Sarah Eichstedt

Beautiful Falls

There is also sport climbing in a cave right next to the falls.

Challenging but beautiful

I took 2 days to get to Rae Lakes, and camped at Kearsarge Lake on the first night. I liked breaking it up because it's a quite challenging day to get all the way to Rae Lakes, since you have to hike up and down 2 mountain passes. Make sure to jump in the lake when you get there! So cold, but refreshing! There are tons of camp sites around the lake, but it can be quite a popular spot since it's on the John Muir Trail.

Worth Seeing

Such a beautiful falls, and very easy to get to. That's why there are sooooo many people around :)

Bioluminescence is a must see!

If you stay overnight, plan to go during a new moon so that you can check out the sparkling of the bioluminescence at night! It's unreal! If you're going on the weekend, it can get really crowded on Saturday nights, so I recommend heading out early and securing a camp spot on one of the smaller beaches with only one tent spot (if you prefer solitude). Only 2 of the beaches (Marshall and Tomales) have restrooms, but it's worth heading to one of the far beaches on the north end for the solitude. You'll see plenty of seals, sea birds/pelicans, jellyfish, and other fun creatures. Make sure you bring all the water you will need (you can't filter water here) and pack out ALL of your waste. Pack lightly because you're pulling all the gear with you on the kayak ;)

Classic

This is an East Bay cyclist staple, and probably my most used route over the years. It has enough climbing and great stretches of road by the San Pablo Reservoir. You can even do the loop twice if you're looking for extra mileage, or add on a ride up Wildcat Canyon through Tilden. I usually take Bart and leave from the Orinda Bart station. Be warned it's usually much warmer here than it is in Berkeley or SF (which can be good or bad).

Great for sunset photography

The south end of this beach is really quiet around sunset and you can get some great sunset photos with the 3 large rocks at the end of the beach and nice creamy waves. There are also a bunch of fun things to do around here before sunset, like exploring hiking trails, various forts, the Marin Headlands Hostel, and the Marine Mammal Center. Make a day of it!

Beautiful!

Great waterfall and swimming hole with minimal effort required. Definitely bring your camera!

Try To Book A Night At The Hostel

Such a beautiful lighthouse! I definitely recommend staying a night at the hostel. Get there early to put your name on the list for the hot tub that sits overlooking the ocean! (It's only for guests who are staying the night!) The rocky cliffs are such a beautiful sight to wake up to, and you can spend the next day exploring the town of Pescadero.

almost 4 years ago

Beautiful loop

Love the views that come with the gently winding road on the bay side. This is a classic, and for that reason gets crowded on the weekends. Still worth doing!

One of my favorites!

Bonfires on this beach are my favorite! It tends to be quieter than some other beaches. It's also quite windy and cold, but that's perfect bonfire weather! Definitely note that the rangers will come by and kick you out 1 hour after sunset, so you will probably want to get your bonfire started early. Enjoy!

Easy surf, but crowded

It's nice to have a spot for beginners that's so close to the city. That is also probably why it can get insanely crowded. Definitely go on the weekdays or very early in the morning to enjoy a little space.

Amazing views!

This location is great since it's close to the city and sometimes you want to get away but only have a few days. The downside is that the trails can get really crowded (especially on weekends) and the campsites fill up quickly so you usually have to plan far in advance. I like this location for beginner backpackers since there is a toilet and running water on site. I feel like it's a good introduction to backpacking but still includes some luxuries that people can be scared to go without. I went in the fall and the weather couldn't have been better!

Great for a last-minute trip

I love the fact that this is so close to the city, yet you don't have to make a reservation 6 months in advance. Yes folks, one of the few first-come first-serve camp sites close to SF! Not the most remote location, but there are so many trails and fun areas to explore nearby! Take a spur-of-the-moment adventure!