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Many of these hidden hiking gems, Huber continues, can be found right in your backyard. "Thousands of people living in the ...
Many of these hidden hiking gems, Huber continues, can be found right in your backyard. "Thousands of people living in the foothills of Mount Tamalpais, for example, can literally walk from their front doors all the way to the top of the mountain if they like."
Huber finds the 60 best hiking spots within roughly an hour's drive from central San Francisco. By keeping its focus on the immediately local area, this new edition highlights even more of the lesser known hiking parks and open-space preserves -- especially those surrounding the Bay Area's most densely packed cities of San Jose, San Francisco, and Oakland -- while still including major tourism draws, making it perfect for city natives and visitors alike.
Length: 2.8 miles
Exposure: Mix of shade and sun
Trail Surface: Dirt fire road and trail with many steps
Hiking Time: 2 hours SEaSoN: Good anytime aCCESS: Free
Maps: trail map (under glass) at the trailhead’s information signboard and at the website in Contacts, below. The Walker’s Map of San Francisco, pub- lished by Pease Press, shows all trails in the area ($7.95; peasepress.com).
Facilities: restrooms, water, and food at the visitor center
Special Comments: Dogs welcome if leashed or under voice control. Be mindful of the additional dog regulations posted along the trails.
Contacts: 415-426-5240, parksconservancy.org/visit /park-sites/lands-end.html
Driving Distance: 5.5 miles from the San Francisco Civic Center
Lands End is a rugged bit of coastline in the northwest corner of San Francisco, around the bend from the historic Cliff House and the flat expanse of Ocean Beach. Locals come here to jog or walk the trails, while tourists enjoy the views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Coastal Trail is the “main street” at Lands End, popular with local runners, dog-walkers, stroller-pushing parents, and folks from out of town. Camino del Mar Trail runs along the bluff above Coastal Trail, departing from the War Memorial parking lot and ending near the Palace of the Legion of Honor. You can make a loop of both trails, but I don’t recommend it, as this loop entails walking down the middle of a street dedicated to museum parking as well as a sidewalk past the museum and golf course.
In addition to trekking out and back on Coastal Trail, hikers can explore spur paths leading to the Sutro Bath ruins and Lands End proper. Veteran hikers will likely find Coastal Trail lovely but tame. The round trip to Eagle’s Point is less than 3 miles, and the elevation change (albeit for two sets of steps) is slight. It's a good choice for beginners because it’s an out-and-back hike—simply head back to the trailhead when you’ve had enough.
Lands End is in northwest San Francisco. Drive west on Geary Boulevard, which, past 39th avenue westbound, becomes Point Lobos avenue. Continue west on Point Lobos, cross 48th avenue, and turn right into the parking lot, on the right side of the street—if you reach the Cliff house, you’ve gone too far.
Posted June 4, 2014
Posted June 3, 2014