hikes in North Bay
The North Bay region, north of San Francisco has some of the best hiking and nature areas in the Bay Area. With lots of protected land, the North Bay offers local Bay Area residents and tourists an easy option for wonderful hiking, just over the Golden Gate Bridge. From coastal walks to forest explorations, the North Bay offers hikers easy access to great trails close to San Francisco.
These North Bay hikes are mostly easier hikes, chosen for a pleasant day out, often along the coast. The hikes are filled with expansive coastal landscapes, mountains and steep ravines. The hikes range from basically flat to over 427m elevation gain in just a few miles, so there is a hike for everyone from beginner to experienced. Each hike has a variety of wild life if you know where to look!
- Hill 88 Loop (8.6km, 400m, 2.5-4h): The Hill 88 Loop is an excellent choice for dog lovers who wish to take their four-legged friends on hiking adventures near the beach! This can become quite a busy trail so try to get to it earlier or later in the day!
- Salt Point Trail (4.9km, 29m, 1-2h):Salt Point Trail is a great way to see the untouched coastline and experience the serenity of the quiet coast with very little elevation change. This hike is narrow at times but reveals great views throughout.
- Kirby Cove (4.4km, 142m, 1.5-3h): Kirby Cove trail is highly traveled by tourists, but has some of the best views in the Bay Area of the Golden Gate Bridge. It also has a rocky shore beach at the halfway point that is an excellent spot to take a picnic break on your hike.
- Tomales Point Trail, Marin County (15.4km, 309m, 4-6 h): Tomales Point Trail is located in the Point Reyes National Seashore, sandwiched between Tomales Bay and the Pacific Ocean. This hike is a unique experience with it being a Tule Elk Preserve, although it is often quite foggy, so you will have to pick the right day!
- Abbotts Lagoon Trail (5.1km, 17m, 1.5-2 h):Abbotts Lagoon Trail is a fantastic nature walk for bird lovers and beach enthusiasts alike! After walking a flat trail, you can continue to walk along the pristine beach for as far as you’d like.
- Mt. Tamalpais Pantoll Loop (8.4km, 441m, 2-4 h): Mt. Tamalpais Pantoll Loop takes you through old growth redwood groves, windy trails following the creek, a few mini waterfalls, many species of ferns, and lots of gorgeous views. This hike often has lots of banana slugs hiding in the shade along the trail.
- China Camp Loop (16.0km, 410m, 4-6 h): China Camp Loop has a gradual elevation gain and then steep loss at the end. This hike offers many great views of all of the surrounding areas including the San Rafael/Richmond Bridge.
- Shollenberger Park (6.9km, 13m, 1.5-2.5h): Shollenberger Park is great for people who want to get out in nature but don’t have the time to venture out to a coastal hike. This hike is abundant in bird species and natural waterways which all contribute to the peaceful ambiance of the park.
- Olompali State Historical Park Loop (4.9km, 165m, 1-2.5h): Olompali State Historical Park Loop is a short and sweet North Bay hike to get a taste of the plants and animals that are in the area. Many facts can be learned by exploring all areas of the park including the self guided interpretive signs which tell stories of the indigenous people who used to live in the area.
- Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve (3.4km, 67m, 1-1.5h):Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve hike is full of rhododendrons in bloom if you go at the right time of year. There are typically lots of mushrooms and fungus growing on the downed trees in the preserve. If you are someone who is excited about botanical diversity this hike is amazing!
The best hikes in North Bay
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