Explore the upper reaches of the wild yet accessible Marin Headlands on a 5.5-mile (round-trip) hike just 10 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge. Though it stands at only 960 feet, Hill 88 features some of Marin’s best views from a peak not named Mt. Tam. Starting at Fort Cronkhite, the Coastal Trail curves and climbs, with each step offering ever wider views. Keep trucking—the vista soon sweeps from the Pacific horizon to the Peninsula’s Montara Mountain and on to Mount Diablo; even the tips of the Golden Gate Bridge peek over the Headlands. Hill 88 was once a military site, and though the remaining buildings have unfortunately become canvasses for graffiti, there are some nice spots to spread out a blanket for a picnic. Afterward, loop back down via the Wolf Ridge and Miwok Trail. Resolution: Hike to great heights—check!
From Hwy 101 in Marin, exit Alexander Ave. and stay to the right on the exit ramp. Turn left on Bunker Rd., go through the tunnel, and continue 3 miles to Rodeo Beach/Fort Cronkhite. Print a map of the area before you hike. Start on the Coastal Trail at the parking lot. You’ll follow this all the way up to Hill 88. Near the summit, you’ll pass the intersection for the Wolf Ridge Trail; continue up to the peak, but take the Wolf Ridge Trail when you descend. Follow Wolf Ridge Trail .75 mile to Miwok Trail and go right; continue on this for 1.5 miles (go straight at the intersection with Bobcat Trail). Cross Bunker Rd. and take the Lagoon Trail (on the southern side of Rodeo Lagoon) back to Rodeo Beach and your starting point. Dog-friendly!