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Top 10 Beginner-Friendly Hikes Near San Francisco

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While San Francisco might be best known for its urban setting and attractions such as the Golden Gate Bridge, its also nearby several great hiking spots. If you’re looking for a short and sweet hike, traveling with children, or just getting into hiking, here are 10 beginner-friendly hikes nearby the city! 

Top 10 Beginner-Friendly Hikes Near San Francisco

1. Land's End 

This 3.4-mile loop trail offers beautiful views of the San Francisco bay as well as the Golden Gate Bridge. This well-loved trail is open year-round and also welcomes dogs, as long as they are kept on leash. 

Land's End

2. Golden Gate Park Loop 

This is a great option for those looking for a longer trail without heading outside of the city! Located in Golden Gate Park, this loop trail is 6.3 miles long. You can traverse the entire length, or opt to enjoy a shorter section. It’s also nearby several notable places to visit such as the California Academy of Sciences. 

Golden Gate Park Loop

3. Batteries To Bluffs Trail 

Here’s another great option for those looking for some great views of the Golden Gate Bridge. This 2.2-mile loop trail takes you past the coast. If you’re up for a longer trek, you can also opt to head down to Marshall Beach, a quiet expanse of coastline. 

Batteries To Bluffs Trail

4. Stow Lake And Strawberry Hill Loop

Another slice of nature within the city, Stow Lake and Strawberry Hill Loop is a 2.1-mile trail that encircles a beautiful lake. Part of Golden Gate Park, it’s also nearby to several other nature trails. Its close proximity to the city makes this a perfect option for those looking to enjoy some fresh air without traveling too far.

Stow Lake And Strawberry Hill Loop

5. Glen Canyon Park Trail

Glen Canyon Park Trail is a 1.8-mile nature trail within the city of San Francisco. Featuring gorgeous views, as well as little elevation gain and mostly level land, this trail is perfect for those looking for a short and sweet hike. The trail also allows dogs on the trail as long as they are on a leash. 

Glen Canyon Park Trail

6. Ecology Trail And Lovers Lane Loop 

This 2.0-mile loop trail offers beautiful and lush scenery as it winds around. Partially paved, this is an ideal choice for families with children or those wanting to avoid tricky or difficult terrain. 

7. Mount Sutro To Twins Peaks Trail

If you’re looking for a bit of a challenge, consider trying Mount Sutro to Twin Peaks. This 3.8-mile trail also features a bit of an elevation gain, but the terrain itself isn’t too complex. Dogs are also allowed on the trail as long as they are on a leash. 

Mount Sutro To Twins Peaks Trail

8. Mount Davidson Trail

If you’re looking to get some fresh air as well as stunning views, you’ll want to check out this trail! Mount Davidson is a 1-mile loop trail that is both dog and kid-friendly. Offering beautiful scenery and views, this trail is accessible year-round. 

9. Philosopher's Way Trail

Head over to southeastern San Francisco to experience Philosopher's Way Trail. This unique trail circles John McLaren Park and intersects with several other nature trails as well. Setting it apart from other trails, however, is the presence of stone markers along the trail that aim to highlight the area's history.

10. Fairy Gates Trail 

This 0.8-mile hike may be short, but its serene forest setting makes it a great choice. Located in Mount Sutro Nature Preserve, Fairy Gates Trail manages to be both near the city and feel peaceful and remote. The area is also a great place to see interesting birds such as raptors. The trail is accessible year-round and is open to on-leash dogs as well.

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