Where To Go Hiking in San Francisco
San Francisco is known for its legendary hills. This beautiful terrain makes for some amazing hiking trails and views. Many people who live in San Francisco are the outdoorsy type, always looking for a new adventure and yearning to be outside. The year round mild temperature of the city offers the perfect temperature for hiking. If you’re looking for the best places to go hiking in San Francisco, then look no further! Here are the best hiking trails in San Francisco, California.
Arguably one of the most famous places in San Francisco, at 925 feet up, Twin Peaks offers the most amazing 360-degree views of the city since it is located near the geographic center of San Francisco. The North Peak is called Eureka Peak and the South Peak is known as Noe Peak. Atop the peaks the area is undeveloped and owned by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, offering a completely natural environment to soak in the incredible views. This preserved area is home to many natural resources and wildlife, including the endangered Mission blue butterfly. The official entrance to the stairway leading to Twin Peaks is on Crestline Drive.
Over 40 hills make up the city of San Francisco and Mount Davidson is the tallest natural point in the city. This easy hike is only .44-miles long. At the crest of the hills sits a 103-foot concrete cross, which marks the site of a yearly prayer service, performed on Easter. There are two routes that you can choose to get you to the top- an exposed route or a eucalyptus-covered route. When you get to the top of this hike you will be impressed with the amazing views of downtown San Francisco.
At 3.5 miles round-trip, Lands End is a legitimate workout no matter which path you take. The most popular trail is the Coastal Trail, which is handicap-accessible until the Mile Rock overlook and bike accessible until the Eagles Point steps. To get a harder workout, though, follow the signs for Mile Rock Beach where you can check out the Eagle Point Labyrinth. This hike follows the shoreline at the mouth of the Golden Gate. Mile Rock Point and Mile Rock beach offer incredible views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Lands End also contains ruins of the Sutro Baths and views of numerous shipwrecks that are visible during low tide from the Coastal Trail and Mile Rock.
This 2.7 mile loop is located in the second largest park in San Francisco. It is a bit out of the way from downtown but it’s worth the trip! Philosopher’s Way is a well marked trail that is filled with informational stations along the way. You can read quotations, history factlets, and other information about the park. At the top of the park there is an 80 foot blue water tower that marks the point of amazing views of downtown San Francisco and, on a clear day, views all the way to San Bruno.
Even though this hike is short, it’s only .7 miles each way, it is still a workout because of the large number of stairs. The Batteries to Bluffs hike offers incredible views of the Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Marin Headlands. Along the trail you can also learn the history of the gun batteries that you pass along the way.
The terrain and beauty of San Francisco offers the perfect hiking trails. While there are many other places in the city to go hiking as well, if you want to venture outside of the city there’s also an abundance of other hikes, like ones through giant Sequoia trees and through waterfalls.