San Rafael, California

Looking for the best hiking in San Rafael? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around San Rafael. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Hiking Spots in and near San Rafael

  • Livermore, California

    Condor, Volvan, Stone Corral, Coyote Loop

    4.5
    4.38 mi / 620 ft gain
    This regional preserve is perfect for day hikes. There are also designated campsites and even a backpack campsite. Horses and dogs are welcome in the preserve. There are many different clearly marked trails that one can choose from. A good 4.5 mile loop is to start at the Park Residence entrance...
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  • Woodside, California

    Hike through Wunderlich County Park

    5.0
    4.5 mi / 1400 ft gain
    Located in the iconic Silicon Valley town of Woodside, Wunderlich County Park offers a number of hiking trails as well as some horseback riding trails through the wilderness.  Once in the parking lot, you will see a number of stables, riding ring, as well as a beautiful historic stable that was o...
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  • Bodega Bay, California

    Camp at Wright's Beach Campground

    / 32 ft gain
    This campground is defined by the scenery: rugged headlands, craggy coastlines, natural arches, and quiet coves.Wright's Beach Campground features primitive camping - basic tent sites with picnic tables, fire rings, and amazing ocean views. This is a great location for Bay Area campers who want t...
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  • Sonoma County, California

    Kortum Trail

    9.27 mi / 968 ft gain
    The Kortum Trail in the Sonoma Coast State Park connects Goat Rock with Wrights Beach, winding along the top of the sea cliffs and affording incredible views of the California Coast and its numerous sea rocks and arches.  To get there take the Pacific Coast Highway / Highway 1 to either Wright's...
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  • Calistoga, California

    Hike the Oat Hill Mine Trail

    5.0
    8.3 mi
    The incline on this trail begins pretty much right away and is fairly gradual for the entire hike, some of it is quite rocky, making this an easy to moderate level hike. However, with some shade (probably wouldn't attempt it on a hot summer day) and the sweeping views of the valley that get bette...
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  • Calistoga, California

    Hike Bald Hill in Robert Louis Stevenson State Park

    3.2 mi / 1200 ft gain
    Bald Hill is the first serious peak/summit that can be reached via the Oat Hill Mine Trail as it breaks from the more popular loop and heads into the heart of Robert Louis Stevenson State Park. To get there you can either begin at the less frequently used trailhead at Picket and Rosedale Roads he...
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  • Sunol, California

    Hike the Pleasanton Ridge Trail

    4.3
    6.4 mi / 1443 ft gain
    Pleasanton Ridge Trail is a 6.4 mile loop. The loop is shared by dog walkers, trail runners, hikers, mountain bikers and horseback riders. From the ridge your viewpoints will include Mount Diablo and the San Francisco Bay.  This hike from the Foothills Staging Area is an excellent introduction ...
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  • Monte Rio, California

    Islands in the Sky Vista Loop

    4.0
    3.83 mi / 883 ft gain
    The Islands in the Sky Vista Loop in Monte Rio, California, is a moderately challenging hiking trail. Spanning approximately 3.83 miles, the loop offers a variety of terrain, including forested areas, open meadows, and rocky outcrops. The trail is well-marked and maintained, making it suitable fo...
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  • Sonoma County, California

    Red Hill and Pomo Canyon Loop

    4.8
    4.73 mi / 981 ft gain
    Park in the Shell Beach parking lot, north of Bodega Bay proper but just south of Goat Rock State Beach on Highway 1. Cross the road to pick up the Dr. David C. Joseph Memorial Trail heading up away from the ocean. Follow the trail, staying right toward Red Hill. (The trail forks off down Pomo Ca...
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  • Winters, California

    Homestead & Blue Ridge Loop

    5.0
    4.46 mi / 1299 ft gain
    At the bend in the road on Highway 128, you will pass two silver gates. The gate with the UC Davis logo is the entrance to the trailhead. Past the entrance there is a large dirt pullout off the road with plenty of parking. Starting at the trailhead, go left in the fork to start the loop trail. T...
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  • Winters, California

    Hike the Stebbins Cold Canyon Loop

    4.0
    4.5 mi / 350 ft gain
    Stebbins Cold Canyon is a great day hike for all skill levels, accessible year round, and offers an abundance of wild flower viewing, including the California poppy. Tog get to the hike, head about 8 miles west of Winters, CA, where a silver fire gate marks the main entrance to the Stebbins Cold ...
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  • Winters, California

    Hike the Homestead-Blue Ridge Loop

    5.0
    From the official trailhead, start off by taking the Homestead Trail, which forks towards the right. A trail connecting Homestead and Blue Ridge will take you to a creek nearby. Veer off the trail along the creek and there is a water hole for cooling off on hot days. Onward into the trail, you wi...
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  • Portola Valley, California

    Hike the Windy Hill Loop

    4.3
    7.2 mi / 1400 ft gain
    This 7.2-mile loop starts by heading out of the parking lot and onto the Spring Ridge Trail. Head Southeast On Spring Ridge Trail until you connect with Hamms Gulch Trail. When you jump on Hamms Gulch, head southwest for ~3.4 miles as you circle the far end of the OSP. At this point, you will con...
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  • Portola Valley, California

    Sunrise Hike at Windy Hill

    5.0
    There are a few options to this hike. Usually I would recommend parking in the lot on Portola Road, but because the preserve doesn't open until 30 minutes before sunrise, it's best to park up on Skyline Boulevard (Highway 35). There are two places to park up on Skyline, but the main parking lot i...
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  • Jenner, California

    Bouldering at Sunset Boulders

    5.0
    0.6 mi
    You can see the boulders off the left side of the road. Couple of different pullouts you can park at to start your approach. It’s about half a mile from the road all downhill. It’s easy going when you’re on your way, but kind of a pain after you’re whooped from climbing.  Bouldering, high balls, ...
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  • Palo Alto, California

    Hike the Arastradero Preserve Loop

    3.0
    4.5 mi / 600 ft gain
    Getting There: From Hwy 280, take the Page Mill Road exit and head West on Page Mill Road, away from Downtown Palo Alto (if you're taking 101, exit on Oregon Expressway). Then turn right on Arastradero Road. There will be a small sign indicating the dirt parking lot on the eastern side of the str...
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