San Francisco's Indian Summer is coming to an end, but that doesn't mean it's time to head indoors. We are now entering the 9 week holiday stretch, which typically means an increase in our calories. Remember all that Halloween candy you didn't give out to kids? Standing in line for those pumpkin spice lattes, and you go for the pumpkin pie bar as well? All those Christmas cookies being brought into work? What better way to burn off some extra calories before your holiday feasts than to hike in the gorgeous Bay Area? Since it doesn't get really wet until January, take these next couple of months to get outside and explore the area! Take advantage of the sun while you can and go on a beautiful hike recommended by DIAKADI's top notch trainers.
Matt Davis Steep Ravine-Dipsea Loop, Marin County
"This is a great hike with beautiful views of the ocean, redwoods, Mount Tamalpais, a waterfall, and Stinson Beach. It is steep at points, even going up a small wooden ladder, but it's not super hard. I highly recommend checking this place before the rainy season comes!" - Sean O' Brien
Just a short drive across the Golden Gate on the hills of Mount Tamalpais (Mt. Tam), one of our favorite hikes is located on the hills with views of Stinson Beach. This hike begins with a densely wooded steep climb up the backside of Mt. Tam. Scattered with waterfalls, gorgeous ocean vistas, and the greenest ferns you have ever seen, the variety of nature on this hike will surely leave a lasting impression. Once the trail flattens out you find yourself winding around rolling green hills with stunning views of Stinson Beach: the perfect place to sit and picnic. Make your way to the Pan Toll Ranger Station for a bathroom break and water refill, then continue down the Steep Ravine trail where there is no shortage of old growth redwoods and rushing waterfalls (seasonal). Lastly, Steep Ravine flattens out and opens up to the Dipsea Trail where you can stretch your legs for a nice run down the final mile of your hike while catching an endless breathtaking view of Stinson Beach. Once you are done, you can take those shoes off and dip your feet in the cool ocean water while watching the sunset!
Distance: 7.3 miles // Difficulty: Moderate // Directions
Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve, San Mateo County
"There are beautiful redwoods, a nice creek, and great views of the ocean. You will often see some wildlife out there. It is also far enough out that it stays pretty quiet and not-crowded, yet close enough that you can get there without too much difficulty. This hike is a bit of a hidden gem in my book." - Kaveh Gorgani
Located just south of San Francisco, outside Half Moon Bay is another one of our top hiking spots and it's not just for the trailblazer, but also for the mountain biker. The first half takes you through lush redwoods where you will find no shortage of shade and banana slugs. After a steep climb, find yourself among colorful wildflowers and beautiful ocean views from the sunny ridge line. Bring a snack for a mid hike refuel, and don't forget to stretch!
Distance: 7 miles // Difficulty: Moderate // Directions
Alamere Falls Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County
"This is a beautiful hike that follows the coastal trail along the Pacific Ocean, giving you an amazing view for at least the first 4.1 miles. What makes Alamere Falls unique is that it is 1 of 2 major waterfalls in the state of California that plunge directly into the Pacific Ocean." - Alex Robinson
Number 3 on our list is Palomarin Trailhead to Alamere Falls. This hike along the pacific coast has wonderful views whether it is foggy or clear. With little elevation gain, this hike is suitable for all levels of explorer, but it isn't a walk in the park. Make your way along the ocean side trail passing beautiful Bass Lake and Pelican Lake where you can take a dip or jump off the rope swing. While hiking along the ocean side it is common to spot whales or sea lions during the right seasons. Advance to the Alamere Falls detour through thick foliage and witness the stunning rare waterfall that spills out into the Pacific, but be careful as the off trails to the falls are not maintained.
Distance: 8.3 miles // Difficulty: Moderate // Directions
Mt. Diablo State Park, Contra Costa County
"It's hard to find a more beautiful outdoor hike closer to San Francisco than Mount Diablo. Just be sure to bring lots of water, a sweat towel and be ready to work those buns and thighs! There are many trails to choose from as well as a whole host of wildlife! Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for any interesting animals." - Josh Christoper
Also known as the "Grand Loop" this hike up and around Mount Diablo is packed with some of the highest unobstructed 360 degree views from anywhere in North America. On a clear day, not only can you catch a glimpse of the Bay Area, but also the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Santa Cruz Mountains, and the Farallons. This hike also comes with a downloadable audio guide so you can listen to the words of early explorers as they witness the breathtaking beauty of the vistas for the first time. Be sure to come prepared with sunscreen and plenty of water. During the winter there can be snow on the ground as well!
Distance: 6.2 miles // Difficulty: Moderate // Directions
Rodeo Beach to Muir Beach, Marin County
"The highest point in the climb renders you a 360 degree view of the Pacific Ocean to the west, San Francisco skyline to the south east, and Bolinas and Point Reyes to the north. I always enjoy bringing my dog and she loves jumping in the water. There is also nothing better then having a bonfire at the end of your hike at muir beach!" - Andrew Speros
Another short trip across the Golden Gate Bridge is the endlessly scenic coastal trail at Muir Beach. This is an out and back trail, 11 miles each way, that will take you all the way through the Marin headlands to the Golden Gate Bridge. A better shorter option is to take the trail to Tennessee Beach and back, shortening the length to 7 miles round trip. This somewhat strenuous hike climbs and descends unforgivably along the coast. With vistas for miles and bountiful wildflower blooms during the spring this trail is definitely a must hike!
Distance: 11 miles // Difficulty: Strenuous // Directions