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Author: Katie Cook

Five Romantic Hikes in San Francisco

Candle-lit dinners are nice, but I’ll take a romantic hike with my sweetie over dinner at a stuffy restaurant any day. These five romantic hikes in San Francisco are perfect for strolling hand in hand with your special someone and setting your hearts a fire. Living in the City by the Bay we are blessed with rolling hills, golden sunsets, and fog shrouded valleys. There are plenty of beautiful views to be had- if you know where to look. Head over to these five special spots that are sure to turn up the sparks with your honey or your...

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Classic San Francisco and Coit Tower Walk

San Francisco is best explored on foot. There are 47 named hills in San Francisco, and with all of these hills come a large variety of pedestrian staircases. This one-mile Coit Tower walk explores the scenic stairs that lead from the waterfront to Coit Tower before ending in North Beach. The stairs leading to Coit Tower have inspired visitors and residents for generations. With sweeping views of Alcatraz and the Bay these stairs have inspired moviemakers and set the scene for many events in Armistead Maupin’s literary hits. This one-mile walk leads you up the classic wooden stairs of...

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Tidepooling and Beach Hopping at Fitzgerald Marine Reserve

As part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is home to a large assortment of marine creatures. The protected coastline nurtures life, and as a result the marine animals are extremely active on this gorgeous stretch of coast. Harbor Seals (and the occasional otter) frolic in the waves, while Pelicans and other short birds skim the surface of the water. And hidden under the crashing waves the sea is alive with sea stars, crabs, and sea anemones. In fact, most people flock to the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve during low tide to gaze at the...

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Calaveras Big Trees: Hike Among Giants

Important Note: This Calaveras Big Trees hike is located in the park’s South Grove. The road to the South Grove is closed from mid-November to late-April.  If you are attempting to hike this trail in November or April you should check the park’s website for current road conditions before heading out. Calaveras Big Trees State Park is home to the tallest trees in the world. You get to admire these giants in this jaw-dropping, nature-filled 4.9 mile Calaveras Big Trees hike. In addition to being the world’s tallest tree, the Giant Sequoia is also one of the oldest living trees on...

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Backpacking the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim Without a Stove

Want to ditch the stove? Check out my 3-day minimalist meal plan for backpacking the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim without a stove. When I hiked the John Muir Trail in 2017 my menu consisted of homemade dehydrated meals, ramen, instant potatoes, PB&J tortilla “sandwiches,” and oatmeal. I used the freezer bag cooking method to rehydrate all of my hot meals, and while the freezer bags made clean-up a breeze I felt extremely wasteful every time I threw one of them away. And since I was going through 2-3 Ziploc freezer bags a day I was producing a lot...

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