Urban and Wild!

Some of the best hikes happen right in city limits. These three outdoor escapes are in urban spaces yet bring a faraway feeling because of their natural wild wonders—from lush forest to wildlands with mountain views, and a peak offering iconic scenery.

Week: 05.18.2022
Regions: Northern CA

Santa Teresa Serenity

Hike a scenic loop at Santa Teresa County Park in San Jose

Hiker on a bench overlooking the vast scenery of mountains at Santa Teresa County Park in San Jose
Hiker posing for the camera on a trail at Santa Teresa County Park in San Jose
Mountain biker on a wide open trail at Santa Teresa County Park in San Jose
Wide and winding trail at Santa Teresa County Park in San Jose
Santa Teresa County Park offers wooded trails, stunning views, and an up-close look at ranch life, all without ever leaving San Jose. This 3.7-mile loop is a breath of fresh air.
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San Francisco's Middle Earth

Hiking San Francisco's Mount Sutro

Hiker in the forest at Mount Sutro in San Francisco
Hiker going up stairs to enter Mount Sutro in San Francisco
Hiker on a trail at Mount Sutro in San Francisco
Hiker looking up at trees in Mount Sutro San Francisco
No need to travel to New Zealand to visit Middle Earth. San Francisco’s Mount Sutro Open Space is practically Hobbiton—a hidden “shire” in the middle of the city. Okay, maybe not quite as magical, but still an incredible place to take a hike in city limits.
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Panorama Bonanza

Hike to Panoramic Ridge above Berkeley for iconic views of the Bay Area

Bring the dog, bag a peak, and get an impressive two-bridge view on a lollipop loop hike that includes the San Francisco skyline. Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve—high in the hills above Berkeley—has 208 acres of peaks and valleys, including the 3.4-mile (round-trip) Stonewall-
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Trending Stories NorCal

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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.


Trending Stories SoCal

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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.