Hiking in Golden Gate National Parks

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hiking at Muir Woods

For many of us, hiking the sprawling and spectacular trail system at Golden Gate is how we experience the parks and encounter their many wonders. More than just a line through the woods or a swath across a bluff, trails are where we can marvel at nature, learn about culture, and understand history.

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Hikers pause to enjoy the beauty of the Bootjack Trail
activity
  • Birding
This climb up the steep slopes of Mt. Tam reveals beautiful vistas of the Bay Area and the Pacific Ocean. The redwoods of Muir Woods gradually give way to Douglas fir, bay laurel, and tanoak as the trail wends upward. From the Bootjack Campground, established in the early 1920s, continue...
Dias Ridge Trail
activity
  • Hikes
A great hike for a morning that starts off steep and rewards the hiker with an easy wander back to a lovely lunch at The Pelican Inn, meanwhile taking in the incredible views of Muir Beach and the ocean. A long-time favorite destination for recreation users, Dias Ridge is named...
Panoramic Trail meets the Canopy View Trail at this rock
activity
  • Birding
Skip the crowds at Muir Woods , and explore the Redwood Creek watershed from Mount Tamalpais State Park. Begin the hike at the north end of the Mountain Home Inn parking lot and head down Camp Alice Eastwood fire road. A short distance down the road, take the Troop 80...
View over Green Gulch Farm Zen Center
activity
  • Birding
Ditch the summer fog in San Francisco for the sunny peaks of our Golden Gate National Parks in Marin County. Have some fun in the sun on this moderate eight-mile hike and finish it off with a frothy pint at the local "English" inn! Along the way, you'll see newly...
Hikers pause to enjoy the beauty of the Bootjack Trail
activity
  • Hikes
Leaving from the immensely popular Muir Woods National Monument , this hike is a good example of the hikers “rule-of-halves.” This rule states that the number of hikers on a trail decreases by half every half mile. While the math may not be exact, the corollary that the density decreases...
California newt
Parks
  • Hikes
This mellow hike was a joy in spring: wildflowers everywhere, great views, no fog. We chose the hiker-only trails where we could, but bike routes cover similar ground. The views offshore on a clear day are amazing, and the highlight was seeing a pond full of California newts in a...
Tennessee Valley trail
activity
  • Hikes
Tucked in the Marin Headlands, Tennessee Valley opens a clear plain to the ocean through the scrub and grasses. A small creek cuts through the valley to a tiny beach. The Tennessee Valley trail is open to hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians. Miwok Livery Stables, located just south of the parking...
Habitat restoration volunteers work on Alta Ridge
activity
  • Hikes
Within the blissfully remote Marin Headlands , Tennessee Valley has become a prime destination spot for casual hikers, bikers, and riders. Down the valley, mountainous sentinels stand guard over a tiny idyllic beach and a sensational framed view of the Pacific. But to experience the lonesome solidarity that nature can...
Nike Missile Site
activity
  • Hikes
Starting at road's end in Tennessee Valley , the route starts towards the beach but soon picks up the Coastal Trail and ascends steeply up Wolf Ridge. Staying mostly on the high ridge back, it gives great sweeping views of the Golden Gate Recreation Area, Mt. Tamalpais , the Pacific,...
Coyote in Rodeo Valley
activity
  • Hikes
Take Golden Gate 70/80 from Civic Center in San Francisco to Marin City transfer station. A short walk through a residential neighborhood will lead you to the Pacheco Fire Road trail head. The trail begins under the cover of gorgeous eucalyptus trees, but quickly becomes exposed to the sun as...

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