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The Best Hikes In the Bay Area

Autumn is here which can only mean one thing. No, it’s not just a time to welcome pumpkin spice, scarves, boots, and cozy blankets. Fall is one of the best times of the year to enjoy the perfect temperate Bay Area climate before familiar fog and rain of winter come around again. Whether you are an early riser looking for the perfect sunrise hike or down for a late afternoon hike, these hikes can offer a great adventure for anyone.

East Bay

Big C

Picture Credit: @lowishigh

The Big “C” Hike

Close to UC Berkeley, this hiking trail holds a special place in my heart as a recent Cal grad (Go Bears!) Why is it called the Big C? Well, there is a literal giant yellow “C” on the side of a hill at the end of the trail. While it isn’t the most intense hike, it is perfect for those new to the hiking lifestyle and gives one a clear end in sight. Not to mention it offers some of the best views of the Bay Area. Don’t worry about snapping the perfect Instagram shot because trust me, everyone else is doing it too.


Redwood Park

Picture Credit: Casey Horner

Redwood Regional Park

If you want to stick around the Oakland area, The Redwood National Park is the place to go. This is a great spot for a leisurely hike and those looking to challenge themselves. All the paths interconnect which allows you to create your own hiking path, making it a great option for groups with varying hiking skills. I find personal joy in seeing the early morning sunrise shine between the tall trees. Oh, don’t forget to bring your energetic dog too—they are pet-friendly.

North Bay

Cataract Falls

Picture Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Cataract Falls

As I start to explore the North Bay as my new home, I had to see this hike for myself. This two-mile hike does offer a bit of a challenge for a newbie like me but the end result is absolutely stunning and emotionally refreshing. There is nothing I love more than watching a waterfall while catching my breath from an intense hike.

 Samuel P. Taylor State Park

Picture Credit: Martha Bergmann

Samuel P. Taylor State Park

This is a new area for me but this hike didn’t disappoint. If you are looking to hike by yourself and reflect as you walk the various trails, this spot is for you. If you do your homework, you can make the trail as easy or as difficult as you want. There are plenty of small areas where you can rest and take in the scenery.

San Francisco

San Francisco

Picture Credit: Oscar Nilsson

Lands End

Lands End is one of the most beautiful hikes in the city. It is an easy level and you can enjoy great views of the ocean, wander around Sutro Baths or enjoy a moving meditation in the rock labyrinth. If you are visiting San Francisco, this is one of the most historic hikes.

By: Jazmine Velasquez

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