Best State Parks
1. Castle Rock State Park - This is a boulderer's paradise! Short , challenging climbs are plentiful, and there are plenty of top rope setups for beginners and experts alike.
2. Mount Diablo State Park - While a bit off the beaten path, Diablo is home to the highest mountain in the Bay Area, and has a road that takes you nearly to the top.
3. Big Basin Redwoods State Park - With ancient redwoods, stunning waterfalls and views of the ocean, this park is the appropriate home for the popular Skyline to the Sea Trail.
4. Mount Tamalpais State Park - Perfect for North Bay residents, Mount Tam offers some of the best views anywhere in the Bay Area. Hikes are abundant and the summit is accessible by car, except for the last quarter mile.
5. Sunol Regional Wilderness - Rolling hilltops are characteristic of this relatively undiscovered gem. While the 20-mile roundtrip hike to the top of Rose Peak (second highest in the Bay Area) may seem daunting, the views are absolutely worth it. Don't be surprised to see some trail runners training for ultra-marathons.
6. Muir Woods National Monument - A beautiful, accessible natural museum of redwood trees with easily-graded hiking trails and information on the ecology of the area.
7. Tilden Regional Park - An Urban Oasis, this park offers spectacular views of the ocean, the city, and the entire bay, and is very accessible to Berkeley and Oakland residents
8. Golden Gate Park - This is a San Francisco classic and adjacent to the Pacific Ocean.