North Ridge and Sunset Trail Loop

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Angel Island State Park

North Ridge and Sunset Trail Loop is a 4.8 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Belvedere Tiburon, California that features beautiful wild flowers and is good for all skill levels. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible year-round.

Distance: 4.8 miles Elevation Gain: 777 feet Route Type: Loop

kid friendly

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

running

partially paved

views

wild flowers

wildlife

no dogs

You will need to take a ferry to get to Angel Island. Once you're there, you will see entire Bay views, eucalyptus groves, beaches, ruins. The hike leads up the main road, then crosses the perimeter road, and keeps going up the mountain. There are many switchbacks, and watch out for poison oak. The hike leads up the north face, wraps around to the south face, giving you great views of San Francisco and the Golden Gate. Turn left at the North Ridge trail near the top of the mountain, this leads to a lookout, where you can see the entire bay. Heading back down, turn onto North Ridge trail, and head down to fire road, and turn right when you get down to the perimeter road. Past the old hospital is a split for quarry beach, and the picnic grounds. Head down to the beach for nice views of Berkeley and Oakland. Hike back up toward the perimeter road, and the direction you came down, but stay on the road, all the way back around to Ayala Cove.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked this trail on 2/22/20 and had beautiful weather about 55 degrees and a slight breeze that made it good for a light jacket and pants. This loop can be worked either way. Starting with the North Ridge Trail has you getting up about 150 steps. Starting on the sunset trail takes you on a paved path up to the beginning. Once you’ve crossed the access road at each of these locations the hike is a fairly simple one with multiple switchbacks at an overall low grade. The hike moves you in and out of the shade which provides good coverage and lots of amazing views. If you started with the sunset trail the accent has a fairly steep incline to it for the last quarter mile or so but it is absolutely worth it at the top. If you’re coming down the sunset route be careful as it can be slick at times. Overall a fantastic experience and hike that all can do at their own pace. We completed in just under two hours (55 to the top via sunset, 10-15 minutes spent at the top taking photos and having a snack, 50 minutes to come back down the north ridge trail.) last note is that the sunset trail to the top comes in at around 2 miles but most do not include starting from the ferry stop which probably adds an additional quarter mile. (This trail begins just past the visitor center SouthWest of the ferry stop) The north ridge trail is 2.25 miles from start to summit and begins just to the NorthEast of the ferry drop off.

hiking
5 months ago

Light packs 5 mile hike.

The trail itself isn’t that great but the views are beautiful. Highly recommend doing this on a clear day otherwise you might not get to see SF as well. Be careful if it’s rained recently. The trail was a bit muddy/slippery. Otherwise the trail was a pretty easy 5 mile loop.

hiking
muddy
5 months ago

hiking
over grown
6 months ago

hiking
7 months ago

Amazing views of the SF Bay, Golden Gate Bridge, the City, Alcatraz, and SF Bay bridge. Encountered a few down trees that need to be cleared.

hiking
8 months ago

I hiked this loop today Saturday, September 28th. The weather was beautiful. The views from Mount Livermore are awesome. There were lots of people, but you have to expect that on a beautiful Saturday. The ferry ride over, the free concert, and the hike, all made for a very relaxing day.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful trail to the peak of Mt Livermore. I arrived on the 2pm ferry from Tiburon and just about made the 4.20pm return ferry, definitely allow 2.5hrs to do this trail if going at a moderate pace! I took the north ridge trail up, the first 10 minutes were steps and the toughest part, after that it was a casual incline. This trail offers spectacular 360 views of the bay. Would definitely recommend! The trail was surprisingly quiet, not too much foot traffic, especially given it was a sunny Sunday afternoon!

Beautiful 360 views

hiking
9 months ago

This trail has a few stunning views to see San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge. Bring your sun block because there are not many shades. The grass on the trail also looks over grown. Not completely kid friendly as some parts are very narrow with no rails.

hiking
blowdown
rocky
9 months ago

Trail was lovely and not difficult at all but we were taken off guard by how strong the wind was! Saw a bunch of people having picnics throughout which also seemed nice.

hiking
9 months ago

You can start off in either direction. I chose to go to the left and up the staircase. It is a climb but once up on the Perimeter Road it’s pretty level and I found the Internment camp interesting. Pass the McDowell area you can go to Quarry Beach which is spectacular with views of the SF city snd Alcatraz. Lots of picnic tables throughout the hike.

hiking
10 months ago

Took the first ferry at 10am from Tiburon ($15pp, cash only, plus $16 for parking — also cash only). The stairs at the beginning of the trail are tough but afterwards the incline is gradual and pretty easy. Great views, beautiful weather. Trail took just over 2 hours not counting our little break at the top.

