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10 Microadventures Near San Francisco

08.23.17

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10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
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  • Mountain biking in Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • Mountain bikers in Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • Hikers and mountain bikers share the trails in Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • Many 150-year-old stumps are still visible on the Phleger Estate Loop Hike.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • California newt on the Phleger Estate Loop Hike. - 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • Much of the Phleger Estate Loop Hike is along steep ravines.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • An autumn sunset in Mount Tamalpais State Park lights up the grassy hillsides like gold.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • The summit ridge of Mount Tamalpais is made up of three peaks. Right to left: East Peak (2,571 ft), Middle Peak (2,490 ft), and West Peak (2,560 ft). This view is from Coyote Ridge Trail in the Marin Headlands.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • Redwoods along the Dipsea Trail in Mount Tamalpais State Park.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • A San Franicsco skyline beyond Marin's ridgelines in Mount Tamalpais State Park.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • Tide pools at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • Sub-tidal lagoon at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • Gray Whale Cove seen from Gray Whale Cove Trail.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • Mountain bikers look toward Montara State Beach on Gray Whale Cove Trail.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • The Sutro Baths with the entrance to the Golden Gate and Marin County in the distance.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • The ruins of the Sutro Baths at the edge of the Pacific.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • The ruins of Sutro Baths at the edge of the Pacific.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • Lands End Lookout Visitor Center.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • Coastal fog settles in regularly along the Coastal Trail.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • The junction to Pirate's Cove.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • Stairs leading from the Rodeo Beach Trail to the ridge.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • The trail toward Tennessee Valley.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • This is a popular trail with hikers, bikers and dogs.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • Ring Mountain Preserve- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • Ring Mountain Preserve- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • Muir Woods National Monument along the Main Trail.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • Muir Woods National Monument along the Main Trail.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • Mori Point seen from the Bluff Trail.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • Mori Point seen from Sharp Park Beach - 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • Bootlegger's Steps at Mori Point - 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • California poppies (Eschscholzia californica) at Mori Point.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • Pacifica Pier and Sharp Park Beach.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • Sharp Park Beach seen from Mori Point. - 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
  • Taking in the amazing views from Bicentennial Campground.- 10 Microadventures Near San Francisco
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Contributor

Weekend Warriors rejoice. Your days of only feeling like your true self on Saturdays and Sundays are over, all thanks to something that’s gaining steam in the world of outdoor recreation: the microadventure.

The microadventure is just what it sounds like, a short, compact, and rejuvenating excursion into the outdoors that only requires a couple hours of your time. Many outdoor enthusiasts have a misconception that the only adventures worth having are the brag-worthy summits, instagram-able backcountry treks, or grueling feats of endurance.

This mode of thinking just isn’t true, however. You can find that same sense of solace and empowerment in nature in a city park in San Francisco that you get from a three-day backpacking trip in the Sierra. It’s all about being present and budgeting your time to experience the great outdoors right where you are.

Here’s 10 great microadventures in or near the Bay Area that will allow you to tap into your weekend self anytime you have a few hours to spare. Next time you feel like waking up a few hours early or need to blow off some steam after work, pull up this list and hit the ground running.

  1. Mount Tamalpais: Located an hour north of San Francisco, this iconic Bay Area hike can get crowded on weekends, which means it’s an adventure that’s best experienced midweek if you are over the crowds.
  2. Gray Whale Cove: If a mellower trail with wildflowers suits your fancy, Gray Whale Cove is a 2-mile trek to a stunning beach that is located 38 minutes south of the city.
  3. Fitzgerald Marine Reserve: Just about 40 minutes south of San Francisco, the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is not only picture-perfect (it’s a really popular place to photograph the sunset), it’s also a great place to recharge in nature.
  4. Phleger Estate Loop Hike: This 6-mile trail in Golden Gate Park features about 1,000 feet of elevation gain and will get your heart rate up and your blood pumping, especially if you take it at a brisk pace or a run.
  5. Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve: If you are a mountain biker in the Bay Area, chances are you are already familiar with these scenic trails located a little over an hour south of San Francisco.
  6. Ring Mountain Preserve: For a quick hike under 2-miles and about 30 minutes from the city, Ring Mountain Preserve is a dog-friendly hike with great views.
  7. Muir Woods: If you’re ready to be wowed by nature, look no further than Muir Woods National Monument, where the tallest tree in the park stands at 248 feet tall. It’s located just under an hour away from San Francisco.
  8. Sharp Point Beach at Mori Point: Hike down a steep set of stairs to Sharp Point Beach in Pacifica, located 15 to 20 minutes from the city.
  9. Coastal Trail: While the entire trail is 13 miles from Rodeo Beach to Muir Beach, you definitely don’t have to do it all in one go. Many people will walk a few minutes along this trail before or after work.
  10. Lands End Lookout + Sutro Baths: Take a picnic to the lookout to watch the sunset or explore this iconic Northern California spot.
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