If you love hiking, camping, and exploring the great outdoors, there’s no better place than in California. There are many hiking trails to suit every taste. If you’ve never been to California, you’re sure to find one or more hiking trails that will make you fall in love.
If you already have a trip planned, there are still plenty of hiking trails in Northern California waiting to give you even more fun while visiting this wonderful state. If you like to travel by foot, you can hike along the trail systems that offer both the challenging paths and picturesque views of rolling hills, rocky cliffs, and deep valleys.
Most hiking trails start off at the Angel Island State Park Campground in Sausal Creek Campground. If you live on the Bay Area, most of your best camping is available close to the city, but if you don’t take a trip to Angel Island State Park – complete with its own parking lot, restrooms, and housekeeping services.
The park is about 20 miles from San Francisco. It has two tent camping spots, picnic tables, fire rings, and a ranger station. The island features a large variety of wild flowers and plants as well as bald eagles. There are also many hiking trails through the forest canopy surrounding the island.
One of the most scenic drives you can take in Northern California is along the Ferry flyway, which runs between San Francisco and San Diego. You can start your journey at the pier, hop aboard a ferry, and get to the island on a short ride across the Golden Gate Bridge.
Once at the island, you can hike along the famous Ferry Bay Trail which starts out near the Visitor’s Center in the Willowick Woods. The trail continues along the shoreline past the viewpoints of the Folsom Lookout and the Point Lookout. Some of the areas you will pass along the trail include the historic Gas Lamp District and the William Heath Davis House.
If you’re looking for more remote hiking adventures, the San Joaquin Islands offers some great opportunities for angel island camping. Hikers can explore the lakes, streams, and mountains that make up the region. Some hiking experiences may even take you up onto the ferry that runs between the mainland and the islands – a great way to experience the “flying high seas” part of the San Francisco Bay area.
While you’re hiking up and down the bay, make sure to check out the historical sights and attractions of the area. The Golden Gate Bridge, the Presidio, and Fort Mason are all places you should not miss when you’re on your way to angel island camping in San Francisco bay.
The ferry ride back will give you an excellent view of the peninsula and offer a unique perspective of San Francisco’s skyline. Spend a few hours taking in all of this rich history, and then head back to camp on the beach.
After a day of hiking and sightseeing, you’ll want to spend a bit of time at the beach where you’ve overnighted at. Camping at a state park campground offers you a chance to interact with nature and get to know a little about the area and its unique history.
If you would prefer to have some nearby water activities like kayaking, fishing, boating, swimming, or snorkeling, most campsites are close to beaches and lakes. You can even arrange for other amenities like a hot shower, internet access, and electricity so that you can stay up all night if you’d rather do so.
Camping at one of the state parks near you may also extend beyond the obvious hiking trails and down into the deeper valleys and forests. One popular hiking trail starts at Mount Kinabalu, a volcano that sits less than an hour away from the sandy beaches at the eastern end of the island.
The trail starts out easy enough: you pass under tall palm trees, brown volcanic ash stone formations, and brown sand beaches. At the midway point, you’ll come upon a white metal building with a staircase leading up to a terrace that overlooks the ocean. Just past that, the path makes a turn and heads straight for the crater of Mount Kinabalu.
Another hiking trail starts at the southern end of Angel Island, and this one heads into the wilderness. It’s not signed in to the National Park Service, but it includes details of hiking trails through spectacular scenery, including views of the rocky cliffs of Mount Tambor, the white sand beaches of Sunny Isles Beach, and the vast bay of San Francisco Bay.
The views from here are even more spectacular, including the western boundary of the San Francisco peninsula. Both of these trails head into the two miles of trails that border the Montague Island coastline, and both of these trails provide panoramas of the bay and mountain ranges that make up the island.