Monday, February 17, 2014

60 Hikes in 60 Miles in 60 Weeks: Week Twenty-five
San Bruno Mountain
Looking north to San Francisco from Summit Loop Trail

What it's like:
This 3.5 mile hike loops up to the summit ridge and back while featuring incredible sweeping views, and is just minutes from San Francisco.

Why now:
Regardless of the date, when I see the first wildflowers of the year on this hike, to me it's spring. Milkmaids are usually first, preceding a riot of flowers including California poppies, owl's clover, goldenfields, ceanothus (a shrub), cow parsnip, blue-eyed grass, bluedicks, and many more.

If you can't make it this week:
This loop is my standard quick weekday hike year round -- it's always pretty and great exercise.

Insider tip:
On the way back down the mountain, you can choose either Dairy Ravine or Summit Loop Trail -- both return to the trailhead with about the same overall mileage. I usually take Dairy Ravine in winter, Summit Loop in spring, and then switch back to Dairy Ravine again in summer (lots of soap plant blooming then). If the 3.5 mile Summit Loop feels too daunting, string together Dairy Ravine and Summit Loop for a 1.6 mile hike.

San Bruno Mountain is hike number 51 in 60 Hikes in 60 Miles: San Francisco (third edition)Read about this hike on BAHiker.

Alternate choice:
Cascade Falls is a small but pretty waterfall in Cascade Canyon Open Space Preserve, at the edge of Fairfax. This easy 1.2 mile out and back makes a great family hike -- look for early wildflowers such as milkmaids and hounds tongue.

Post your comments and experiences here or on the BAHiker Facebook page.


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