If you’re looking for arguably the best view of the valley, hiking Clouds Rest in Yosemite will certainly fit the bill. Though I’ve been lucky to visit Yosemite several times, our most recent trip in October was the first time I’d really sought out hikes outside of the famous (and crowded) valley. While the valley certainly has its share of showstoppers – I’m excited to start exploring more of the park, starting with the 14.5 mile Clouds Rest hike.
Originally, I wanted to include details hiking Yosemite’s Mist Trail in my previous overnight trip to Yosemite post. However, it quickly became a monster of a post, so I decided to split this section out to make things easier to digest. If you’re not familiar with the Mist Trail, it’s a popular day hike from Yosemite Valley that provides spectacular views of Vernal Falls and Nevada Falls. In the springtime, these falls are thunderous – it’s definitely well worth the uphill climb!
Just a short 45 minute drive north of San Francisco, Mount Tamalpais State Park (Mt. Tam for short) provides ample trails and sights for hikers of all ability levels. Recently, we had some time to squeeze in a short afternoon hike, so we opted for the 3.8 mile Steep Ravine and Dipsea Trail Loop starting from Pantoll Station.
I recently took advantage of a free weekday to check out the wildly popular Mission Peak hike at Mission Peak Regional Preserve in Fremont, California. Instagram popularity withstanding, it’s a healthy out-and-back hike covering a bit over 6 miles total and more than 2,000 feet in elevation.