Hiking is one of the best ways to exercise both your mind and body while also having fun. The intense interaction with Mother Nature will leave you feeling rejuvenated in ways that you probably cannot fathom. While there are so many places to go for hiking, not all of them can guarantee you the time of your life. You will have to explore, ask around and find a place that has all you need; a place that will engage your whole being. Take San Francisco, for example. If you are a nature lover, you must have heard about its wonderful trails and beautiful hills.
To ensure you get the best experience, we have come up with the seven best locations in San Fransisco that will give you exactly what you need; an amazing time out in the wild.
Land’s End Trail has to take the number one spot. Where else can you get such a wonderful view of the Golden Gate Bridge? Everything you view from this site will leave your eyes glistening. To see exactly what we are talking about, head over to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Once you get there, proceed to the Sutro District and have a blast. There are miles and miles of nature trails for you to hike and enjoy yourself.
If you are lucky to be at Land’s End Trail during sunset, the coastline will be your canvas. You can take amazing pictures then frame them when you get back home. That is the best way to preserve those wonderful memories. You practically haven’t been to San Fransisco if you haven’t visited this majestic trail. Also, a quick stop at the USS San Francisco won’t hurt.
Do you want to impress your girl or propose to her, Twin Peaks is the perfect spot. Everything about it screams romance. Imagine having a candle-lit dinner at the top of Eureka and Noe as you marvel at the beauty of San Francisco, with all the city lights. It doesn’t get any better than that. You will be looking down at the whole city from one end to the other. It is a complete 360-degree view. Just make sure the day is not too foggy for you to get the best view. We recommend carrying your jackets as it gets windy on such altitudes.
Twin Peaks is also a great place to catch an aerial view of the Golden Gate. You will be surrounded by exotic birds and insects, most of which are endangered species. The vegetation is also something you haven’t seen before.
If you only hear about John Muir in ancient stories and blogs then you need to visit the Muir Woods. He was the “John of the Mountains” and his wooden state is erected in this park. He is also regarded as the “Father of National Parks”. Imagine all the stories you will have after visiting Muir woods and honoring his name. Aside from that, you will also get to see the famous redwood trees that are about 1000 years old.
Muir Woods is right by the Pacific Ocean and the atmosphere is nothing but a cool breeze. A lot of people love this spot so make sure you get there early.
A 25-minute drive south of San Francisco
That magical land between Pacifica and Bruno is everything a hiking trail should be. Sweeny Ridge is where you get your fill of all the hiking action. The whole area is about 5km squared. It is covered in shrubs and grassland as it rises to a height of 1, 200. To make it even more historic, there are a number of abandoned buildings for you to explore. Expect to find a landscape that is endowed with Coyote Bush, California Yerba Santa, and Yellow Bush Lupine.
If you think that is exciting, wait till you see some wild animals. But don’t worry, you will not be in any kind of danger as you will mostly see a couple of deer and hawks. The icing on the cake is the buildings that hosted the SF-51C Nike Missile Control facility.
Distance: 6 miles
Angel Island is the ultimate weekend spot and many people are aware of this fact. It is for this reason that the place is always crowded. However, the closer you get to the peak of Mount Livermore, the less crowded it becomes. At 788 feet, this is the highest point on the island. It is also where you get to see what the whole island is all about. Don’t forget to carry packed lunch and some snacks. There are some very nice picnic tables awaiting you and your mates.
Distance: 1 mile
Other than Twin Peaks, the Bernal Height Summit also offers you a great panoramic view of the city. At the top of the height, you will have a 360-degree caption of San Francisco in all its glory. The Bernal Heights Summit is seen as Twin Peak's competitor and it’s entirely upon you to decide which of the two reigns supreme after you go hiking on both of them.
Bernal Height Summit is rarely crowded. If you detest hiking in crowded places, you will be at peace here. Bernal Height Summit is also preferred by people because of its proximity to a couple of shopping centers.
Average time: 2hrs
Distance: 10. 3km
If you wish to have a perfect view of deer in their natural habitat, look no further. Edgewood Park is the perfect place. Accessing this park is much easier for the people staying south of the City Proper.
The deer are the most popular wildlife in the park but you will also get to see vultures and other species of wildflowers. Hiking on the trails is even more fun as there are some raised terrains that would help you get a view of the whole park.
This is an ideal hike for beginners.
One of the advantages of living in San Francisco or close to San Francisco is that there are a lot of attractive sites to explore. The seven hikes discussed above are just a taste of what the city has to offer. Don’t be afraid to branch out and discover other gems on your own.
Always planning your next outdoor adventure? Check out our roundup of the 6 best places to camp in the USA.
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