Here's to less fog, longer days, and our favorite Bay Area hikes for the new season.
Watch the Sunset Above the Clouds on Mt. Tam
At 2,570 feet, the East Peak is the tallest point on Mount Tam — and, naturally, the best spot for watching the sunset. You can hike or bike the entire way up, but for a quicker trip — and one where you don't need to worry too much about struggling back down in the dark afterward — try out the combination of the Verna Dunshee Loop and the Plankwalk Trail. After taking in views of Marin, San Francisco, and the East Bay along the half-mile loop, head up the quarter mile trail to the summit. Learn more.
Insider Tip: Looking for a place to eat before or afterward? Grab a burger at the Mountain Home Inn.
Hike to a 40-Foot Waterfall
You've probably heard lots of talk about this 8.4-mile out-and-back trail, and with good reason — how many places can you hike right up to a 40-foot waterfall cascading down onto the beach and into the Pacific? Starting at the Palomarin trailhead, you'll soon find yourself walking along with coast with views of the ocean. Once you reach the coast, take your time walking down — the trail can be steep and gravelly — but once you reach the beach, it'll all be worth it. Learn more.
Insider Tip: Hot day? Cool down on the hike back with a dip in Bass Lake.
Check out the Wildflowers in Point Reyes
One of the most recognizable landmarks on the Point Reyes National Seashore, Chimney Rock is also one of the Bay's best spots to see some spectacular wildflowers. Even on weekdays, the 1.8-mile out-and-back trail can get crowded, so head there early with your camera in hand to see some amazing views not only of cliffs dropping down into the Pacific, but of goldenfields, blue-eyed grass, and mule-ear sunflowers. Learn more.
Insider Tip: Lucky for you, it's still grey whale migration seasons. Bring a pair of binoculars and watch them swimming along the coast.
Explore Whaler's Cove in Point Lobos State Reserve
A gem along the California Coast, Point Lobos State Reserve is located just south of Monterey along Highway 1. Explore the lush forests and coastal views around Whaler's Cove, a protected inlet that's perfect for a little solitude while watching the sunset. Learn more.
Insider Tip: Make a day of checking out the Monterey area and visit the sea otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Believe us — it's not just for kids.
Hike the Marin Trifecta: Matt Davis, Dipsea, and Steep Ravine
If you're looking for an adventure that combines three of the quintessential Marin hikes, look no farther than this 7.5-mile loop that gives you waterfalls, redwoods, and open meadows along the Matt Davis Trail, the Dipsea Trail, and dips down to coastal Steep Ravine. Over the course of three or four hours of hiking, you'll get a great workout with 1,600 feet in elevation gain — not to mention views of Point Reyes, the Pacific, waterfalls, and wildflowers. Learn more.
Insider Tip: Be sure to take the classic Steep Ravine photo once you reach the particularly steep part of the trail's wooden ladder.