Panoramic view of one of the best hikes in North Bay of San Francisco, California
Best hikes in North Bay of San Francisco, California

hikes in North Bay

Region in California
North Bay Trail Map

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 1400ft 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!

THE TOP 10 HIKES IN NORTH BAY

  1. Hill 88 Loop (5.3mi, 1312ft, 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!
  2. Salt Point Trail (3.0mi, 95ft, 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.
  3. Kirby Cove (2.7mi, 466ft, 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.
  4. Tomales Point Trail, Marin County (9.6mi, 1014ft, 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!
  5. Abbotts Lagoon Trail (3.2mi, 56ft, 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.
  6. Mt. Tamalpais Pantoll Loop (5.2mi, 1447ft, 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.
  7. China Camp Loop (9.9mi, 1345ft, 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.
  8. Shollenberger Park (4.3mi, 43ft, 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.
  9. Olompali State Historical Park Loop (3.0mi, 541ft, 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.
  10. Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve (2.1mi, 220ft, 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!
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The best hikes in North Bay

Scenery from Hill 88 Loop hike in North Bay of San Francisco, California

01. Hill 88 Loop
Difficulty

5.3mi 1,325ft 2.5-4h

Hill 88 Loop, located in the Golden Gate Recreation Area in Marin County, is an… Read More

User Rating

9Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Salt Point Trail hike in North Bay of San Francisco, California

02. Salt Point Trail
Difficulty

3.0mi 69ft 1-2h

The Salt Point Trail a great way to experience the serenity of the untouched coastline… Read More

User Rating

9.2Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Scenery on Kirby Cove hike in North Bay of San Francisco, California

03. Kirby Cove
Difficulty

2.7mi 466ft 1.5-3h

The Kirby Cove trail is highly traveled by tourists and for good reason. This hike… Read More

User Rating

8.7Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Tomales Point hike in North Bay of San Francisco, California

04. Tomales Point Trail, Marin County
Difficulty

9.6mi 1,014ft 4-6h

The Tomales Point hike is located in the Point Reyes National Seashore, sandwiched between Tomales… Read More

User Rating

9Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Hiking the Abbotts Lagoon near San Francisco

05. Abbotts Lagoon Trail
Difficulty

3.2mi 56ft 1.5-2h

Abbotts Lagoon Trail is a fantastic nature walk for bird lovers and beach enthusiasts! After… Read More

User Rating

9.7Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Views of Mt. Tamalpais Pantoll Loop hike in North Bay of San Francisco, California

06. Mt. Tamalpais Pantoll Loop
Difficulty

5.7mi 1,447ft 2-4

The Mt Tamalpais Pantoll Loop hike takes you through old growth redwood groves, windy trails… Read More

User Rating

9Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
China Camp Loop trail in North Bay area

07. China Camp Loop
Difficulty

10.4mi 1,345ft 4-6h

The China Camp Loop hike offers many great views of all of the surrounding areas… Read More

User Rating

9Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Shollenberger Park hike near San Francisco

08. Shollenberger Park
Difficulty

4.3mi 43ft 1.5-2.5h

A walk in Shollenberger Park is great for people who want to get out in… Read More

User Rating

10Overall Rating Technical Difficulty
Olompali State Historical Park Loop hike in North Bay of San Francisco, California

09. Olompali State Historical Park Loop
Difficulty

3.3mi 541ft 1-2.5

The Olompali State Park Loop is a short and sweet way to get a taste… Read More

User Rating

9.3Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Scenery of Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve hike in North Bay of San Francisco, California

10. Kruse Rhododendron State Natural Reserve
Difficulty

2.1mi 220ft 1-1.5h

A hike at Kruse Rhododendron State National Reserve is full of rhododendrons in bloom if… Read More

User Rating

8.3Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

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