The 5 Best Sunset Hikes in the Bay Area
Get a look at everything from the Pacific Ocean to Snow Mountain
The latest San Francisco sunset of 2019 occurred at 8:35 p.m. Tuesday night.
Don’t be too alarmed: there’s still plenty of extra sunlight to be had (sundown won’t dip below 8:00 p.m. until mid-August).
To help you make the most of it, we recommend a hike up to one of the following summits, from bucket-list regular Mount Saint Helena to the seriously under-the-radar Suisun Hill.
The payoff: views so spectacular they’ll get you almost all the way to Nevada.
Spot: Mount Saint Helena (4,343 feet)
View: All the way to the Sierra Nevadas
In brief: In our last installment, we recommended hiking Mount Burdell, which, at 1558 feet, offers terrific views Mount Saint Helena. Now you’ll be standing on the peak of the sainted lady herself, with to-die-for views of the Sierras to the east and S.F. to the west.
Get there: At the top of the Stevenson Memorial Trail
Drinks after: Low-key Susie’s in nearby Calistoga
Spot: Sonoma Mountain
View: Bennett Valley, Bennett Mountain, and redwoods
In brief: Bringing along some kids — or anyone else who’s not up for a schlep? The Vista Trail is just over a half-mile, but offers views of basically all of Sonoma County: exceptional bang for the hiking buck.
Get there: Vista Trail in the North Sonoma Mountain Regional Park and Open Space Preserve
Drinks after: Specialty beers and pizzas at Jackson’s
Spot: Bluff Top Trail
View: Sonoma’s Pacific coastline, in all its wild and wooly glory (and whales, if you come between November and March)
In brief: Six miles out and back, with staggering view of the ocean throughout — as well as beach access if you feel like getting wet.
Get there: Park at Gualala Point Regional Park ($7).
Drinks after: MendoVine has views just as good as the trail (plus lots of wine). Why not make a night of it with an overnight in an actual architectural treasure in nearby Sea Ranch?
Spot: Annie’s Rock
View: Lake Berryessa, Mount Konocti, even Snow Mountain (100 miles away)
In brief: Up along Annie’s Trail — named for a local conservationist — is a lookout offering stellar views of, in addition to the above, the Mayacamas Mountains and the Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument.
Get there: Find directions to the trailhead in Solano County here.
Drinks after: Please see the intriguing “Beer Wall” at Green River in nearby Winters.
Spot: Suisun Hill, Rush Ranch
View: Mount Diablo
In brief: Want a look at Diablo — without climbing to the top? This gentle hill, on a preserved Solano Land Trust property, offers views of the landmark, as well as of the rolling countryside, marshes, and ranchland.
Get there: See here for directions
Drinks after: Local wines and free beer tastings are on offer at Craft & Cork in Suisun City.