Hiking In The City — Sightseeing And Exercise All In One

By Gwen Dawkins

Hopefully, you read my previous post about my Prepping To Hike Mt. Whitney. We are less than a month away from our trek up the highest peak in the continental US, and we continue to hike, hike, hike. Most of the time, we are out in nature, climbing hills and mountains. But somebody made the suggestion of “hiking” around San Francisco. We LOVED it!

In fact, this was the only long hike we’ve done (20-ish miles) that seemed to fly by. We decided that it must be because there was something new and exciting to see around every corner. We also ditched our hiking poles and stuck to sneakers instead of hiking boots. As a result, we were lighter on our feet and minds. 

We absolutely wanted to include some of San Francisco’s famous staircases in our route and some tourist stops like “the most crooked street in the world,” Lombard Street.

Deciding On Our Route

We were keen to try the Cross Town Trail, a 17-mile route that traverses The City from Candlestick Point, across Golden Gates Heights, Stow Lake and The Presidio, finishing at Land’s End. The trouble was working out logistics for shuttling vehicles and/or utilizing public transportation between the two points in a timely manner –– we had to consider our commute into San Francisco, add in four to five hours of walking and then another ninety minutes or so to get to the start of our hike from our vehicle drop off point. That just seemed like too much for one day.

Hiking across the Golden Gate Bridge

Ultimately, we decided to start and stop at Cavallo Point in Sausalito, walk across the Golden Gate Bridge and then zigzag our way through Pacific Heights, Nob Hill, Union Square and China Town. Along the way, we tackled the Lyon Steps, which left us huffing and puffing –– we also discovered the steps are incredibly trendy among personal trainers and their clients

We’ll Definitely Do It Again

Aside from the adventure factor, we also loved the ability to grab drinks; sit down for a proper lunch; reward ourselves with gelato whenever we felt like it. As a bonus, it was the only time any of us had ever walked across the Golden Gate Bridge twice in one day. We all agreed that we will do this again, trying out different neighborhoods and routes. Even our friends who do not want to hike Mt. Whitney are game to join us on our next trek through San Francisco.

Have you ever combined serious exercise with sightseeing through a city? Please share your story!

Gwen Dawkins
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  • Reply Beatrice Legrand July 24, 2021 at 12:25 pm

    Great article, and a lot of ideas of hikes to do in San Francisco.I love to hike in a city as well so I am saving this for our next time in the City! Thank you for sharing your tips!

    • Reply zestandplomb July 25, 2021 at 10:50 am

      I agree!! This sounds like a route to follow whether you’re training or just doing a city sightseeing hike.

    • Reply Gwen Dawkins July 29, 2021 at 9:58 pm

      Fantastic Beatrice! It was so fun, please do it!!

  • Reply Kelly A Johnson July 27, 2021 at 3:58 am

    What a great idea! Loved this article. Can’t wait for the next one

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