For our 2017 Editors Choice feature, our editors came up with their favorite ways to get some ‘air.’ Enjoy this list of hikes that will get you to a mountain top or catch a ride to the clouds.
MOUNT TAMALPAIS (MARIN COUNTY)
2,571 feet; 5 or 10 miles, one-way
Whether you park halfway up or start from the bottom, you’ll be grateful for the 360-degree Bay Area perspective from the top of Mount Tam.
MOUNT LIVERMORE, ANGEL ISLAND (MARIN COUNTY)
1,400 feet; 11-mile loop
The hike up Mount Livermore is easy for all skill levels and there are picnic tables at the top. Combined with a walk along Perimeter Road that encircles the island, this hike reveals the best of Angel Island.
HILL 88 (MARIN COUNTY)
1,500 feet; 4-mile loop
Bring your camera for this hike to a former Nike missile site. Park in Sausalito’s Rodeo Beach lot, find the trail to your right and continue up.
BALD MOUNTAIN, SUGARLOAF RIDGE STATE PARK (SONOMA COUNTY)
2,720 feet; 6-mile loop
Get an aerial view of wine country from this easily accessible peak. Begin from the parking lot on Lower Bald Mountain Trail, and when you come to a fork, stay to the left to remain on the trail, and loop from the summit back to the parking lot.
MOUNT DIABLO (CONTRA COSTA COUNTY)
3,849 feet; 6-mile loop
Diablo’s summit offers panoramas of the entire Bay Area. We recommend taking your time on the trail to truly enjoy the flora, fauna and amazing views.
MONTARA MOUNTAIN, MCNEE RANCH STATE PARK (SAN MATEO COUNTY)
1,900 feet; 8-mile loop
Start at the McNee Ranch trailhead and journey to North Peak. There is ample parking at this starting point, but those looking for a longer trip should begin at Gray Whale Cove State Beach.
Get Some Air
For a truly unique aerial Bay Area view, hop on one of the two vintage prop planes run by Seaplane Adventures (pictured). The family-owned Mill Valley company, founded in 1945 by World War II seaplane pilot Bob Law, offers a variety of flights, including the Norcal Coast Tour, traveling out to the wild beaches of Point Reyes; the Golden Gate Tour, highlighting local landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and Muir Woods; and the Sunset Champagne Tour to Stinson Beach, which includes two glasses of premium champagne.seaplane.com