Backpacker

8 CITY BY THE BAY

GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL RECREATION AREA, CA

Forget sourdough and Silicon Valley: Greater San Francisco’s most valuable treasure is its 80,000-acre necklace of wildflower-spotted hills, miles-long beaches, and oceanside bluffs. Stretching from Tomales Bay in the north to the redwood groves southwest of the Bay—with the Golden Gate Bridge smack in the middle—the chain of public land offers everything from quick lunchtime treks to campsites so quiet you’ll forget you could be back

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