hiking
11 months ago

Views are beautiful but trail is narrow and overgrown at times.

hiking
rocky
Sat Jun 01 2019

hiking
Sat May 25 2019

Great trail to take the sunset and then the north ridge down. Total hike is about 3 miles. Easy and beautiful views throughout.

hiking
Wed May 22 2019

It was awesome, amazing, incredible! The 180-360 views were spectacular! There was overgrowth on the trail, but I’m real sure that’s due to our recent rains. I would definitely do this hike again. However, I would consider this a MODERATE hike, not easy. The incline, especially at first, would be troublesome for some. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to do it, but I did ok. One of the ladies halfway up the first incline was already saying she couldn’t go on... and there was more incline to come! We arrived on the first ferry (10AM), and after the hike enjoyed a quick lunch (which was very good, and not exorbitantly priced as some here have complained) then got on the 1:20 ferry. We didn’t get to see a lot of the other stuff, and I’d like to return to do so (and do the perimeter trail).

hiking
bugs
Sun Apr 14 2019

In the begging of the trail head it was straight upward then the trail got easier lots of bugs the most beautiful views I brought lunch N my binoculars it was a great day I would recommend this hike an maybe some frisbee at the picnic area while waiting for the ferry

hiking
Sun Mar 17 2019

Beautiful views. Very well maintained trail.

One of the most beautiful trails in the Bay Area. Stupendous views. So close and so far from Market Street!

Thu Dec 27 2018

Super easy. Not much of a hike, but some good views of city, ferry ride over.... great way to spend a day !

hiking
Sat Dec 15 2018

Gorgeous views of the entire city and north bay.

Sun Oct 07 2018

Great trail. Starting with North Ridge trail begins you with many stairs but it is by far the hardest part of the entire trail so you get it out of the way quickly. The top views on Mt. Livermore is literally 360 and gorgeous. Make sure you bring water and sun screen- as it gets more open and less opportunities of shade as you go up. Taking Sunset trail down sets you up for great views of the Golden Gate Bridge. A few animal sightings- deer, lizards, birds, and little rodent friends. Make sure you keep track of time- I hiked up and ran down the other end which made for a good workout going down as well! Would totally do it again and will probably bring new comers to the area!

hiking
Fri Sep 21 2018

Beautiful views on nice, well marked trails. A hidden gem

Sun Jul 08 2018

Amazing views of all sides of the bay. A steep start. Picnic tables at the top. Worth going to summit of mt Livermore

Thu Jul 05 2018

I did this hike alone and really enjoyed it. It’s pretty easy to do, mostly up hill but with the most amazing views and lovely nature along the way. I got there on the 10am (ish) ferry and managed to get on the 12pm ferry back to San Francisco. The views from the top are totally worth the hike. There were also some fun animals along the way, interesting birds and lizards! Would recommend on a clear day so you can make the most of the views!!

Sun Jun 24 2018

The views are remarkable... a 360 view of the Bay from the middle of it! I took a detour from the trail to visit the immigration Center. At the top of the stairs on the North ridge trail, I made a left and went about a mile along the perimeter road to it's entrance. I read the signage around the harbor then did a self-guided tour of the barracks. (Bring cash for entry!) It was a good, visceral reminder of our problematic history with immigrants. From the Immigration Center I continued for a short time on the perimeter road to a fire road on the right. I followed that yo the Ida Trail that was marked as "to Mt. Livermore". This was a mostly uphill, exposed stretch. A bit hot, but incomparable and unobstructed views of East Bay, Bay Bridge, Treasure Island, SF, and Golden Gate bridge. At the top, the trail met up with the sunset trail. The sunset trail was mostly level and transitioned from grasses to oak and bay tree coverage. Once in the trees, it was a steady decline back to Ayala Cove. I had time to read about the island's history and varied uses at the visitor center and a beer at the cafe before my ferry departure. A great day to enjoy the Bay area and learn some new things about the area.

hiking
Thu Jun 21 2018

6-20-18 hike with my son and had a great day. Took to 10am Tiburon Ferry ($15 each) and started trail by 10:45. The trail going up to 788 feet is about what you would expect, except the views of the bay were spectacular. Also, went to the immigration station as a point of interest and history. Saw a mole on the trail, it was dead but still cool. This hike is all about the views.

Sun Jun 17 2018

Hiked it and biked it. Great scenery and the occasional history lesson regarding the islands, days a fort.

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