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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

  • Vallejo, California

    Camp at Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve

    1 mi / 20 ft gain
    This old Naval Base is now home to, well, almost nothing. As a weekend volunteer trip, myself and about 50 others got a little dirty creating 3 new campsites for you and your friends!During the day, the island has hikers exploring everywhere, but the preserve closes upon sunset and it's just you ...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Bernal Heights Park

    4.7
    0.95 mi / 128 ft gain
    Bernal Heights Park is an excellent week night adventure for those who need an escape from the city. Sit atop this small, grassy peak in peace and look out over the San Francisco skyline. Park on the street bordering the park and follow a pathway that leads up to the top. You will be instantly g...
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  • Point Reyes Station, California

    Sky Trail Loop

    5.0
    9.55 mi / 1818 ft gain
    Sky Trail in Point Reyes National Seashore is a dramatic, mostly single-track trail that runs along the main spine of the Inverness Ridge and across highest mountains in Point Reyes, looming above the Olema Valley and Highway 1 which mark the San Andreas Fault rift zone and the dividing line betw...
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  • Point Reyes Station, California

    Sky Campground via Sky Trail

    2.66 mi / 495 ft gain
    Entering Point Reyes National Seashore from Bear Valley Road the Sky Trailhead is a 4.9 mile drive.  Camping in Sky Camp requires a Camping Permit.   Once at the Sky Trailhead parking lot.  The Sky Trailhead will be on the left side pulling in.  The hike is not very strenuous and not all that lo...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Fort Funston Trail

    4.7
    1.81 mi / 253 ft gain
    Fort Funston is an SF gem I discovered when looking for a dog friendly hike near the city. Located west of Lake Merced, you'll find a gorgeous Northern California beach oasis where you and your dog can run wild and free :). Parking is located at the top of the park where you'll descend a steep se...
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  • Petaluma, California

    Hike Helen Putnam Regional Park

    4.0
    6 mi / 550 ft gain
    A 216-acre park, Helen Putnam offers 9 trails that are relatively short but can be combined however you wish. Go 2 miles or 10 miles. Loop in and out, up or around. I take a different route every time I hike here.For a good 6-mile hike, begin at the southwest corner, where the parking lot and res...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Lake Merced Loop

    4.7
    4.53 mi / 180 ft gain
    Lake Merced Loop is a loop trail in the southwestern part of San Francisco. This trail is used for running and walking. You'll see plenty of people getting exercise or taking their dog for a stroll. There are also benches and tables around the loop. The lake itself is fresh water and is used for...
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  • Point Reyes Station, California

    Coast Campground via Laguna Trailhead

    4.3
    4.02 mi / 633 ft gain
    This campground is the closest you can get to staying overnight on Pt. Reyes coastline if you're backpacking in. Once you get there, enjoy the view! The easiest way to get to the camp is from the slightly uphill hike along the Laguna Trail and the Firelane Trail. The trailhead for the Laguna Tra...
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  • Point Reyes Station, California

    Hike the Laguna Trail & Coast Trail Loop

    5.0
    5.2 mi / 300 ft gain
    Leave your car on a side of the road. When navigating there, put "HI Hostel Point Reyes" in your navigation - you park literally on the other side of the road, opposite to the hostel. Go to the west and soon you'll find the start of Coast Trail with a tsunami warning sign. During first 1.8 mile y...
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  • San Francisco, California

    McLaren Park: Philosopher's Way Loop

    5.0
    2.25 mi / 315 ft gain
    Beyond McLaren's family friendly playgrounds and picnic areas, there are miles of trail to explore. The Philosopher's trail is a well-marked loop (notice the stone markings along the trail with arrows etched into them). There are several parking lots available where you can jump onto the loop. No...
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  • San Francisco, California

    Bayview Hill Loop

    4.0
    1.24 mi / 184 ft gain
    Bayview Hill Loop is a loop trail that starts with a paved uphill climb and views of the bay facing toward the East Bay located in the Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco, California.
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  • Daly City, California

    San Bruno Mountain

    4.0
    3.63 mi / 781 ft gain
    San Bruno Mountain is a fun, mellow hike that climbs easily on a well-graded path to the ridge line, and then drops back to the trailhead. Along the way, the trail runs along a creek, ascends through chaparral, and provides excellent views of downtown San Francisco, the East Bay hills, and the Sa...
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  • Oakland, California

    Sibley Volcanic Trail Labyrinths

    3.5
    2 mi / 144 ft gain
    From Skyline Blvd, pull into the staging area for Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, you'll see the sign. Parking here is usually easy to find. You'll find an unstaffed visitor center with a restroom, park maps and informational displays featuring the history and geology of the park. Sibley is a...
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  • San Francisco, California

    San Francisco Crosstown Trail

    5.0
    16.71 mi / 1975 ft gain
    The San Francisco Crosstown Trail runs point-to-point from Candlestick Point to Land End. The SF Crosstown Trail officially opened in 2014.  It connects park trails to neighborhoods and communities.  In it's in entirety it's almost 17 miles long with 5 Sections available for those looking to bre...
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  • Oakland, California

    East & West Ridge Loop

    4.5
    3.47 mi / 833 ft gain
    Tucked away in the hills of Oakland, you will find one of the homes of California's Coastal Redwoods. Created by a unique geographical circumstance, this forest breathes winds funneled through the Golden Gate across the bay, which created environment opportune for Redwood growth. These Redwoods a...
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  • Daly City, California

    Mussel Rock Loop

    4.0
    1.95 mi / 322 ft gain
    Mussel rock, a three-story, 50 million year old rock that has been carried some 500 miles northwest from Southern California, is where the San Andreas fault meets the Pacific Ocean. It's also an excellent spot to drink some wine and catch a sunset. From San Francisco, take Highway 1 south towar...
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