Top Five Must-See Mountain Peaks in the Bay Area
From beautiful beaches, to city skylines, to mile-high redwood trees, it’s no question that the Bay Area is full of sweeping views. But if there is one viewpoint you have to take advantage of while visiting the Bay, it’s from the top of one of the gorgeous mountain tops. There are several to choose from, and all are worth the climb, but we’ve narrowed it down for you to the top five.
- Mt. Tamalpais in Marin County
Just north of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, Mount Tamalpais State Park rises from the heart of Marin County. The breathtaking view from Mount Tamalpais’s 2,571-foot peak includes the Farallon Islands 25 miles out to sea, the Marin County hills, San Francisco Bay, the East Bay, and Mount Diablo. On a clear day, you might even catch a glimpse of the snow-covered Sierra Nevada up to 150 miles away. At the top, you’ll find a visitor center that provides information, snacks, and souvenirs, and a “gravity car barn” that celebrates the old Mount Tamalpais Scenic Railway. In addition to hiking, the park also offers picnicking, wildlife watching, camping, and mountain and road bicycling.
- Mt. Diablo in the East Bay
At the eastern ridge of the San Francisco Bay Region stands 3,849 ft. Mount Diablo. The surrounding region consists mostly of low hills that can’t compete with the upper slopes of the mountain, making for a spectacular view from the top. There, you can look to the west, beyond the Golden Gate Bridge, to the Farallon Islands, southeast to the James Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton, south to Mount Loma Prieta in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and north to Mount Saint Helena in the Coast Range. Many visitors like to head to Mt. Diablo just after a snowstorm to enjoy the famous view, but every season in the park has its special qualities – springtime wildflower displays, starry summer nights, and the primitive horseback trails are best enjoyed in autumn.
- Mission Peak in Fremont
Rising steeply to the east of Fremont, Mission Peak forms a dramatic backdrop to the South Bay. The hiker who reaches the top of the 2,516 foot peak will be rewarded with views of Mount Hamilton to the south, the Santa Cruz Mountains to the west, Mt. Tamalpais to the north, and Mt. Diablo and the Sierra Nevada to the northeast. You won’t find yourself alone as you climb the summit, hawks and vultures share the airspace with sailplanes, and herds of feral goats roam the cliffs. Mission Peak Regional Preserve also offers mountain biking and seasonal hang gliding and paragliding.
- Mt. Hamilton in San Jose
Mount Hamilton is the tallest peak on our list at 4,213 feet, and makes for a perfect escape from the sprawl of Silicon Valley. The view on the way up is out of this world, which is fitting, because the scientists at the James Lick Observatory (the world’s first mountaintop observatory) spend lifetimes collecting knowledge from the far reaches of space. Though short walks are available at the summit, this is one adventure best experienced by bike (the route to the summit is narrow and winding – a favorite among avid bicyclists).
- Bald Mountain in Sonoma
What better way to rev up your appetite for the amazing wineries and restaurants of Sonoma County than by hiking up a mountain? Bald Mountain in Sugarloaf Ridge State Park is a located in the heart of Sonoma County wine country. On a clear day at the top of the 2,729 ft. elevation, you can see the Sierras to the East, San Francisco Bay and Mount Diablo to the South, Mount Tamalpais to the South-West, the Coastal Range and the Pacific to the West and Mount Saint Helena to the North. Sugarloaf Ridge State Park has several other activities and are well-known for their trails that include everything from flat one hour trails, to 6+ plus mile excursions for the most advanced hikers.
Whether you are heading to these mountain retreats for a hike, leisure walk, picnic, or horseback ride, why not sit back and leave the driving to the professional drivers and tour guides at Nationwide Limousine Service? With NLS Limo, you’re in charge of your tour – and we’ll stop, detour, turn and explore wherever your adventurous heart desires. Contact us today at 800-339-8936 to book your luxury ride to the mountains and beyond.