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.
Let me tell ya something about me. I don’t like breaking the rules… much. There’s something about it that just gives me the heebie jeebies, like I’m going to get caught and be punished to the full extent of the law and I’ll rot in jail forever or something. I know, I know, it’s a bit extreme. That’s how I felt about hiking Mossbrae Falls.
I reached out to a few friends on things to do in the Mount Shasta area. The one thing everyone suggested was the McCloud Falls trail.
The McCloud Falls trail is an easily accessible, family friendly hike. Out and back, the trail is about 3.5 miles long with a little over two hundred feet of elevation gain. The trail visits three tiers of waterfalls on the McCloud River.
The next stop after Bergen was Årdal to visit my friend Kris at Utladalen Camping and explore a tiny fraction of Jotunheimen National Park. First on our list was Vettisfossen.
With a drop of 275 meters (or 902 feet), Vettisfossen is the tallest unregulated waterfall in northern Europe—meaning it doesn’t go through a hydroelectric power station. The trail begins on a tractor road that follows the Utla river. It winds around and crosses the river several times before ending at Vetti Gard.