12 Years of Adventure

12 Years of Adventure

Twelve years ago we launched the first edition of Weekend Sherpa for the San Francisco Bay Area. Back then the song of summer was "SexyBack" by Justin Timberlake, and Talladega Nights was topping the box office. While change is inevitable, one thing for us remains the same: Our commitment to inspiring local adventures. There are no shortcuts, and we don't crowdsource. We've done a lot of exploring over the years to share the best stuff with you! Here are 12 of our favorite adventures.

Week: 01.18.1970
Regions: Northern CA

Dunes of Death Valley

Sand Dunes Sunset at Death Valley

You won't find a body of water here, but you will find big waves … of sand! Bring snacks and a beverage to enjoy at one of the world's premier picnic spots—the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes—just 2 miles east of Stovepipe Wells in Death Valley National Park. Park on the side of Highway
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Five Ways to Elevate Your Summer in North Lake Tahoe

North Lake Tahoe's 5 Best Summer Adventures

1) Best Day Hikes in the State North Lake Tahoe has some of California’s best day hikes. The Five Lakes Trail rises to 7,400 feet in the Granite Chief Wilderness and connects to a series of lakes. Or opt for Shirley Canyon Falls, hiking alongside waterfalls and granite boulders w
North Lake Tahoe

America's Best Urban Hike

Hike San Francisco's Grand Walk, Sutro Baths to Crissy Field

Woman walking down the stairs overlooking the ocean on the Coastal Trail in San Francisco
Many years ago we dubbed it the “Grand Walk” and said it was one of the most scenic and stunning trails in the West. We were wrong. This is the most scenic urban hike in America!
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Steep Sleep

Steep Ravine Cabins on the Marin Coast

Perhaps the best deal in the Bay Area: an oceanfront cabin at Steep Ravine for $100. The challenge? Actually reserving one of these popular cabins! Don’t be dissuaded; the effort is well worth it.
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It's How You Roll!

Bike Ride to Wineries on Sonoma Valley's Backroads

Lush vineyards aren’t the only things rolling in Sonoma Valley these days. Casual cruiser biking is one of the best ways to see the sights and taste the wines! The key: Pedal the country roads and paved bike paths that start right from the historic plaza. Rent a bike at one of th
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Matt Davis, Coastal, Cataract Trails on Tam

Wide-open coastal views, wildflowers, and a waterfall—get spring-loaded on a 6.5-mile (round-trip) hike that links together Mount Tam's Matt Davis, Bolinas Ridge, and Cataract trails.
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  1. Photo of the East Brother Light Station in the San Francisco Bay Area

    Oh, Brother!

    Spending the night on a tiny island in the Bay? Intriguing. Spending the night in a lighthouse perched on that island? Sound the foghorn! East Brother Light Station Bed & Breakfast sits on a small patch of land in the strait that separates San Francisco and San Pablo Bays.

  2. Mill About Lakeside

    Bucks Lake Recreation Area near Quincy in Plumas County has plenty of beautiful hiking trails. For an easy hike with beautiful spots for sunning, swimming, and lounging on sand beaches or giant rock slabs, do the Mill Creek Trail.

  3. Camping at Chewing Gum Lake Emigrant Wilderness

    High Sierra Lake Hop

    Situated just north of Yosemite is a High Sierra wonderland that gets a fraction of the crowds and is a fantastic destination for backpacking. The Emigrant Wilderness is 113,000 acres of granite ridges, wildflower-strewn meadows, and cobalt lakes.

  4. The Secret Big Blue

    Set at 4,500 feet, surrounded by 52 miles of shoreline, and with sparkling sapphire hue, Lake Almanor is the other big blue. The secret one. This huge lake—idyllic in spring through fall for all kinds of water adventures—is a gem of Plumas County where you can relax without crowds.


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  1. Hot As (Bumpass) Hell

    So you like going to all the hot spots when you visit places? Well, in Lassen Volcanic National Park there’s a place so hot it gets downright steamy. Bumpass Hell is the largest hydrothermal area in the park, with sputtering mud pots, sulfur vents, and boiling pools. It’s California’s Yellowstone.

  2. Bucks Up!

    Come on in, the water is beautiful. Whether you like swimming, kayaking, stand-up paddling, or heading out on a bigger boat, Bucks Lake is a high mountain haven that’s easy to access, blissfully uncrowded, and surrounded by sandy beaches, picnic areas, pines, and aspens.

  3. Starcrossed Stairway?

    Built into the hillside next to the Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood Heights delights with historic homes, steep and narrow (mostly carless) streets, and enchanting city views. Best of all, it features a network of walkways and staircases that makes it super fun to wander and explore.

  4. Lunch at the Lakes

    Pack your own picnic and head for a lakeside lunch at Lassen Volcanic National Park. Then take your pick from a lovely trio of lakes accessed from the same trailhead. Follow it all up with a visit to Manzanita Lake on the other side of the park.