Bald Mountain, Vista and Meadow Trails Loop (Sugarloaf Ridge State Park)

Bald Mountain, Vista and Meadow Trails Loop (Sugarloaf Ridge State Park)

Bald Mountain, Vista and Meadow Trails Loop (Sugarloaf Ridge State Park)

Pleasant 4.5 mile loop hike from the campground at Sugarloaf Ridge State Park in Sonoma. Head up Lower Bald Mountain Trail, hang a right onto Vista Trail and then return to the campground via Meadow Trail. The last part of the walk takes you past Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Earth Venus and Mercury on the Robert Ferguson Observatory's Planet Walk. This spaces the planets proportionally distant from the observatory and if you took a right on Brushy Peaks Trail you can reach Uranus, Neptune and (don't tell anyone) Pluto, the prospect of which really makes me feel sorry for the New Horizons probe.

Hike starts at: 38.436996, -122.515446. View in Google Earth.

(Hike Map)

Twin Peaks Loop

Twin Peaks Loop

Twin Peaks Loop

Twin Peaks Loop

I have previously described Twin Peaks as not much of a hike, which is absolutely true if you drive there. When I first moved to San Francisco I lived in Noe Valley and used to cycle up to Twin Peaks and then try to get home without pedalling. For many years after that I'd take visitors up to the top and developed a somewhat weird tradition of taking each new child there soon after they were released from the hospital.

Post lockdown I'm up there most weeks. This is my five mile loop which starts heading up Ulloa from West Portal to Portola. Portola breaks the climb briefly as you pass the striking herchurch and controversial Twin Peaks gas station before heading up Twin Peaks Boulevard to the 922 foot summits. For a while Twin Peaks Boulevard was entirely closed to traffic (although you really had to keep an eye out for high speed skateboarders). Unfortunately it's now open all the way to Christmas Tree Point. Head down the north side to Clarendon and follow this all the way down to Forest Hill and then back to West Portal.

(Previously: Twin Peaks 360 4KTwin PeaksSan Francisco from Twin Peaks)

Hike starts at: 37.741879, -122.471354. View in Google Earth.

(Hike Map)

Remnants in the Sunset

Remnants in the Sunset

Remnants in the Sunset

Remnants in the Sunset

During the pandemic induced lockdowns last year we started hiking locally using random trails generated by Routeshuffle. Sometimes these were repetitive death marches along indistinguishable avenues (my kids would say 100% of the time). A few have emerged as favorites that I walk regularly and I'm going to add these to the ITHCWY hike collection.

Remnants in the Sunset is a three mile loop named for the islands of rock and dunes visited along the way. The west of San Francisco used to be all dunes and these parks are now all that remains of that original ecosystem.

Walk up 15th Avenue from Taraval to Grandview Park. Go up the steps, admire the view and then down the other side and follow 14th Avenue to Rocky Outcrop Park. This is a wind tunnel with houses on one side and cliffs on the other. Then head up to Golden Gate Heights Park and Larsen Peak at 755 feet. The return leg down Pacheco and Magellan provides views of Hawk Hill which has some unofficial trails but is closed to the public.

(Previously: Grand View of Fog, Post Storm Sunset)

Hike starts at: 37.741905, -122.471336. View in Google Earth.

(Hike Map)

Adobe Creek

Adobe Creek

Adobe Creek

Adobe Creek

Adobe Creek

Adobe Creek

A four mile out and back hike from the Palo Alto Baylands Nature Preserve trailhead. Interesting wetlands with lots of birds and some good views over the bay.

Hike starts at: 37.433507, -122.098799. View in Google Earth.

(Hike Map)

Angel Island Perimeter Road

Angel Island Perimeter Road

Angel Island Perimeter Road

Angel Island Perimeter Road

Angel Island Perimeter Road

Easy and spectacular hike around the perimeter road of Angel Island. Around five and half miles, although gets a bit longer if you add a detour or two, and there is something interesting around every corner. Just make sure you don't miss the last ferry back.

(Previously: Mt. Livermore on Angel Island)

Hike starts at: 37.869421, -122.433996. View in Google Earth.

(Hike Map)

Summit Lake to Echo Lake in Lassen

Summit Lake to Echo Lake in Lassen

Summit Lake to Echo Lake in Lassen

Summit Lake to Echo Lake in Lassen

A 4.5 mile out and back hike to Echo Lake in Lassen Volcanic National Park. Start at the Summit Lake Ranger Station, take the short trail to Summit Lake and then follow signs to Echo Lake.

Hike starts at: 40.498228, -121.42711. View in Google Earth.

(Hike Map)

Teague Hill Preserve

Teague Hill Preserve

Teague Hill Preserve

Teague Hill Preserve

A four mile, 1,400 foot hike into the Santa Cruz Mountains from just above Woodside. The trail is almost entirely under canopy but with a lot of variety and the occasional snatch of a view of the bay as you climb. The Bear Gulch section is very steep in places, if I did this route again I'd try Marker 3 to Marker 11 to see if the descent is more forgiving. Oh, and make sure you have a map or a downloaded route, there are a lot of trails with multiple entrances so it would be pretty easy to get lost here.

Hike starts at: 37.424658, -122.281739. View in Google Earth.

(Hike Map)

Bull Valley Trail to Port Costa

Bull Valley Trail to Port Costa

Bull Valley Trail to Port Costa

Bull Valley Trail to Port Costa

Bull Valley Trail to Port Costa

A five mile mostly out and back trail (one small loop element) near the Carquinez Strait.

Start at the parking area close to Eckley Pier (worth a quick detour, be careful crossing the train tracks). Follow Bull Valley Trail up to Carquinez Overlook Loop Trail and down to Port Costa. Go through Port Costa (I'd download the route for this bit) and follow an unnamed (as far as I can tell) trail up to the top of Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline Park for dramatic views over to the Benicia-Martinez Bridge and Mt. Diablo. The whole hike is pretty exposed but very attractive with great views and a nice town in the middle. Highly recommended.

Hike starts at: 38.0524, -122.20119. View in Google Earth.

(Hike Map)

Abrigo Valley

Updated on Sunday, May 23, 2021

Abrigo Valley

Abrigo Valley

Abrigo Valley Trail to Santos Trail returning on Briones Crest Trail, a pleasant three and a half mile hike in Briones Regional Park.

(Previously: Mariposa Loop)

Hike starts at: 37.927261, -122.158768. View in Google Earth.

(Hike Map)

Grabtown Gulch and Borden Hatch Mill in Purisima Creek

Updated on Saturday, May 8, 2021

Grabtown Gulch and Borden Hatch Mill in Purisima Creek

Grabtown Gulch and Borden Hatch Mill in Purisima Creek

Grabtown Gulch and Borden Hatch Mill in Purisima Creek

A five mile loop in Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve. Super limited parking so a good one for an early start. Descend Grabtown Gulch Trail for a little over two miles (and it doesn't really stop going down). Then after about five seconds along Purisima Creek ascend Borden Hatch Mill Trial all the way back to the top.

Hike starts at: 37.422216, -122.338163. View in Google Earth.

(Hike Map)