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“San Francisco has only one drawback – tis hard to leave.”

–        Rudyard Kipling

Golden Gate Bridge San Fran

Rudyard Kipling was on to something when he said that it was hard to leave San Francisco – it happens to be one of the most beautiful cities in the United States, with plenty to see and do.  It is a city that can be fun in any season, but the best time to visit will undoubtedly depend on one’s preferences when it comes to trekking.


The basics 

So, when is the best time to plan a trekking trip to San Francisco?  Though much of the time will be spent on the hike, many visitors like to take in the fantastic attractions the city has to offer.  One will find the city to be the most crowded in the summer, with spring and fall also fairly busy, but not nearly as crazy.  The least crowded – and most affordable for that matter – time of year is the winter.  Why not book a night at the Fairmont San Francisco for a cozy evening before the trekking adventure?

The weather is consistent and pleasant, but it isn’t filled with sunny skies and warm weather 365 days a year.  In fact, San Francisco is often foggy and temperatures warmer than 80°F are often considered a serious heat wave.  Though it does rain in the winter, it is fairly dry throughout the rest of the year.  Most individuals get the most out of trekking adventures in San Francisco during the spring, fall, and summer months, but don’t forget to pack warm clothes, as the evenings are still quite chilly.


The trails

Although most people might think of Silicon Valley and technology when San Francisco comes to mind, the San Francisco Bay Area actually offers a number of excellent hiking trails for all skill levels.  Some of the best treks on the west coast are actually in this region.

The hike from Stinson Beach to Mt. Tamalpais (or Mt. Tam as it is known locally) is a must for anyone interested in seeing the best of the area.  It is a rewarding hike with many hidden treasures along the way.  Starting at sea level at Stinson Beach, head up through the trees along the rolling hills with San Francisco as the backdrop.  Upon reaching the top, the fantastic panoramic view of the Bay Area is simply breathtaking.  Plan on a day for this hike and don’t forget the water and protection from the wind.

Another popular trek, which is also an excellent adventure for novice hikers, is the Muir Woods.  Thanks to preservation laws, the Muir Woods are filled with groves of ancient California redwoods up to 250 feet tall and 14 feet wide.  The trail, which boasts scenery most visitors to San Francisco never see, is usually not crowded.  A good way to begin is downhill at the north end of the park and head south.  The Ocean View Trail is particularly breathtaking and winds its way down the hillside through plenty of groves and over babbling brooks.

Being so close to Napa Valley and Sonoma, two of California’s most well-loved and famous wine regions, wine lovers can also enjoy an excellent trekking adventure.  To hike through wine country in California is to experience the region in a way unlike any other.  Catching a glimpse of vineyards, rolling hills, and mountains, hikers walk from inn to inn through quaint towns and charming villages only to finish each day with a luxurious meal and some of the best wine in the world.  Though it is possible to embark on a self-guided hike, there are several wineries and trekking tour companies that can plan out a bespoke itinerary.


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