Explore Bay Area Hikes - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Wonderful and relaxing hike. Easier, but longer to head down to the camp and walk up the beach to see the falls, quite the long route. Or, make sure to take a small trail to the left where a pile of painted rocks are, paint is worn FYI. Then you can head down another path that is quite steep with loose gravel requiring some climbing. Be safe and be smart.

Very nice, but Barbara Springs trail is difficult going downhill.

Did this with my boyfriend this morning who is in a wheelchair and we did about half of it then walked on the road for a bit. It gets pretty steep but nice for a little nature on a Sunday.

Amazing course where there’s a little of everything, including a secret entrance. Be prepared for the slight rock climbing when reaching the falls.

One of my favorite hikes in the Bay! The scramble down to the beach was a bit precarious but beyond worth it! Just advisable to do with a friend or get help from another hiker to prevent falling. I’d imagine it would be challenging for older / less agile folks.

Nice trail!! Would recommend. Steep when getting down to the beach. No shorts because you need to climb on the rock. The rocks were sharp, pls be careful

hiking
10 days ago

A beautiful hike with rewarding views. The climb up definitely feels a bit harder than moderate but it’s a much easier return. As some have noted, coming back down all the stairs and downward train can be a little rough on the joints. I’d mark it a 5-star trail if it had more regular alternation between the up and downhills.

If you’re not up for the full hike, within the first mile you’ll have seen most of the prettier landscape.

Really beautiful and a nice couple hour workout

Nice hiking beautiful waterfall

Tip: to avoid the unofficial and potentially dangerous descent down to the falls that some folks are warning about, the official park map has you going approx 1 mile north past the falls on Coast Trail and/or Ocean Loop trail towards the Wildcat Camp. From Wildcat you go down onto the beach and head back south to the falls, returning the same way.

Very Crowded. The heavy traffic on this trail has degraded the already super sketchy descent to the beach at the falls. Hopefully there are friendly hikers to help you get down. Otherwise, its questionable weather it’s worth it to go down to the beach at all. Nice trail though. Cool views and flat trails.

hiking
18 days ago

As others have said, it's definitely a steep climb, and I was surprised this hike was labeled as moderate (I couldn't finish and turned back around about halfway through); that said, it's one of the most beautiful hikes I've ever done in the Bay Area -- from the minute you start out you're surrounded by stunning scenery, and every few feet is another gorgeous spot to rest and breathe in the incredible atmosphere. I went fairly early (9:30am) and the trail was really quiet and empty -- on the way out around 11:30 I passed a ton of groups, so I suspect afternoons there are quite crowded. Would definitely recommend to anyone with a moderate fitness level, provided you bring lots of water and are prepared to take a lot of breaks!

One of my fave hikes to go on with my dog, there is the best of open space preserve and sheltered lush forest. During the summer the shaded portion is welcomed after the heat!

hiking
18 days ago

We visited in July. It was an easy hike until the sand portion. I wasn’t prepared to walk in sand and didn’t wear appropriate shoes. It was hot and the sand was difficult to walk in. It was worth it when we were able to see and hear the elephant seals! It was near to learn about the house on the island, too!

Great view especially under good weather. Not crowd at all.

Nice climb but no way is it 2.7 miles total. Closer to 5-6 miles up and back. Beautiful and green. Water just trickling right now. Need rain!

Such a beautiful hike. Brings lots of water and snacks and/or lunch that you can eat at the falls.

I will start with advice, if you want the best trip to the falls check the SF tides chart. Try to get to the falls 2 hours before or after low tide, any other time there will be no beach to see the falls from, it will all be water. And you will have to stay on the rocks.
Also from the top of The falls to the bottom is very sharp loose shale rock you are on you butt going down and must use your hands and knees going up, with shorts your knees could be cut up.

The trail itself is great, it goes from hundreds of feet up above the water to completely shaded by the trees.
Not much uphill at all

Beautiful hike with shade along the way. A long hike at 13-14 miles but so worth it. Take some snacks to enjoy the beach once you arrive ! It’s a busy hike but not too many people. Parking gets full very quick so unless you want to hike a couple more miles , get there early to get parking.

Busy but not too crowded. Trailhead parking is definitely packed by mid morning on the weekends. This is a fun one!

Fantastic Hike, getting to the Beach to stand below the falls is a MUST!!

trail running
1 month ago

Excellent go-to for a quick run or hike for folks from Berkeley and UCB, but not necessarily a destination from elsewhere. Some nice stands of trees and a few spots with cool views of the bay. Nearby to the Lawrence Hall of Science and UCB botanical garden, both of which are great.

Great view throughout. A lot of shade but also a lot rocks scattered along the path. Easy parking. Very clean area in general.

Great trail with mildly steep inclines broken up with flat/easy terrain. Definitely come on a clear day for incredible views of the city. Free parking is available at the Quarry Picnic Area.

hiking
1 month ago

It’s a very easy mostly uphill very very short trail but it is worth the 25 minutes you spend on it

Beautiful views

Beautiful Trail! First half is downhill, second half mostly up. I ended up coming back on the West Ridge Trail instead of the French trail and this worked out fine, just a bit of extra elevation. Plenty of spots to cut through back to the French section if desired. Not too many people on a weekday and nice and shaded.

Absolutely beautiful place! So glad somebody on the trail let me know where the turn off was. I’m pretty sure I would’ve missed it. I will definitely come back and plan to bring my bathing suit so I can jump in the water at the end!

Love this trail. It’s beautiful, mostly covered for rain or sun, dog friendly. Not a lot of parking but otherwise delightful.

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