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The Top 20 Backpacking Trips Near San Francisco

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

By: The Outbound Collective + Save to a List

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

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

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