Whether you are a novice or an experienced hiker, there are a number of great hiking trails in San Francisco to choose from. These trails range from easy to difficult and each of them offers something unique to the hiker.
Located in the middle of San Francisco, the 61-acre Mount Sutro reserve is a green haven for residents and visitors alike. It’s also home to some of the best San Francisco hiking trails.
Mount Sutro’s trail system includes five miles of public multi-use trails. The trails were built in the early 2000s by volunteers, and are now open for hiking. They’re the perfect way to get out of the city and get some exercise.
The Mount Sutro Loop trail is a 2.2-mile round-trip hike with several smaller trails to explore. It’s a great way to experience the wonders of San Francisco without straying too far outside the city limits.
The Philosopher’s Way trail is an easy 2.3-mile loop that is great for all skill levels. It features musing stations, beautiful wild flowers, and a variety of activities.
The Lands End trail is another great hike in San Francisco. The Lands End Lookout features an overlook with a memorial to the USS San Francisco, a visitors center, and great views of the Golden Gate and Marin Headlands.
The Lower Great Highway Trail is a moderate 3.5-mile round-trip hike that will take you along Ocean Beach. It features amazing ocean views and remnants of the Sutro Baths. This trail also provides access to Golden Gate Park and the San Francisco Zoo.
The South Ridge Trail is a great option for the ethereal cloud forest experience. The Devil’s Slide Trail is also an excellent choice for a scenic hike with views of the Pacific Ocean.
The Mount Sutro trail system will be reopened in March 2021. The reopening will make it even more accessible for San Francisco residents and visitors.
Devil’s Slide Trail
Located in Pacifica, California, the Devil’s Slide Trail offers an up-close view of coastal cliffs. It is a paved multi-use trail that traverses two distinct towering rock formations. It is perfect for all skill levels, from the beginner to the more experienced hiker.
The Devil’s Slide Trail offers a vantage point for a wide variety of marine life, including harbor seals and California sea lions. In addition, visitors can see a variety of birds, including cormorants and pelicans. There are also interpretive signs on the trail. There are three observation platforms along the trail.
This trail is open every day. There are several parking lots along the trail. There are restrooms at each parking lot.
The hike is approximately 1.3 miles long. You will find plenty of wildlife along the trail, including humpback whales. The best whale viewing is in the spring, during the whale migration. However, you can also see whales in the fall and during the winter. Blue whales are also spotted.
The trail is open to dogs on leashes. There are two small parking lots on either end of the trail. Parking is free. There are interpretive signs and benches along the trail. You can also view the Devil’s Punch Bowl, a rock formation that is tilted at a 45 to 75 degree angle.
The trail is part of a 15.4-mile loop that starts at Mount Diablo State Park. It leads to the Mount Diablo summit. You can also explore the surrounding forest. There are several trails to choose from, including the Matt Davis Loop and the Mori Point Loop.
Devil’s Slide Trail has two parking lots. There is a shuttle that picks up from Linda Mar Beach in Pacifica.
Fort Funston Trail
Whether you’re looking for a short nature walk or an epic adventure, the Fort Funston Trail offers an incredible view of San Francisco. The trail is easy enough for a novice hiker, but is challenging enough for a seasoned hiker.
The Fort Funston Trail is a dog-friendly hike. If you’re traveling with a dog, they can go off leash under voice control. They can also be off leash at the beach, but are not allowed in the sand dunes.
For a more challenging hike, try the Sand Ladder Trail. The trail is short, but it requires you to scramble up steep dunes to get to the top. You will get some great views of the SF Bay from the top of the dunes.
Another trail is the Mount Davidson Trail. This trail is not paved, but it is only half a mile. It packs a decent elevation gain and it is the highest point in San Francisco.
Another trail is the Philosopher’s Way, a 2.7 mile loop trail. This trail features 14 musing stations that highlight the interrelationships between ecology, geography, and history. The trail requires some water, and you should plan to carry plenty.
There are many hiking trails in San Francisco, and Fort Funston is no exception. The trails are mostly easy to follow, but you may have to take some extra precautions.
Another San Francisco hiking trail that is worth looking into is the Lands End trail. This trail rewards hikers with a view of the SF Bay and the Pacific Ocean.
During the summer, San Francisco’s summer recreation focuses on building resilience and celebrating natural beauty. This is a great way to get outdoors, exercise, and learn about public parks.
Candlestick Point State Recreation Area
Located on a spit of land on San Francisco Bay, Candlestick Point State Recreation Area has a 1.6-mile trail that takes visitors through a variety of beaches and wetlands. It is also home to a native plant nursery dedicated to raising 20,000 native species.
In addition to its hiking trail, the Candlestick Point SRA also boasts six new campsites that include safe water and flush toilets. The campsites are located opposite Presidio Rob Hill sites. This is the first California State Park unit to be established.
The site is also home to the Sunrise Point Native Plant Nursery, dedicated last October. It is the only one of its kind in the state. The nursery was blessed by the Ohlone Tribal Council.
Candlestick Point is also home to the Crosstown Trail, a 1.7-mile-long trail that runs across the city and connects to the 17-mile-long Golden Gate Bridge trail. The Trail also cuts through neighborhoods and open space and has been touted as one of the most scenic trails in the city.
The Bayview Jobs, Parks, and Housing Initiative, also known as Proposition G, is a ballot measure that was passed by San Francisco voters in June 2008. The measure repealed Proposition D, which had imposed a moratorium on new development in the Bayview. It also adopted a series of overarching policies for the revitalization of the Project.
The BVHP Plan, which was updated in 2006, has addressed general neighborhood issues. The BVHP also includes the new Candlestick Point Sub-Area Plan, which is separate from the overall planning effort. The plan addresses specific areas and the many functions of the Candlestick Point Sub-Area. The Plan also addresses the most effective uses of the City land in Candlestick Point.
Located 20 minutes south of San Francisco, Mori Point is a slice of nature. You can explore trails that wind along the bluffs, watch the waves crash, and experience the beautiful views of the ocean. The trails are suitable for hikers of all ages and abilities.
If you’re interested in wildlife, there are trails that are home to the California red-legged frog, a rare species that is found only in Golden Gate Park. The park is also home to the mission blue butterfly, an endangered species.
The Mori Point Loop Trail is a 2.5 mile loop trail located in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. This trail is part of National Park Drive, which provides hikers with scenic views of the Pacific Ocean and Farallon Islands. It is a moderate hike that is good for beginners. You can also take a picnic along the trail, which gives you views of the cliffs hundreds of feet above the surging surf.
The trail begins at the trailhead off Scott’s Lane. It is a flat half mile trail that climbs up to coastal bluffs before it leads you directly to the Pacific. The trail is also dog-friendly. It is a good place to watch wildflowers bloom in the spring.
Another popular trail at Mori Point is the 1.5-mile loop. This trail is easy to access through Bootlegger Steps. It is a short hike, but the trail is steep. Hikers can experience a wide variety of wildflowers and wildlife along the trail. The trail winds through overgrowth and grasslands, showcasing views of the Pacific Ocean.
The coastal trail is a popular hike with a variety of options for hikers of all abilities. The loop starts out flat, but it winds through bluffs and cliffs hundreds of feet above the ocean. It is also known for strong winds and thick fog.