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San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Fremont (California), Mill Valley

Good hiking trails in San Francisco and surrounding cities

A few friends and I will be road tripping to San Francisco in April.  We'll be staying at a place in Berkeley for two weeks.  My friends and I are very outdoorsy, so we'd like to find some nice long trails to hike.  Here are a few suggestions that we've gotten so far that we haven't really researched, so it'd be awesome to hear your experiences:

  • Muir Woods in Mill Valley
  • Twin Peaks in San Francisco
  • Mission Peak in Fremont
  • Tilden Park in Berkeley
  • Grizzly Peak in Oakland

Are these places good?  Are there any others you'd suggest?  Thanks in advance!

11 Answers

top answer by
Nikki from Berkeley

Muir Woods is great, especially if you continue past the tourist-heavy sections. In addition to Tilden Regional Park, I would recommend the Berkeley Fire Trail in Berkeley. Great views of the bay, and easily accessible (just east of campus in the hills)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Berkeley Fire Trail (attraction)
  2. Tilden Regional Park (attraction)
  3. Muir Woods (region)
10 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Tiffany from Corvallis

Muir Woods is my favorite of these and you can actually hike this entire region from here to Mount Tamalpais and even to the coast. There are over 200 miles of hiking trails all connected here, with variety from hills with incredible views to the darker wood areas. Truly beautiful. You could easily camp and spend your entire two weeks here. :)

More info:

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Mount Tamalpais (attraction)
  2. Muir Woods (region)
6 thankscomments (1)

answered by

I would add Briones Regional Park, Reliez Valley in Contra Costa County.

Also, note the Grizzly Peak is a road, not a trail (

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Briones Regional Park, Reliez Valley (attraction)
5 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Jasmine from Cupertino

This site ( has a ton of resources on, well, Bay Area hikes.  My faves over the years has been the 7.5 mile Coast Trail from Palomarin Trailhead to Alamere Falls in  Point Reyes National Seashore.  It's rained a bit this weekend, so hopefully the waterfall is gushing.   Portola Redwoods State Park offers a fun 7.4 mile hike with lots of interesting things to see.  Plenty around Half Moon Bay - the most difficult choice you have is how to narrow down the hikes you're going to fit into your stay.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Palomarin Trailhead (attraction)
  2. Point Reyes National Seashore (attraction)
  3. Portola Redwoods State Park (attraction)
  4. Half Moon Bay (city)
  5. Alamere Falls (attraction)
4 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Risa from San Francisco

Yes! I agree with all of the above! They are my first choices. Also fun: pick up the Staircases of San Francisco book for a fun adventure. A huge variety of neighborhoods, fabulous views, and lots of good clean cheap exhausting fun! There is also a map of staircases in Berkeley. Check out local book stores.

3 thankscomments (1)

answered by

Muir Woods is spectacular but a bit of a zoo. If you go, get there VERY early (as in, as soon as it opens) to beat the crowd. Or come very late in the afternoon. You can also start in Muir Woods and then go out onto some other trails that branch off from there. The best views are if you go all the over the Dipsea Trail and down to Stinson Beach on the other side. A bit more of  a hike and you'll have to park cars on either end. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Stinson Beach (city)
  2. Dipsea Trail (attraction)
  3. Muir Woods (region)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
John from Walnut Creek


Tilden Regional Park

You could do 20 miles by trail, going around the whole park. Inspiration point, trains you could ride on, lake to swim in, views on both side of the ridges, UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens, a carousel, and a golf course.

Mission Peak Regional Preserve

It's better to go up the backside, it is longer and away from the crowds, park in the upper south parking lot at Ohlone College, I think that you have to pay on weekdays, or park off pavement at the tennis courts, on the right going up the road,

Grizzly Peak Park

There are three good trails/parks off Grizzly Peak Dr. south of the SR 24/tunnel. Selby is the first one, some of the best views to the east, they all will give as many miles hiking as you want, North of the tunnel you will be very close to Tilden Park. 

Hope thats what you are looking for.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tilden Regional Park (attraction)
  2. UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens (attraction)
  3. Mission Peak Regional Preserve (attraction)
  4. Ohlone College (attraction)
  5. Grizzly Peak Park (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Cara from San Francisco

Tilden Regional Park is great for the East Bay side, also Mount Diablo State Park  if you don't mind a 30-45 min drive. My other fave is Muir Woods & Mount Tamalpais, esp the Matt Davis Trail. There's a random little German inn up there where you can stop for a picnic lunch (BYO tho, no resto/store) and enjoy the view. Another option farther south toward San Jose is Big Basin State Park -- very different climate vs East Bay & Marin, tons of huge Redwoods and deep forest. Have fun!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Tilden Regional Park (attraction)
  2. Mount Diablo State Park (attraction)
  3. Mount Tamalpais (attraction)
  4. Matt Davis Trail (attraction)
  5. Big Basin State Park (attraction)
  6. Muir Woods (region)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Debbie from South San Francisco

Fort Funston has some good trails.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Fort Funston (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Chris from San Francisco

My favorite trail south of SF is Steep Ravine Trail on Mount Tamalpais.  Park at Pantoll Campground, hike down the ravine into Stinson Beach.  Hang out on the beach for a couple of hours then hike back up. 

It's the perfect N. California day. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Mount Tamalpais (attraction)
  2. Stinson Beach (city)
  3. Pantoll Campground (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Jeff from Frisco
3 thankscomments (1)

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