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Author: Katie Cook

Dog-friendly Hiking Trails Near San Francisco

These scenic dog-friendly hiking trails near San Francisco promise to be a big hit with your four-legged hiking companion. All of the trails on this list are within a 30-minute drive from San Francisco. The dog-friendly hikes range from easy jaunts to challenging workouts. Lands End Coastal Trail Tourists flock to the Lands End Coastal Trail for views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands, but dogs love this trail too! Many people choose to do this hike as a shorter out-and-back hike, but active dogs love the varied terrain in this 3.5-mile loop. The dirt path...

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Essential Packing List for Beginner Backpackers

Wondering what to pack for your first backpacking trip? This basic packing list for beginner backpackers has the essential gear to make your first backpacking trip a success. Hiking and backpacking are two of my favorite things in the world. While I’ve always enjoyed hiking it took me a bit longer to get into backpacking. I resisted backpacking for a long time simply because I didn’t understand how it worked. I thought that backpacking involved carrying all of my car camping gear on my back- it sounded awful! When I finally understood that backpacking required new gear I tried...

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Essential Gear for Day Hikers

Being prepared doesn’t require you to carry a heavy pack or buy a bunch of expensive gear. Here’s what I consider to be essential gear for day hikers–gear that could help save your life. When I was new to hiking I’d often hit the trail with nothing but a water bottle. I soon upgraded to carrying a backpack, but for many years, my backpack was just a convenient way to transport my water, snacks, and sweatshirt. It took being locked in a state park after hours to make me realize that I was woefully unprepared. In the end, everything turned...

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Murietta Falls and the Ohlone Wilderness

The trail to Murietta Falls is one of the most challenging hikes in the Bay Area. Clocking in at 12 miles with over 4ooo feet of elevation gain, this dog-friendly out-and-back hike will definitely give you a workout. The Ohlone Wilderness is popular with both day hikers and backpackers. The entire trail spans 28 miles and connects Mission Peak, Sunol, and Del Valle Regional Parks. The trail can be grueling in the heat of summer and a formidable opponent in the winter. I apparently like pain, and I usually end up hiking this trail twice a year. I’ve found that...

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Cataract Falls: Waterfall Walk in Marin

The dog-friendly, six-mile Cataract Falls hike near Mount Tamalpais is a waterfall wonderland. This is a stair-stepping, butt-busting challenging trail that rewards visitors with over 2-miles of waterfalls. The trail follows Cataract Creek as it cascades down Mount Tamalpais and flows into Alpine Lake. This is a pleasant hike year-round, but its full beauty unfurls in the wet months. In winter and spring the ferns are lush, trees are fuzzy with moss, the waterfalls gush, and wildflowers are abundant. As the year progresses the vegetation recoils and the Maple trees glow with autumn hues. This popular trail can get...

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