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Overnight from San Francisco using Public Transit
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Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Overnight from San Francisco using Public Transit on 03/17/2013 14:39:47 MDT Print View

Overnight Loop from San Francisco

It's been a very poor winter for rain, so the spring wildflowers are anemic. None-the-less we decided to take advantage of very fine weather and take a short-notice overnight hike from San Francisco.

We varied a bit with some side outings, but here's the outline of the basic route:

CalTrain Station to the Ferry Terminal: 1.8 miles, flat
Ferry from San Francisco to Sausalito
Sausalito Ferry Terminal to the Alta Trail: 1.5 miles, 170 feet gain
To Pantoll, via Tennessee Valley and Muir Woods: 11 miles, 2860 feet gain
To North End of GG Bridge, via the coast: 14.3 miles, 2680 feet gain
Across the bridge and along the waterfront back to CalTrain: 9.3 miles, nearly flat

View the route on a map. You can change the map type (Satellite, USGS, Google, NPS, etc) in the upper right corner. And you can download the track data.

2-day-loop from SF

Sun rising behind the Bay Bridge. Photo taken from the SF Ferry Building:marinLoop-fixed-1

On the ferry to Sausalito, looking back at San Francisco:MarinFixed-2

Hiking up out of Sausalito, looking east over the Bay:MarinFixed-3

Morning on second day near camp, above the fog, looking south. San Mateo County coast in the far distance:MarinFixed-4

Mid morning on second day, on the Coastal Trail north of Pirate's cove:MarinLoop-5

Lunch at Tennessee Valley Beach:MarinFixed-5

Approaching the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge: MarinFixed-6

After walking across the bridge, looking back at the Marin Headlands:MarinLoop-8

Jim at Crissy Field, part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area:MarinLoop-9

Edited by drongobird on 03/17/2013 17:16:35 MDT.

Marc Eldridge
(meld) - MLife

Locale: The here and now.
Re: "Overnight from San Francisco using Public Transit" on 03/17/2013 23:54:13 MDT Print View

This looks like a great hike. Thanks Amy and Jim for posting.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Overnight from San Francisco using Public Transit on 03/18/2013 01:01:14 MDT Print View

We were in the Bay Area a few weeks ago and I wondered about overnight hikes in that area.

I've read a few accounts of people arranging hikes using public transportation. The costs of getting to a traihead can add up and some don't have a car, and leaving a car at a lonely trailhead can be worrisome.

We were in Munich, Germany one Frebruary and one night we saw large numbes of people walking through town late one evening carrying downhill skis. We realized they had taken a train into the Alps for a day of skiing. That made me think of how cool it would be to have a train that looped through the Cascades from Seatle for winter skiing and then trail access in the summer. Something like that could spawn all kinds of new businesses and bring income to a lot of small mountain towns. A loop train around the Olympic Peninsula would be fantastic, as well as one to the borders of Rainier National Park.

Exit wish mode, return to general programming.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Overnight from San Francisco using Public Transit on 03/18/2013 07:57:14 MDT Print View

Nice report - nice you can do that

It's very difficult to get public transit from Portland to any trailhead. Buses go on I-84 past Cascade Locks, but they don't stop there. I think the same for going over Mt Hood. You have to drive your car to get about anywhere, and then the vandals will break-in.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: using Public Transit on 03/18/2013 09:59:05 MDT Print View

This would make a good premis for a web site. If there is a place to stop safely, it might take a little lobbying with the local transit organization.
Years ago there was a newspaper article where a reporter hooked up several rural bus line to get from Seattle to the Pacific coast at Grays Harbor. I was able to put together a simple combination of buses and ferries to get from Seattle to the Olympic Peninsula.

As with the OP some trips require some walking from more urban areas to the unpaved trail, but there's no reason that can't be part of the adventure.

The obvious link from Seattle to the forest is via I-90. It is possible to take one bus from Seattle to the town of North Bend wich is the last outpost of suburbia. You can walk 5.7 miles to the start of the Iron Horse Trail, a rail-trail based park and trail system. It looks like there are some summer weekend shuttles to help hikers get around closed tunnels. The trail itself goes by a number of trailheads from the I-90 corridor. The PCT crosses I-90 at Snoqualmie Pass. I'm putting this trip on my todo list.

Edited by dwambaugh on 03/18/2013 10:47:48 MDT.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Great Trip Report on 03/19/2013 08:04:28 MDT Print View

I love backpacking via public transportation. It's great not having to worry about getting back to a car via shuttling or hitchhiking.
Also, trailheads tend to attract vehicle breakins.

I live in NYC. Most people don't own cars here and use public transportation to get to and from their hiking destinations. There are a lot of commuter buses and trains to choose from all branching out a hundred miles and more from the city.

So I leave the car at home most of the time.

Edited by brooklynkayak on 03/19/2013 08:07:35 MDT.