All Stories from Northern CA

  • Hill of a Good Hike

    Located just off Highway 17 in the Los Gatos hills, St. Joseph’s Hill packs a big panorama within this 3.5-mile loop. This beautiful preserve has hiking and biking trails, and beautiful vistas.

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  • Napa's Wild Side

    It’s wine country’s Amazon. Cutting 50 miles through the famous Napa Valley and emptying into San Pablo Bay, the gentle Napa River is an ecological—and recreational—delight. And Napa Valley Paddle helps you enjoy it.

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  • Hill Yeah!

    Though it stands at only 960 feet, Hill 88 features some of Marin’s best views from a peak not named Mount Tam. See the upper reaches of the wild yet accessible headlands on a 5.5-mile (round-trip) hike.

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  • Up Umunhum

    Rising from the Santa Cruz Mountains, Mount Umunhum is one of the Bay Area’s highest points, reaching an impressive 3,486 feet. With the new 7.4-mile (round-trip) addition to the Bay Area Ridge Trail, locals can finally step up to its peak.

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  • Bike Ride to Bountiful

    The Guadalupe River Trail in San Jose makes an excellent bike ride with minimal hills, gardens, parks, and easy access to food, art, and entertainment along the entire 10-mile stretch of trail.

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    Sea Change

    Right in time for the balmy fall days, the crowds have left and Monterey Bay Aquarium is at its shoulder season best. Fewer people means relaxing with more room to roam and enjoy the animals, exhibits, and nearby outdoors for biking, hiking, and beaches.

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  • Kirby Your Enthusiasm

    Just west of the Golden Gate Bridge in Marin is one of the Bay's most-accessible secluded beaches. Kirby Cove is accessed by hiking or biking a 1-mile fire road down to the beach, where the reward is an all-time classic Golden Gate view.

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    Weekend Sherpa Podcast: Take it Outside

    Adventure for your earbuds. What's new in the world of the outdoors? Listen to Weekend Sherpa co-founders discuss local hikes, beaches, bike rides, camping spots and all kinds of travel and adventure in California and beyond!

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  • Three Beaches to the Wind

    This beautiful 7-mile (round-trip) coastal hike in the Marin Headlands connects three beaches: Muir Beach, Pirates Cove, and Tennessee Cove.

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  • Yosemite Magic Trick

    Yosemite’s High Country is magical and without crowds. At a lofty 8,700 feet, Tuolumne Meadows is one of the best trailheads for hiking or backpacking a land of smooth granite domes, high alpine meadows, jagged peaks, and sapphire lakes. Here's a 3-night backpacking itinerary...

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  • Zion the Prize

    Geological wonders, massive canyon views, and a bit of a grind to get to the good stuff … it’s all part of the blissful isolation you can find on the West Rim Trail at Zion, the fo

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    Anchor Yourself in Anchorage

    When it comes to the ultimate adventure basecamp, set your anchor in Anchorage. Located at the base of the Chugach Mountains, Anchorage gets you easy access to 60 glaciers to see, paddle up to, hike, fly over, or climb.

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  • Excellent Point

    Point Reyes National Seashore has several mountain bike–friendly trails that are itching to be explored. For a fantastic ride with sweeping views of Drakes Estero and southern Point Reyes, make the 4.3-mile (one-way) ride out to Drakes Head.

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    Summer's Must Sea

    The newly reopened Monterey Bay Aquarium never misses a “Best of” list—for good reason. The Aquarium’s location right on the shores of Monterey Bay, with waves crashing below the decks, is a mesmerizing experience.

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  • Medallion Walk SF

    The Barbary Coast Trail is a 3.8-mile historical walk and treasure hunt through San Francisco. Be on the lookout for hubcap-sized bronze medallions placed on the city sidewalks with arrows pointing you in the right direction.

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  • 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.

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  • Goddess of the Gardens

    It’s what you call a Garden with a View! Mendocino Botanical Gardens is a double-whammy of stunning flora—especially rhododendrons—and coastal views. Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens makes a splash in more ways than just its fantastic flora.

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  • Heads Up, Headlands!

    There’s one thing that’s pretty much mandatory when you visit Mendocino and that’s a hike along the famous bluffs. The trail system at Mendocino Headlands State Park is vast, surrounding the village and meandering for miles, with sweeping sea panoramas.

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  • Night Light

    For over a century Mendocino’s Point Cabrillo Light Station has signaled coast-side danger to passing ships. Time your visit for a spectacular “lightshow” twofer—sunset and the lighthouse’s crowning glory: a 6,800-pound original Chance Brothers classic Fresnel lens producing a flash every 10 seconds.

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  • Sponsored

    Sea You Soon!

    After over a year of being closed, the Monterey Bay Aquarium is ready for some quality time with you! A visit to Monterey this time of year is a refreshing coastal escape of beaches and bike paths and beautiful blooms, with a big bonus: The region’s marquee attraction is at the heart of it all.

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