The Top 20 Backpacking Trips Near San Francisco

There's true wilderness to be found. Go find it.

Ah, San Francisco. What a beautiful place to live, right? The Bay Area is the perfect combination of thriving city life and immediate access to world-class outdoor adventures. Of course, the whole thriving urban thing means that once in awhile, you need to escape the hustle and bustle, get the heck out of town and explore the backcountry. Lucky for San Franciscans, visitors, or nearby locals, there is an endless supply of epic trails to explore and true wilderness to be found. Whether you’re looking to knock out a quick strike mission to one of the nearby state parks or go for a long weekend escape to the Sierra, you’ll find something that does the trick for you on this list.

1. Climb Cone Peak in Big Sur Area (Sea to Sky Route)


Photo: Josiah Roe

2. Backcountry Camp at Big Basin Sunset Trail Camp


Photo: Christian Arballo

3. Backpack to Pt. Reyes Coast Campground


Photo: Josiah Roe

4. Backpack the Glen Camp Loop via the Palomarin Trailhead


Photo: Jeff Driscoll

5. Backpack the Lost Coast: Mattole to Black Sands Beach


Photo: Whitney Whitehouse

6. Camp on Angel Island


Photo: Brian Heifferon

7. Backpack to Point Reyes Wildcat Campground


Photo: Miranda Leconte

8. Camp at Glacier Point (winter only)


Photo: Sarah Vaughn

9. Backpack Bear Valley to Coast Camp Loop


Photo: Jeff Driscoll

10. Backpack to Clouds Rest from Glacier Point


Photo: Austin Trigg

11. Backpack Sam McDonald Park


Photo: Ashley Chang

12. Backpack te Redfern Pond


Photo: Ashley Chang

13. Backpack to Dewey Point from Tunnel View


Photo: Jonathan Reed

14. Backpack to Pat Springs


Photo: Max Berger

15. Backpack the Pine Ridge in Big Sur, North Ridge Coast Loop


Photo: Chris DeAntonio

16. Backpack to the Ventana Wilderness’ Sykes Hot Springs


Photo: Blake Maitoza

17. Winter Backpack to Sentinel Dome in Yosemite


Photo: Kyle Frost

18. Backpack to Bear Lake Emigrant Wilderness


Photo: Greg Balkin

19. Backpack to Little Yosemite Valley Campsite and Hike Half Dome


Photo: Eddie Jo

20. Backpack to Goat Camp in Big Sur


Photo: Andrew Conway

Cover photo: Miranda Leconte

Published: December 2, 2016

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

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