty much as they''ve always been makes it worth ... More