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Lake Chabot’s best beer hikes

We don’t have to tell you how good a beer tastes after a long hike—either you already know, or you don’t drink beer and you’re really, really sick of hearing about how great it is.

But even if you fall into that latter category, we encourage you to check out this week’s hike/beer pairings. Because the San Leandro hikes we’ve included are late summer classics, and they’re worth the trip with or without the suds.

Brandon-Redtail to Drake’s Barrel House

Lake Chabot | Brandon-Redtail |

The hike: The 9.8-mile Brandon-Redtail Loop in Anthony Chabot Regional Park is perfect for late summer. Mostly on eucalyptus-shaded fire roads, the lollipop loop tours high ridges between Lake Chabot and the San Leandro Reservoir. This trail climbs about 1,500 feet… mostly in two sustained climbs.
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Lake Tahoe’s stoner SUP race

Lake Tahoe's stoner SUP race |

We know not every pot smoker spends their Saturdays cloistered in a studio apartment with a box of grocery store fried chicken and a stereo playing Merriweather Post Pavilion on repeat. But that’s what our cousin Ray usually does, and he’s been our go-to exemplar.
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The Bay Area’s best weekday hikes

Not everyone works the 9-5 schedule. Some of us tend bar, work from home, or just don’t do employment. And while those nontraditional schedules have their hangups (it’s hard to find a date for a Tuesday afternoon matinee), they also have perks—like crowd-free access to popular trails.

So this week, we rounded up three Bay Area hikes that are at their best during working hours. And for those of you that “work” from home, we made sure each has working cell service for those urgent emails.

San Francisco’s Mountain Lake Trail

San Francisco's Mountain Lake Trail

If you need a mental break from the city, but don’t have the time, energy, or gas to actually leave city limits, try the Presidio in Golden Gate Recreation Area.

The Presidio’s 2.6-mile Mountain Lake Trail is well-suited for those seeking a short hike. The paved multi-use trail is accessible by bicycle and wheelchair, and offers great views of the Golden Gate Bridge.

If you go: Start at the intersection of Broadway and Lyon, following the trail through newly planted cypress groves and over wooden walkways through marshes. Beyond Mountain Lake, a good stop to take a rest, continue on to Baker Beach. Be warned: Baker is a nude beach, so be prepared to see some… sights.

Photo courtesy the Presidio Trust. Photo has been cropped.

Berkeley’s Claremont Canyon Preserve

Berkeley's Claremont Canyon Preserve

On weekends and holidays, Berkeley’s 208-acre Claremont Canyon Regional Preserve can be so crowded as to deter serious hikers (or at least crowded enough to deter us). But the preserve offers some of the best views in the Bay Area, so it’s well worth a visit during working hours.

Our favorite trail in the preserve is the Stonewall Panoramic Ridge Trail: a 3.2-mile out-and-back that offers hikers a full view of every major landmark in the Bay Area, including the Farallon Islands on clear days.

If you go: Find the trailhead at the preserve’s Stonewall Road entrance (off Claremont Ave. in Oakland), and follow the trail along the ridge. There are no parking, use or pet fees in the park (leashed dogs are allowed), and a trail map is available online.

Photo by Stephen Lea. Photo has been cropped.

Piedmont’s Redwood Regional Park

Piedmont's Redwood Regional Park

Considering their proximity to San Francisco, the shaded groves of the 1,830-acre Redwood Regional Park are remarkably quiet and peaceful. And it’s exactly that peace and quiet that attracts hikers from all across the Bay Area… lots and lots and lots of them.

On the weekends, that is. From Monday-Friday, the park is relatively free from crowds—even along the moderate (and popular) 2.5-mile East Ridge Trail Loop. The hike is scenic and shaded, making a great option for late summer afternoons.

If you go: Start your hike at the clearly-marked trailhead at the Pinehurst Staging Area on Pinehurst Road. Park on the road and hop right onto the East Ridge Trail. From there, turn left at Canyon Trail, right onto the Steam Trail, right again onto the Prince Trail, and right one last time to get back onto the East Ridge Trail. Parking and entry is free on weekdays, and a trail map is available online.

Photo by Miguel Vieria. Words by Brian Krans.

San Francisco’s best indoor climbing

No one likes going to gym. It’s smelly, sweaty, crowded, and dangerous. But sometimes, whether it’s because of a tight schedule or a torrential downpour, indoor fitness is necessary.

Instead of waiting to use a sweat-covered lat machine at Planet Fitness, check out these indoor climbing gyms within San Francisco’s city limits. Who knows, it could be the beginning to a path where the end is you successfully climbing Half Dome in Yosemite.

The Mission Cliffs

Mission Cliffs |

Open since 1995, Mission Cliffs is San Francisco’s oldest climbing gym. But it hasn’t gotten stale—staff change the gym’s routes and problems every month to keep things challenging for climbers of all levels. It includes a 50-foot high lead wall, 2,000 square feet of bouldering, and 23,000 feet of climbing terrain.

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The Bay Area’s best swimming beaches

When the temperature in San Francisco climbs above 80 degrees, people panic like their skin is melting off. And in their panic, they go to Ocean Beach. Which is a great place to feel a cool breeze and have a fire at night… but its 60-degree water really isn’t ideal for swimming.

So this week, we rounded up a few spots where you can cool off without need for an insulating layer of blubber. Because it’s got to warm up sooner or later… right?

Heart’s Desire Beach—Tomales Bay

Heart's Desire Beach—Tomales Bay

Located north of San Francisco in the Point Reyes National Seashore, Tomales Bay is a long inlet from the Pacific Ocean, but the shallow waters allow the sun to heat up the water. The beach is also protected by the Inverse Ridge, which shields it from the Pacific’s fog and high winds.
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