Bay Area Craft Beer Hikes: Brews with Views
While there are a plethora of virtual activities to occupy your time, it’s still important to opt outside. You’ve probably memorized every sidewalk crack in your neighborhood by now, so we’re recommending a change of scenery with some of our favorite Bay Area craft beer hikes.
Whether you want to be on trail for an hour or an afternoon, no hike is complete without a post-adventure beer. Kick Back IPA is the perfect pairing to a sweaty trek in the sun, or a casual jaunt through the park. It’s our hoppy, all-day drinking beer that keeps your head clear, and contributes to trail clean-up. We donate a portion of proceeds to the Regional Parks Foundation to support trail restoration projects in our community.
Lace up your boots, fill your Camelbak and enjoy these outdoor excursions!
Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve, Oakland
Recommendation: Most East Bay residents probably don’t realize they live near a volcano. While no longer active, the volcano in Sibley produced much of the lava that underlies the sunny side of the Bay’s natural geography roughly ten million years ago. With so much wide-open space, an endless supply of trail options, and two hidden labyrinths, Sibley is a perfect place to escape for exercise without running into a crowd. Park at the staging area off Skyline, take the Round Top Loop to the Volcanic Trail Loop and witness otherworldly landscapes (we’re talking straight up Lord of the Rings status). Wear sunscreen and bring a hat, parts of the trail are quite exposed to the elements and it can get windy.
Length: 3.5 miles / Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Lake Chabot Regional Park, Castro Valley
Trail: Ten Hills Trail (Out & Back)
Recommendation: This is the weekday hike that gets Marketing Project Manager Carrie to her daily 10k step goal. While most of the trail is a fire road, it has decent tree coverage and a surprising amount of flora and fauna given its urban setting. Keep your eyes peeled for wild bunnies, hawks, turkeys, and the occasional deer. Plus, the trail neighbors a whole slew of domestic livestock: goats, horses, and sheep. If you’d like to tack on a couple extra steps and bring the roundtrip to 5.1 miles, start at the main Lake Chabot Regional Park parking lot.
Length: 3.2 miles / Difficulty: Easy
Redwood Regional Park, Oakland
Recommendation: While long, the terrain on this hike isn’t terribly difficult and you get to experience a variety of East Bay climates. Starting on the East Ridge of Redwood Regional Park, you’ll be greeted with expansive views of the Bay and the dry hillside. Things quickly change once you drop into the Huckleberry Regional Reserve, where you’ll be surrounded by Redwoods, ferns, and giant trees. The hike culminates at the Mazzariello Labyrinth in Sibley Volcanic, where you can walk the labyrinth and meditate before beginning your trek back.
Length: 13.2 miles (13.9 if you stop at the West Ridge bathrooms)
Lands End Park, San Francisco
Trail: Coastal Trail Loop
Recommendation: This partially paved hike is fairly heavily trafficked compared to our other suggestions. However, the salty spray of the Bay, shipwreck remains, Lands End Labyrinth, and stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge are worth wearing a mask for. Park in the lot near Point Lobos Avenue and be sure to check out the Sutro Baths along your way.
Length: 3.4 miles / Difficulty: Easy
Bernal Heights Park, San Francisco
Trail: Bernal Heights Park Trail
Recommendation: Less of a “hike” and more of an “urban walk,” this path rewards you with sweeping, panoramic views of the skyline. Pack a picnic, or purchase takeout from any number of local restaurants, and enjoy the feeling of being on top of the entire city. You might as well spin in circles with your arms outstretched while you’re up there. You know, for that movie magic moment.
Length: 1 mile loop around the park, plus 400 vertical feet to the summit.
Point Reyes National Seashore, Inverness
Trail: Abbotts Lagoon Trail
Recommendation: Experience nearly all the best features of Point Reyes National Seashore in one easy hike. Meander through coastal pastures, rolling dunes, and tidal lagoons teeming with wildlife. This coastal oasis is a haven for migrating birds, black-tailed deer, and if you’re lucky, frolicking river otters. Bring your binoculars and pack a picnic to enjoy on the beach.
Length: 3.6 miles / Difficulty: Easy
Sonoma Coast State Park, Bodega Bay
Recommendation: Enjoy a leisurely stroll headed north along the rocky Sonoma Coast, just south of where the Russian River empties into the Pacific Ocean. The coastal views are spectacular, especially at the top of Sunset Boulders if you make the climb. Keep your eyes peeled on the ocean for seals and migrating whales. There’s also a few good spots for rock climbing, and during low tide you can head down to Shell Beach from the Kortum Trail Parking lot to discover plentiful tide pool critters.
Length: 4.4 miles / Difficulty: Easy to Moderate
Mount Tamalpais State Park, Mill Valley
Recommendation: One of the most exquisite, strenuous, and satisfying hikes you will find in the Bay Area takes you from the Pacific Ocean to the top of Mt. Tam and back. This journey is not for the faint of heart, but boy, oh boy is it an amazing adventure! You’ll spend an entire day crossing grassy coastal headlands, marching through mossy redwood groves, and gaining elevation on hot, dusty roads. Halfway to the top is Bootjack Campground (or Pantoll, just down the highway) where you can use the restrooms and fill your Camelbak, both on the way up and down. Enjoy a break for lunch at the fire lookout once you make it to the top, but don’t stop too long or your legs will turn to Jell-O! At the end of your journey, massage your aching feet in the sand and maybe even watch the sunset on the horizon.
Length: 17.3 miles / Difficulty: Hard
SOUTH BAY / PENINSULA
Pescadero State Beach, Pescadero
Recommendation: Explore one of the most important coastal marshes on the California coast, home to migrating birds and a wide variety of plant life. Spot crabs, egrets and raptors cruising the sky. Park your car in the state beach parking lot just south of Pescadero Creek, cross the bridge, then hit the beach! The trail is east of Highway One and you can access it by walking underneath the bridge. Don’t wear shorts; there’s plenty of poison oak.
Length: Roughly 2 miles / Difficulty: Easy
Rancho San Antonio Persevere, Cupertino
Trail: Wildcat Canyon Loop
Recommendation: This beautiful trail has some sunny sections, but is mostly protected by covered canyons and canopy of trees. You’ll find lots of wildlife here: deer, turkeys, and if you’re lucky, a jack rabbit or two. Sadly, no dogs are allowed, but this path is perfect to enjoy solo. Pro Tip: South Meadow Trail connects the two parking lots at Rancho San Antonio. If you find a spot in the main lot, you can skip a section of the hike, just watch for poison oak on narrow sections of trail.
Length: 7.2 miles / Difficulty: Moderate
The Bay Trail, Menlo Park
Recommendation: The Bay Trail is a 500-mile trail that goes around the Bay. It’s beautiful all the way around, but we particularly like the stretch from Bedwell Bayfront Park to Alviso. Enjoy the 3.3 mile loop that is Bedwell Bayfront Park Trail or take your bike out and cruise the 19.9 mile out & back between Sunnyvale and Sand Point, an easy, flat ride for all experience levels. This trail is right along the water so you get to enjoy Bay views, and all the sights, sounds and smells of the shoreline. Bonus: the bird watching is a joy!
Length: Choose your own adventure!