Sure, you love the city — but don’t you want to leave the urban bustle behind once in a while? Moving to San Francisco doesn’t mean that you have to give up your love of inspirational views or afternoon hikes. Countless well- (and less!) traveled paths are within a walk or short drive of your home at 1751 Market Street. The Bay Area is woven through with hiking trails that offer all-year opportunities for exploration. So, what are you waiting for? If you’re craving a weekend adventure but aren’t sure where to go, try one of the hiking hotspots listed below!
A good time is on your horizon — as is that perfect, Instagrammable view.
Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve
Of all the spots you thought we’d recommend, “a volcano” was probably at the bottom of the list. But don’t judge too quickly! The Robert Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve is worth a few hours of your time. The park is located in the East Bay Regional Parks District and encompasses 928 acres of green space. It hosts four different trails, most of which are open year-round and welcome dogs. Visitors are encouraged to take a self-guided volcanic tour — don’t worry, it’s safe!
Sibley is also loved for its peaceful atmosphere. “Sibley is great because you get a million miles away from everything real quick,” regular hiker Susan Schroder told Oakland North in an article on the preserve.
Traditional hiking paths aren’t the only attraction that Sibley has to offer, however. The preserve sports at least two human-made labyrinths. The first and most popular is known as the Mazzariello Labyrinth and is named after its preceptor, East Bay local Helena Mazzariello. Since its construction in 1990, the labyrinth has served as a place for prayer, reflection, and meditation for hikers of all creeds.
Regardless of why you come to visit, one point is for sure — Sibley isn’t a place to miss!
The Robert Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve is open November through February from 7 AM to 6 PM, and from 7 AM to 10 PM March through October.
Pillar Point Bluff
If you’ve been searching for breathtaking views, look no further than Pillar Point Bluff. Before the 220-acre bluff top was turned into a nature preserve and marine protected area, it was used for livestock grazing. Today, however, it serves as a haven for hikers, dog-walkers, bicyclists, and joggers. The preserve encompasses several attractions, including the Jean Lauer Trail, a 0.7-mile path that meanders the furthest points of the bluff, and Ross’s Cove, a beach just below the cliff. Standing atop the bluff’s highest point, visitors enjoy incredible views of the Maverick surf break, the harbor, and surrounding agricultural fields.
Take note when you go — while leashed dogs are welcome on the trails above the beach, they are not permitted on the beach.
Okay, okay, we get it — you aren’t in the mood for an out-of-city adventure. That’s fine! There are plenty of scenic hikes available within San Francisco’s urban landscape. Try taking the Filbert Steps up Telegraph Hill if you’re in the mood for a local adventure. This half-mile loop trail is available year-round and offers many scenic views. Hikers on the trail can admire Coit Tower, and enjoy the picturesque local cottages and gardens dotted along the stairs’ path. If you don’t mind a detour, you can even check out the Grace Marchant Garden — a colorful public space that boasts lovely flowers and a peaceful atmosphere.
Here’s another fun fact — if you walk the Filbert Steps, you might even see one of Telegraph Hill’s wild parrots.
As it turns out, you can have the best of both worlds. In the Bay Area, city life and peaceful exploration go hand-in-hand; you never have to go far to enjoy one or the other. Enjoy a hike this weekend!