5 Best Day Hikes Near San Francisco

With all the beautiful redwood forested areas combined with coastal views and steep, rocky hills, San Francisco features some of the best hiking trails around! Below is just a handful of some of the greatest day hikes in the area.

1. Berry Creek Falls Loop at Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Surrounded by magnificent redwoods and picturesque waterfalls, this hike is among the most popular in the San Francisco Bay Area. Seasoned Berry Creek Falls hikers recommend starting at the Sunset Trail and doing a counter-clockwise loop. With 100 feet of elevation spread across 10.2 miles, Berry Creek Falls is among the more challenging day hikes in the area. It can be easy to get lost so make sure to buy a trail map at the park HQ  and come prepared with layers as it can get pretty cool!

hiking at berry creek 5 best day hikes in san francisco

2. Cataract Trail Loop in Marin County

Located in deep Marin County, this 7.7 loop takes you through the picturesque mount Tamalpais Watershed area. Although hikers can hike just over a mile up to the top of the Cataract Creek Trail, the breathtaking view of the Pacific Ocean are definitely worth taking on the entire trail. The trails can be rather narrow at times and terrain can get slippery particularly near waterfalls so be careful and take it slow!

cataract creek trail 5 best day hikes near san francisco

3. Coyote Creek loop at Henry Coe State Park

Another strenuous trail, Coyote Creek Loop located at Henry Coe State Park is known for all the beautiful springtime wildflowers, which makes spring one of the best times to hike this trail. The state park is set in the countryside and features plenty of hills, ridges, canyons — it’s hard to believe it’s just an hour away from the metropolitan area! Because there are areas of tall grass, be weary of ticks.

henry coe state park hiking near san francisco

4. North Peak at Mount Diablo State Park

If you’re in the mood for long miles with lots of climbing and challenging terrain, then this is the hike for you! The hike begins in the East Bay suburb of Clayton at Mount Diablo State Park and takes you across the Mount Olympia summit and then finally to North Peak. This hike consists of patches of narrow terrain with steep, rocky slopes, which can make the descent just as difficult as the ascent. This hike can be attempted any season however the summer would probably be too hot.

north peak at mount diablo 5 best day hikes near san francisco

5.Tomales Point at Point Reyes National Seashore

Beginning next to the historic Pierce Point Ranch, the Tomales Point trail is about 10 miles of moderate ups and downs on easy to navigate trail. This trail offers scenic views of the northern California coastline however, the herds tule elk are probably the most exciting thing to see. Because the mornings can get rather foggy by the coastline, you may want to attempt this hike in the afternoon.

tomales point 5 best day hikes near san francisco

Alan Perlman
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