Top 10 Outdoor Adventures of 2022

For this year’s Top 10 adventures we used an old school algorithm. What did we like? Actually, these are what you liked too! Some are near, others are a bit further afield, and all are excellent ways to explore our natural environment. So as we bid adieu to 2022, here’s to you and the great outdoors.

Week: 12.29.2022
Regions: Northern CA

Muiraculous Beauty

Have a bonfire at Muir Beach in Marin

Ready to make your non-California friends jealous? Have a bonfire at Muir Beach while watching the sunset. This is Northern California living at its most braggadocious.
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POST's 2023 Hiking Calendar

Find the Best Hike for Every Month of the Year

POST 2023 hiking calendar hiking couple
POST 2023 hiking calendar trail
POST 2023 hiking calendar hikers
POST 2023 hiking calendar beach at sunset
Start the new year off right by heading outdoors for a hike. Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) curated a (complimentary) 2023 hiking calendar that provides all the inspiration you’ll need!
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Challenge of a Big Sizer!

Hike Mount Sizer, the toughest mountain in the Bay Area

If ever there was a "Beauty and the Beast" hike, this is it! The 15-mile (round-trip) Mount Sizer loop hike in Henry W. Coe State Park is considered the toughest in the Bay Area. And cooler months are the best time to tackle it. The reward? One of the most beautiful panoramas in the region ... all the way out to the Sierras on clear days.
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Flashy Fernandez

Hike or Bike at Fernandez Ranch in Martinez East Bay

Biker on a trail at Fernandez Ranch in Martinez East Bay
Biker riding by trailside poppies at Fernandez Ranch in Martinez East Bay
Mountain biker on the trail overlooking San Pablo Bay in the East Bay Fernandez Ranch
Green rolling hills studded in oak trees, wildflowers like poppies, lupine, and the Mount Diablo sunflower—exclusive to Contra Costa County: the landscape at Fernandez Ranch in Martinez is a highlight reel of wildlife, wildflowers, and wowing panoramas. Try this 6-mile hike or bike ride.
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Going Deep

Visit the Monterey Aquarium and See Into the Deep

Mesmerized, educated, and inspired are just a few of things you can’t help but feel while visiting the Monterey Bay Aquarium and its spellbinding new exhibition, Into the Deep.
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Loop Less Traveled

Hike a Loop Less Traveled at Monument Peak in the East Bay

Cows on the pastureland at Ed R Levin County Park in the East Bay
Man at a picnic table overlooking the East Bay at Ed R Levin County Park
The East Bay has some of the Bay Area’s most popular mountains, and Monument Peak shares the gorgeous views with fewer people on the trail. Hike this 8.7-mile loop to the summit and it might just be you, and the cows!
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Storied Trail

Hike Proctor Mountain Trail in Sun Valley Idaho

Hiker on Proctor Mountain Loop Trail in Sun Valley Idaho
The Hemingway Memorial in Sun Valley Idaho
Hiker among wildflowers at Proctor Mountain Trail in Sun Valley
Two hikers looking out at mountain scenery on the Proctor Mountain Loop Trail in Sun Valley Idaho
If ever there was a fairy trail, this 6.8-mile lollipop loop on Sun Valley’s Proctor Mountain is it. The Proctor Mountain Trail is a storied route in more ways than one, starting with its tranquil oasis memorial for a famous writer, Ernest Hemingway.
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Sea-splunking

Adventure Sea Cave Kayak Tour at Channel Islands National Park

Kayaker inside cave at Channel Islands National Park Adventure Sea Cave Kayak Tour
Channel Island Adventure Company guides getting kayakers ready for the sea kayak adventure tour at Santa Cruz Island
If exploring a cave is spelunking, then exploring a cave by kayak is … spelayaking?! This unique cave-kayaking adventure at Channel Islands National Park is a wonderful way to get an in-depth perspective of the marvelous caves here.
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Ride the Ridge

Mountain bike or hike the Bolinas Ridge Trail in Point Reyes

woman biking bolinas ridge trail point reyes
woman biking bolinas ridge trail point reyes
woman biking bolinas ridge trail point reyes
Galloping green hills, grazing cattle, great vantages … Bolinas Ridge Trail in Point Reyes National Seashore is a challenging yet visually rewarding intermediate-level mountain bike ride (or hike). Winter and spring are ideal for an adventure here, and seasonal features like wildflowers can pop early.
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Beauty and the Beach

Visit Garrapata State Park for bluffside hiking and a beautiful beach in Monterey

Sweeping, romantic, and vast, Garrapata State Park has all the stuff of swoon-worthy scenery. There’s a magical beach backed by hulking cliffs with a hiking trail we like best in the later afternoon, when the beach can be blissfully deserted.
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The Grand Ride

Bike The Famous Sacramento River Trail in Redding

The Sacramento River Trail in Redding lives up to its premier status as one of the best rail trails in the country for bikes and pedestrians only. Start at the architecturally stunning Sundial Bridge and follow the sublime Sacramento River upstream all the way to Shasta Dam.
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Trending Stories NorCal

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  1. Golden Gate's Blue Heron

    Golden Gate Park’s Blue Heron Lake is home to birds of many feathers, turtles lounging on rocks, visitors from afar, and locals who love this urban oasis in San Francisco. Try the "Boats and Breakfast" rowboat or pedal boat deal.

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  2. Cañada Collage

    This 4.3-mile loop through Cañada Del Oro Open Space Preserve showcases all the highlights of the season, thrumming with wildlife and wildflowers.

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  3. Hike Mount Tamalpais into Muir Woods

    Muir Woods Through the Backdoor

    A backdoor entrance into Muir Woods? Hike a tranquil trail that starts in Mount Tamalpais State Park and quietly leads into Muir Woods, letting you avoid the busyness of the main parking area.

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  4. Hike Kortum Trail on the Sonoma Coast

    GOAT Coastal Hike + Sunset

    GOAT (greatest of all time) Sonoma Coast experience? Hike the Kortum Trail, wine taste on a patio overlooking the Russian River, and catch a sensational sunset at, yep, Goat Rock Beach.

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  1. Camp at Goose Lake in the Lakes Basin

    Duck, Duck, Goose!

    Try to get a first-come, first-served campsite at one of the Lakes Basin’s lakeside campgrounds. We love Goose Lake Campground, where there are just 13 sites and no motorized boats.

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  2. Fancy Camp

    Wanna go rugged on the coast, minus the whole pitching your own tent and sleeping on the ground bit? Mendocino Grove is spot-on for upgrading your roughing-it experience, with beautifully appointed tent-cabins set across the bluffs overlooking Mendocino Bay.

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  3. A Splash of Whiskeytown

    Located just 8 miles west of Redding and surrounded by mountain peaks, Whiskeytown National Recreation Area is nearly 40,000 acres of all things outdoors: waterfalls, campgrounds, beaches, hiking trails, and a beautiful crystal-clear lake at the center of it all.

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  4. 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.

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