Question

What's the best place for a hike in San Francisco?

Location

City: San Francisco

State: California

Country: United States

Answers

Ok, you can actually have very enjoyable hiking experience in Golden Gate Park going from Stanyon Street to Ocean Beach and back. Lots to see and some trails are very pretty, visit the Arboretum, and the Windmills . Also San Francisco can be 'hiked' for an 'urban hiking experience', traveling from the Ferry Building to Ocean Beach (about 3 miles+)...phenomonally interesting with some side attractions like China Town, Macandray Street, North Beach, Nob Hill, Japan Town, Golden Gate Park, check with others about some areas to avoid. But if I were to plan a hike in natural surroundings I would go across the Golden Gate Bridge to Mill Valley and hike on Mt. Tamalpais...truly spectacular with views of the ocean and the bay as well as some 'remote' trails....absolutely a must-do. Be sure to get a trail map for Mount Tamalpais State Park at a bookstore or a hiking specialy shop. Mountain Bikers are usually very friendly and eager to help if needed...this is the birthplace of mountain biking and there are also trails where Mountain Biking is prohibited.
Tennessee Valley is a great choice just north across the Golden Gate Bridge. Or, just south of the city, San Bruno Mountain gives you a great view of the city. For something more challenging, with big ocean views, try Montara Mountain near Pacifica.
Marin has a great hike to a beer garden among a forest. Look up tourist club in Marin. Only open a few days a month to the public so check their website first. It also has the hike routes.
Hiking within the city is primarily in Golden Gate Park, but it all depends on what type of hike you are looking for...you could also take a long walk/hike along Ocean Beach and try exploring the Sutro Baths. There is a really nice canyon park in Glen Park. The canyon is quite beautiful and full of wild blackberries and it offers a decent hike. You can get to Glen Park on BART and the park is a short walk from the station up Bosworth St.
In addition to what everyone else has said, you can also hike Mount Diablo, which is near Walnut Creek.
Since no one else has mentioned it, Muir Woods across the bay in Marin County has amazing hiking. I used to take my kids there, and visitors there. There is a little gift shop where you can buy books written by John Muir. If you have never read his writing, it is inspirational, and great campfire reading. I agree as to Mount Tamalpais. I grew up in Marin County, hiking the local hills and exploring the watershed. There are some amazing places there. San Francisco is a glorious city, but for hiking, cross the Golden Gate Bridge and explore Marin.

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