The Best Hikes in Bay Area

453 Triplog Reviews in the Bay Area
Most recent of 103 deeper Triplog Reviews
10.09 mi • 1,527 ft aeg
I started pretty late in the day because I wanted this to be a sunset hike. This turned out to be a wonderful idea not just because of how amazing it is to catch the sunset at Point Reyes but also because by the time I started, nearly everybody was headed back to the trailhead. I'd originally intended to be back at the historic barns at the trailhead by sunset to get some photos but since there was nobody out at Tomales Point by the time I got there, I took a long break and watched the world go by for a while. As always, it was windy but it was warm enough that it was perfect for hiking.

Wildflowers
Everything was in bloom or about to bloom. The poppies were some of the biggest I've ever seen
8.98 mi • 1,749 ft aeg
Pretty darn good hike today. It was cloudy and kinda dark the entire time, but the weather was perfect for hiking. It wasn't perfect for photography, but whatever. I did this with my brother Bob and some Patriots fan.

We started from the parking lot just south of the big parking area in some fog drip. Nothing major, and it went away quickly. We went down the Lost Trail to Fern Creek. Fern Creek Trail was nice with all of the water in the creek, and that was a precursor to some nice waterfall action later on.

Bootjack up to Van Wyck Meadow is a bit of a slog, but it was stunningly beautiful today due to the waterfall action. However, it also has an aggressive grade that really made us work for it. Always good to do. The trail didn't do what I expected it to do after the meadow, and we ended up taking the TCC Trail to Pantoll. It was longer than we had planned on, but totally worth it because the views were really cool.

Old Stage Road from Pantoll to West Point Inn is always a treat with its views of much of the Bay Area, serpentine geology and Sargent cypress. We saw a pair of ravens there which was a treat because I hadn't seen any for a while.

The rest of the hike back was uneventful if incredibly scenic. There were a number of small waterfalls all along Old Railroad Grade.
4.6 mi • 710 ft aeg
It was a beautiful day for a short hike in Salt Point State Park. This hike has some cardio, scenery and curiosity factory. The latter due to the pygmy forest caused by the hardpan underneath a thin layer of highly acidic soil. The scenery is courtesy of a large meadow in the flat top of the high ridge between the coast and the South Fork Gualala River. The cardio is all enjoyed relatively early in the hike as the trail steeply ascends east from the parking area. Lots of mushroom foragers out that day.
6.39 mi • 1,511 ft aeg
This hike was remarkable on a few fronts. Cataract Falls were at their best, but there were a lot of people. A ridiculous amount of people. Cataract Falls isn't a huge waterfall in one place like Havasu Falls, but is a series of smaller falls that sometimes fall from a large height, and sometimes cascade over rocks over about 1,000' as the crow flies. The trail along the falls is about a mile, and it's a healthy workout with lots of stair steps.
It has been raining the last few weeks in Northern California, and this forest was very wet. This is one of the wettest spots in the greater Bay Area. This made it all the more puzzling why we didn't see a Pacific banana slug until we returned to the car which was parked right at the trail head even though it was slammed that day. Lucky.
10.3 mi • 2,350 ft aeg
Jumping Jehosophat! This was an incredible hike due to the fact that it snowed the day before. I had planned on hiking that day, and I quickly decided on this old standby when I saw all of the blue on the weather radar. I went with my cousin and his wife, and we weren't disappointed. We walked on snow for about 70% of the hike, and the top had about a foot. The rime ice falling from one of the towers on North Peak was spectacular. The hike up was on snow after the initial 3/4 mile stretch through the trees, and the hike down was snow-free for the last 2.2 miles. The stretch from mile 7.8 to 9.4 was snow free on the way down despite being covered in the white goodness on the way up. We saw a few people on the way up and at the top, but the crowds really came out on our way down. If they had only gotten in gear a little earlier. I got to park at the actual trail head for the first time which was cool.

I also want to recognize the brave firefighters and their families for putting so much on the line to fight the Tubbs Fire. The Tubbs Fire started around 9:45 PM on October 8, 2017 just north of Calistoga, CA. Calistoga (the place where the fizzy water you may have enjoyed comes from) is at the northern end of Napa Valley. The Tubbs Fire spread downhill due to Diablo Winds (same thing as Santa Ana Winds, but NorCal style), and crossed US Hwy. 101 around 2 a.m. on the 9th.

I've always gotten a kick about seeing the sugar pines near the top of Mount Saint Helena because they seem like a relict of the Pleistocene Age. They also have the longest cones of any pine tree on earth. I remember worrying about these trees when I read about the horrifying Tubbs Fire on the morning of October 9th, and hoped that the smoke I was choking on didn't include the combusted remains of sugar pine! Luckily these wonderful trees made it through unscathed. I don't know if it was because the firefighters made a stand or divine intervention. Perhaps those are the same thing. I'd like to think so.
8.63 mi • 1,725 ft aeg
I just wanted a medium grade hike away from home, and Mount Tam did the job again. The trails weren't as crowded as they were the last time I was there, probably because conditions were not ideal as they quite often are. I saw a bunch of ravens for the first time in a while which was cool. I also saw a lot of dark eyed juncos rooting about in the underbrush.

Today was not a blue bird day, but it was still a nice day for a hike. The weather was overcast with lots of haze in the air. Nights have been cold recently so people have been having fires, and there hasn't been any rain or much of onshore breeze so we're basically doing our best impression of Southern California. Luckily a lot of the haze is just water vapor.
6.85 mi • 1,719 ft aeg
I always enjoy this loop because it has such nice scenery, and is a great workout. I wanted to hike on Mount Tam on another bluebird Saturday, but that general vicinity is even more nuts than normal during Fleet Week. It was warm on the way down, and even warmer on the way back up so I got a serious sweat going. The views were great, and the sky was blue so all in all it was a pretty good day for a hike.
The Blue Angels flew right over me on I-880 (one of the lamest freeways on earth) on their way to land at Oakland Int'l on the way home which was awesome.
11.52 mi • 2,551 ft aeg
hiking_arizona reached out to me to see about recommendations for hikes in the Bay Area, and we ended up doing this gem today. Butano never disappoints, and I'm glad to have met and hiked with hiking_arizona. The weather today was marvelous, and we only saw 10 other people. I'm sure Big Basin was packed to the gills with hikers today, but Butano never seems busy.

Wildflowers
Lots of blue dicks and redwood sorrel out.
1.94 mi • 136 ft aeg
Main Trail - Hillside Trail Loop
As mentioned on the page description, parking was difficult. We lucked out and got a spot by the visitor center. Plenty of tourists, but even so, Muir Woods was beautiful to walk through. The main trail follows a small creek, with plenty of giant Redwood trees throughout the hike. It is truly awe-inspiring and I would love to hike through a more natural giant redwood area rather than boardwalks and well manicured large trails. I will have to go back when I'm in the area for a longer hike.
11.24 mi • 2,558 ft aeg
Another beautiful day for a hike on Mount Tam. My cousin was in town from Atlanta for another cousin's wedding, and a hike through Muir Woods then to the top of Mount Tamalpais seemed like the right thing to do. The conditions were as nice as they ever get, and there weren't too many people except for in Muir Woods Nat'l Monument near the visitor center. A better way to do this would be to bag the visitor center, and head down the longer way from the east side of the peak. The way down the south side of the peak is short, but painfully steep.

Wildflowers
Very few poppies, but quite a bit of everything else. I'll learn these California wildflowers one of these years.
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