The Best Hikes in San Francisco and Beyond

March 23, 2021

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San Francisco is an iconic city known for many things culturally, and architecturally. Of equal importance, and perhaps something we need to be reminded of is that San Francisco and the Bay Area is a hiker’s paradise. 

Among the great pleasures of hiking are exploring and discovering places, views, and nature in unexpected ways. It is a mini vacation. And if you live in San Francisco it is all in your backyard.

Here is our top five list of some of our favorite outings in and around the city we love. 

1) Twin Peaks. Twin peaks is a crossroads of the Haight, Cole Valley and other classic 
neighborhoods, and offers easy access to Glen Park, Noe Valley and the Sunset. You can’t miss with this one. The views are stunning, it is easily accessible via MUNI, and you can pack a lunch and soak in living in San Francisco. Go. 

2) Lyon Street Steps and the Presidio. The Lyon street steps parallel the Presidio and are a great hiker’s workout. Many locals use the steps as an alternative to the gym and climb for exercise. If you venture into the Presidio you find a plethora of restaurants like the Presidio Social Club, the Warming Hut, and additionally a bowling alley and the Walt Disney Museum. This is an often overlooked adventure for locals, and worth checking out. 
Keep on your journey into the Presidio and you will discover wooded trails, redwoods, and breathtaking views of the Marin headlands, the bay, the pacific ocean, and the Golden Gate Bridge. 

3) Mount Davidson. This hike has it all. It the highest point (927 feet) in San Francisco and offers 360 degree views of the city and in San Francisco style, iconic art at its peak, in this case a cross. This is a much overlooked, and very much worth it hike. For more info, trailheads etc. 

4) Pt. Reyes. We are venturing north now. Enough cannot be said of the stunning beauty, access, myriad trails, beach views, wildlife, and the purity of nature here. Not to mention the Elk. Every turn is breathtaking.

5) Explore. There are dozens of hikes we can recommend, and one thing we love to do is simply pick a destination and walk there. I am constantly amazed by what I discover walking through San Francisco. And there are so many hills, it qualifies as a hike! China town, China beach, Ocean Beach, the Richmond, Golden Gate Park, Lombard Street, North Beach, etc. all offer a weekend adventure of discovery. 

Here is a great website with information about the great hikes in and around San Francisco.