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redwoods

My 5 Favorite Bay Area Hikes

Favorite Best Bay Area Hikes

The folks at Arc’teryx Stanford Center asked me to share a few of my favorite Bay Area hikes and nonprofits at their spring launch event. There’s nothing I love more than talking about outdoor adventure, so I happily obliged.

For this roundup, I only wanted to include hikes within an hour of the Bay Area. These are all places you can go and get in mileage but still make it back in time for dinner and drinks with friends.

These are the best Bay Area hikes that I return to time and time again.

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Hiking the Heritage Grove, Sam McDonald County Park

Hiking Heritage Grove, Sam McDonald County Park

I turned 28 on a quiet evening in the Sierra Club Hiker’s Hut. The next morning, we woke up to  fog and the slow pitter patter of rain on the wooden hut. Josh had class in the afternoon and I had plans to curl up in bed for a lazy birthday. We packed up all our things to head back home.

Instead of retracing our steps, we opted for the Heritage Grove trail instead.

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Hiking Peters Creek Loop

Hiking Peters Creek Loop Portola Redwoods May 2017

Nestled deep in the Santa Cruz mountains, down some twisty roads, is my favorite local state park: Portola Redwoods. Creeks, short waterfalls and old growth redwoods are tucked inside this lesser traveled park. The trees aren’t as large as the ones found in nearby Big Basin State Park, but more often than not, you’ll find them in solitude. Weekend obligations kept me in the Bay Area a few weeks ago so I popped over to this park for a bit of solo hiking and mileage in preparation for long missions this summer.

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Hiking Purisima Creek Redwoods

Hiking Purisima Creek Redwoods February 2017

It’s basically been raining in the Bay Area for the last 2 months. Save for a couple patches of sunlight here and there, I’m beginning to think I live in the Pacific Northwest. The gloomy weather has made outdoor climbing more or less nonexistent. Our favorite local crag, Castle Rock, is soaked. Yosemite Valley and Bishop have mostly been under snow, or just too wet to climb. Most of my free time has been spent training or hibernating or some combination of the two. Finally, this past weekend, we decided to get out and stretch our legs; rain or shine. Our pick was Purisima Creek Redwoods Open Space Preserve just south of Half Moon Bay.

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Hiking Berry Creek Falls

Hiking Berry Creek Falls Big Basin

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted anything local. It’s also been a hot minute since the last time I went on a real hike that didn’t involve carrying a crash pad or a rope. With a supposed bad weather window everywhere within a reasonable driving distance, we opted to stay at home to attempt some Sierra peak bagging training. (Read: hiking and putting in miles cause it’s been forever and a day since my feet have actually hit the ground) I opted for my local favorite at Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Berry Creek Falls.

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