The 15 Best Hikes in San Francisco

San Francisco’s mild weather and hilly landscape make the city and the surrounding Bay Area a hiker’s paradise. Hikes that feature majestic redwoods, oceanside cliffs, and beautiful valleys are all accessible within a few hours’ drive.

If you’re planning to go for a hike, here are 15 great hiking locations for you to choose from. (Staying within the city? Visit our list of Best Date Spots in San Francisco to find great getaways right in your backyard.)

1. Twin Peaks

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Location: 501 Twin Peaks Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94114

If you want to hike through San Francisco, you can start in the center of the city with Twin Peaks. Climbing 400 feet over the simple half-mile trail will put you 925 feet above sea level. This is a great spot to enjoy a 360-degree view of the city.

You can get to Twin Peaks by riding public transportation. The Muni Metro K, L, or M trains to the Castro St. station will take you within a few blocks of the trailhead.

2. Lands’ End Trail

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Location: 680 Point Lobos Ave, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco, CA 94121

The Lands End hike is considered the most quintessential with its stunning views on the Golden Gate Bridge and its rough cliffs that drop vertically to the Pacific Ocean.

This 3.4-mile trail will take you to some of San Francisco's most memorable and historical sights, including the Sutro Baths (the remains of a mid-twentieth century pool complex), and the wrecks of old cargo ships that are visible during low tide.

3. Batteries to Bluffs

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Location: The Presidio, Langdon Court/Battery Godfrey, San Francisco, CA 94123

Not far from Lands' End is the Batteries to Bluffs Trail, on the westernmost edge of San Francisco's historic Presidio. This trail also boasts stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

This simple hike is under two miles. And while the Batteries to Bluffs Trail is the most beautiful and scenic destination in the Presidio, you'll discover a series of smaller trails and views winding their way through this area too.

4. Devil's Slide Trail

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Location: 5981 California Coastal Trl, Pacifica, CA 94044

Don't let the name fool you: The 1.3-mile Devil's Slide Trail snakes along the stunning portion of the coast just south of San Francisco.

Benches installed along the way allow you to stop and take in the sights and sounds of the Pacific Ocean. This hike is ideal for hikers and families searching for a short and relaxing hike with beachfront views.

5. Dipsea Trail

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Location: Mill Valley To Stinson Beach, Mill Valley, CA 94942

Dipsea is one of the most prominent trails in Northern California. Even though it's known for its yearly Dipsea Race — the oldest trail race in America — you don't need to be a trail sprinter to make the trip or enjoy the amazing views.

Starting from Mill Valley, head up a series of stairs that rise through a redwood forest. From there, walk around the edges and look down at the dazzling coastal valleys. If you're feeling spry, you can follow the seven-and-a-half-mile trail all the way down to Stinson Beach and reward yourself with a beachside cocktail drink.

6. Donner Creek Loop Trail

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Location: Diablo State Park, 157 Regency Dr, Clayton, CA 94517, United States

Travel 45 miles east of San Francisco and you'll find the breathtaking Mount Diablo State Park. With more than 70 trails, there's enough hiking options here to keep you occupied for many future visits.

If you're searching for a moderate day hike, Donner Creek Loop Trail is a fine choice. The trail will lead you past waterfalls that flow down from the peaks of Mount Diablo throughout a 5.1-mile loop.

7. Mount Sutro Loop

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Location: Medical Ctr Way, San Francisco, CA 94143

You can find Mount Sutro just south of Golden Gate Park and the University of San Francisco, and right in the middle of the city.

You can enter the loop from a few spots, but for the best experience, begin your hike along the Historic Trail at the intersection of 17th and Stanyan.

8. Golden Gate Bridge from Baker Beach Trail

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Location: Presidio of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA

If it's your first time visiting San Francisco, you won't want to miss a hike around the Golden Gate Bridge. You can begin the day at Baker Beach and head north toward the majestic bridge.

The 6.3-mile path is a popular destination, so to avoid crowds we recommend you check it out early in the morning.

9. French, Bridle and Stream Trail Loop

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Location: Ridge Top Rd, Canyon, CA 94516, USA

East of Oakland lies the Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park, home toward the East Bay's biggest remaining natural redwoods. There are over 50 trails for you to enjoy, but the best is the French, Bridle, and Stream Trail Loop, a 9.1-mile stretch with great views.

If you have time, pack a baguette and some wine and enjoy a French-style outing!

10. Mount Diablo

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Location: 96 Mitchell Canyon Rd, Clayton, CA 94517

If you're up for an extra challenge, you can always head to Mount Diablo State Park to begin the 13.1-mile venture up Mount Diablo on the Mitchell Canyon Trail.

Mitchell Canyon Trail meets Meridian Ridge Trail and Juniper Trail before connecting with Summit Trail, which will take you to the highest point of Mount Diablo. Get ready for some steep climbs, but at 3,849 feet, you can see the Farallon Islands and Sierra Nevada mountain range on a clear day.

11. Sawyer Camp Trail

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Location: Crystal Springs Rd & Skyline Blvd, San Mateo, CA 94401

Just head south of the city, along Interstate 280, and you'll find the Sawyer Camp Trail.

Sawyer Camp is great for beginner hikers, families, and people looking for a wheelchair-accessible outing. The trail passes by two waterways — Upper Crystal Springs Reservoir and San Andreas Lake — along the 11.3-mile trail.

12. Quarry Park Loop Trail

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Location: Santa Maria Ave, Half Moon Bay, CA 94019, USA

About 25 miles south of San Francisco, hikers can go to El Granada. From here, you can watch surfers at the famous Mavericks Beach prior to heading into the slopes on the Quarry Park Loop Trail.

The moderate hike is a four-mile loop that is most popular throughout the spring when beautiful wildflowers cover the area.

13. Candlestick Point

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Location: Jamestown Ave & Hunters Point Expy, San Francisco, CA 94124

Candlestick Point State Recreation Area is recognized as a protected area of land in the San Francisco Bay that is home to the beautiful Candlestick Point trail.

The park offers a quick retreat from the bustling city. Along the 1.6-mile climb, you'll get great views of downtown, the East Bay slopes, and San Bruno Mountain. You'll travel through a great mix of wetlands, seashores, and prairies.

14. Half Moon Bay Coastside Trail

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Location: California 94019, USA

If you're looking for a simple hike along the coast, it's difficult to top the Half Moon Bay Coastside Trail. The 7.6-mile hike runs from Pillar Point to Half Moon Bay, El Granada, and Poplar Beach.

15. Angel Island State Park

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Location: Angel Island State Park, Tiburon, CA 94920

Angel Island is considered the largest natural island located in the San Francisco Bay. It offers a hidden gem of a hiking trail near San Francisco.

The state park is only accessible via public ferry transportation or a private boat. Trails lead to the 788-foot summit of Mt. Livermore—the tallest point on the island.