San Francisco December 17, 2016
11 Picturesque Trails Around San Francisco That Are Perfect For Winter Hiking
San Francisco may be one of the greatest places to be during the wintertime—if you hate snow and freezing temperatures, that is. In fact, the mild climate is ideal for a winter hike. There are at least 11 picturesque trails around San Francisco that are perfect for this time of the year. Take a casual stroll along the coast or a mesmerizing excursion through a vast redwood forest. Please beware that visitors to any of the recommended hikes are advised to check weather and hiking conditions before heading out. As the winter rains start up, many of the Bay Area’s most popular hiking trails may be too muddy and slippery to enjoy.
During these uncertain times, please keep safety in mind and consider adding destinations to your bucket list to visit at a later date.
1. Cataract Falls Trail: 801 Panoramic Hwy, Mill Valley
Cataract Falls on Mt. Tamalpais is a Bay Area winter favorite for hiking. This stunning 2.6 mile hike features cascades, moss, mushrooms and lichens. The rain may make this one more challenging or unforgettable!
2. Batteries to Bluffs Trail: The Presidio: Battery Godfrey, San Francisco
This is a classic hike at any time, however, don't forgot your hoodie. From the Lands End Trail, marvel at the beauty of Baker Beach and then weave your way up and down the coastline. There are parts of the trail with great Golden Gate Bridge shots. Also, climb the batteries, and take in breathtaking views the whole way through.
3. Muir Woods: 1 Muir Woods Rd, Mill Valley
This hike is popular in all seasons because it is a truly one-of-a-kind spot. Muir Woods National Monument contains 6 miles of trails. These trails showcase beautiful giant redwood trees. Be prepared to be wowed.
4. Donner Canyon Waterfall: LoopRegency Drive, Regency Gate, Clayton
This waterfall loop at Mount Diablo State Park is a remote hike that is relatively easy with scenic views. Here you will find paths for hiking, running, and biking.
5. Chimney Rock Trail: Point Reyes National Seashore, 1 Bear Valley Rd, Point Reyes
Explore a 1.8 mile trail out to the bluffs on the Chimney Rock Trail in Point Reyes National Seashore. On this hike, you'll enjoy a dramatic coastline, crashing waves, and the fog rolling into the sunny inlet.
6. Land's End Trail: 680 Point Lobos Avenue, San Francisco
A must-do for any visitor or local this is by far one of the best places in San Francisco for a hike. There are miles of trails in the area, and they provide fantastic examples of coastal terrain while also letting you see the Golden Gate Bridge from many different angles. Lastly, don't miss the labyrinth hidden just beyond the Land's End Trail.
7. Tomales Point Trail: Pierce Point Rd, Inverness, 94937
An incredible hike that can't be missed, the Tomales Point Trail showcases gorgeous scenery with ocean cliffs and crashing waves, and a variety of wildlife and wildflowers along the way.
8. San Leandro Bay Regional Shoreline Hike: 1600 Neptune Dr, San Leandro
A hidden gem in the East Bay, this hike features marshland and is a great place to bring your dog.
9. Presidio Promenade Trail: Lombard Gate, San Francisco
Presidio Promenade Trail is a 4.5 mile loop trail located in San Francisco that offers historical points of interest and scenic views.
10. Robert Louis Stevenson State Park: 3801 St. Helena Hwy, Calistoga
This longer hike is mostly on a fire road, and is about 10.5 miles. The hike up to the top of Mount St. Helena in Robert Louis Stevenson State Park offers some of the best views of any hike in Northern California.
11. Steep Ravine Trail: Panoramic Hwy and Old Mine Trail, Mill Valley
Another hike on Mt. Tamalpais is the Steep Ravine Trail, which grants coastal views, and is known for its ladder. It takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to get to Stinson Beach. Bundle up for this hike because even in the summer it can be chilly.
Did we miss a Bay Area hike you enjoy doing in the winter? For more great adventures, check out these
10 Incredible Hikes Under 5 Miles Everyone Around San Francisco Should Take.