Its “summer” in San Francisco which means there is a 50-50 chance of whether it will be super hot or rainy. Since this weekend was really nice, we decided to hop across the bridge and go for a hike! Day hikes are perfect because all you need to prepare is a map, a backpack with some water, snacks, sunscreen and a camera. We usually have these stashed and ready to go in our “adventure cupboard” so we can go for a hike at a moment’s notice.
But first things first. Congratulations to proud new mama Linz for bringing one adorable little man into this world! I know Jess and I can’t wait to meet him!
While Linz started the adventure of motherhood, I went for a mini adventure of my own, though it was far less impressive than what Linz accomplished this weekend. I had a bunch of friends in town who were planning on camping at the Pantoll Campground at the top of Mt. Tamalpais (called Mt. Tam by locals). I joined them for a hike from the top of the mountain down to Stinson Beach and back.
I found out that Google Maps will suggest hiking trails if you select the “walking” mode for your trip. Protip – drag the blue route path around on the map to change the route to alternate trails. You can also check your State Parks website or your local Parks and Rec website for hiking suggestions and maps.
It was a perfect day for a hike with blue skies and a light breeze from the sea. We decided to take the long way down – the Matt Davis trail is 4.1 miles long and starts at the Pantoll Campground and winds through some forests, grassy hills and more forests before ending at Stinson Beach. We had a leisurely lunch at a burger shack near the beach and our visitors went down to the water to dip their feet in the Pacific. If you were wondering, the water was freezing! On the way back we took the Dipsea Trail to the Steep Ravine Trail which is shorter at 3.1 miles but also a much steeper climb. There are lots of stairs and at one point there is even a wooden ladder to climb over boulders. The Pantoll Campground is around 1500ft in elevation so our legs got quite the workout.
If simple hiking doesn’t excite you enough, you can try running one of the Dipsea races held annually along the Dipsea Trail. The Dipsea race claims to be the oldest trail race in America and is a total of 7.1 miles starting from Mill Valley and ending at Stinson beach. The Double Dipsea is an out-and-back of the Dipsea trail and is 13.7 miles with 4500 feet of climbing! And if those seem too easy you can try the Quad Dipsea which is two out-and-backs for a total of 28.4 miles and 9200 feet of climbing! Do you have any crazy hard races in your city?
Happy trails and don’t forget your camera!