Boot Up! 10 Hikes That End With Brunch

When was the last time your personal trainer rewarded a monster run with an ice-cold Bloody Mary? Oh, not recently? Well, then that’s reason enough to swap treadmill for trail this spring. And, by "trail," we mean 10 of the Bay Area’s best urban and not-so-urban hiking routes with finish lines at morning cocktails, fish and chips, and stacks of pancakes. Are you salivating yet?
We’ve rounded up the best and prettiest local treks to brunch, ranging from glute-burning, calorie-torching hikes-with-a-view outside the city to hangover-friendly strolls through San Francisco’s neighborhood parks. Because, the only thing better than a workout with a view is eating your face off at the end of it knowing you earned every bite.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Hike 1: Tennessee Valley Trail to Pelican Inn — 3.3 miles, 6.6 miles roundtrip
Start: 591 Tennessee Valley Road (at Enterprise Concourse); No phone.

The Tennessee Valley Trailhead is a quickie drive from town over the Golden Gate, but get there early. Come late morning, the dirt lot can feel oddly familiar to the Mission on a Saturday. Starting at the Tennessee Valley trailhead, head onto the Fox Trail up over the big hill (you’ll know it when you feel it) and through the well-marked Coastal Trail, ending at Pacific Way. A major climb at the beginning and a few smaller ones throughout will work your tush — so be prepared.
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Photo: Courtesy of Pelican Inn.
This place is Four Weddings and a Funeral reincarnate — in Marin, and without Hugh Grant. There is something special about sipping (okay, chugging for re-hydration) an ice-cold Magners cider after a hike well tread. Open on the weekends for brunch at 11:30, Pelican Inn serves traditional pub grub (indoors and on a charming patio) including a decadent shepherd's pie and classic fish and chips.

Pelican Inn, 10 Pacific Way (at Shoreline Highway), Muir Beach; 415-383-6000.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Hike 2: Old Mill Park to Tourist Club — 1.6 miles, 3.2 miles round-trip
Start: 17 Cascade Way (at Cascade Drive); No phone.

If the San Francisco hills just don’t cut it for your buns of steel, then the Dipsea Steps leading to a windy trail to the Tourist Club is for you. This trail begins near Muir Woods in a Redwood-covered residential pocket of Mill Valley at the first of the famous stairs. This first set of nearly vertical stairs leads to another, and then a third before leveling off just a bit.
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Photo: Courtesy of Tourist Club.
Now that the members-only San Francisco Tourist Club is open to the general public just three times a year (for German culture festivals on the third Sundays of May, July, and September), this is a plan-ahead, special-occasion kind of brunch hike. At the Maifest, Sommerfest, and Kinderfest, the Tourist Club goes all out with traditional German and Austrian brews, bites, and Bavarian dancing (more cardio!).

Tourist Club, 30 Ridge Avenue (at Muir Woods Trail), Mill Valley; 415-388-9987.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Hike 3: Dipsea Trailhead to Stinson Beach — 3.9 miles, 7.8 miles round-trip
Start: Pan Toll Road (at Panoramic Highway); No phone.

Planning your route and starting early are key on this one, as the Dipsea Trail is popular among serious trail runners. The Pan Toll Ranger Station is a great place to start. Hike over to the Dipsea via the Coastal Fire Road and then down into Stinson Beach. It’s a challenging trek that can get twisty and foggy, so try this one on a clear day and be sure to wear sturdy shoes.
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Photo: Courtesy of Parkside Cafe.
Grab a picnic table outside at The Parkside Cafe for the most charming seaside refueling station. Tuck into a Guatemalan scramble with rock shrimp, or the raisin walnut French toast. Or, if this hike is all business, hit the convenient grab-and-go stand for energy — in the form of caffeine or a fresh smoothie — and get right back to that trail.

Parkside Cafe, 43 Arensal Avenue (at Shoreline Highway), Stinson Beach; 415-858-1272
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Hike 4: Land's End trail to Outerlands in Outer Sunset — 3.4 miles one way
Start: El Camino del Mar (at 28th Avenue); No phone.

Naturists like yourself won't want to kill any birds with any stones, but this plan tackles two parks with one trek! Get started at the corner of El Camino del Mar and 28th avenue. Head into Lincoln Park and hop on the Land’s End trail which leads through one park, past Sutro Heights Park, and through Golden Gate Park. Along the way, scope out both the seaside scenery and trail regulars bounding down the path.
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Photo: Courtesy of Outerlands.
Reopening in late March after a two-month-long renovation, Outerlands has a brunch that's tough to beat. Not like you couldn’t guess that with a quick glance at the line usually wrapping around the block. The new menu is likely to be filled with seasonal brunchy treats alongside that insane skillet-baked Dutch pancake that we would walk 500 miles for.

Outerlands, 4001 Judah Street (at 45th Street); 415-661-6140.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Hike 5: Mountain Inn to West Point Inn — 1.5 miles one way, 3 miles round-trip
Start: Mountain Inn, 810 Panoramic Highway (at Edgewood Avenue); 415-381-9000.

Once you’ve parked in the lot across from the Mountain Inn (and grabbed a coffee from the cafe), walk north to the fire station where the Matt Davis trail begins. Continue on Matt Davis to the Nora trail all the way to West Point Inn, on Sundays when it hosts a monthly pancake brunch, or go for a round-trip trek and return to Mountain Inn for a classic country brunch.
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Photo: Courtesy of West Point Inn.
The monthly, simple-but-packed pancake brunch at West Point Inn is a must in its hiking season, from May through October. Any other day of the month, take the trail back to the Mountain Inn for a classic country brunch. Traditional items are what the inn does best, including a signature French toast. No Bloodys here, but you'll find plenty of craft brews and local wines.

West Point Inn, 100 Old Railroad Grade Fire Road (at Old Stage Road), Mill Valley; 415-388-9955.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Hike 6: Bernal Heights Park to Hillside Supper Club — Less than 1 mile each way, less than 2 miles round-trip
Start: Bernal Heights Park, 100 Bernal Heights Boulevard (at Folsom Street); No phone.

A favorite neighborhood spot, this trail is really the domain of adorable local puppies and babies. It’s not too hard to find parking at the end of Folsom Street and Bernal Heights Boulevard where the park begins. Though shorter than some, this hike has a nice incline and the most stunning view of the city below. Make your way to the paved, pedestrians-only road that leads through the Park, loops around the Red Rock Hill, and down onto Cortland Avenue where the park ends.
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Photgraphed by Ashley Batz.
Views of the park across the street and Hillside’s cozy, neighborhood vibe create the perfect, brunch-time atmosphere for some killer sustainable and seasonal comfort food. Favorites include the restaurant’s signature crispy house-made goetta. The dish is Hillside’s hangover-friendly, traditional German-American sausage. Or, try the savory bread pudding, another indulgent menu staple. Whatever you do, be sure to get in on the bottomless mimosas.

Hillside Supper Club, 300 Precita Avenue (at Folsom Street); 415-285-6005.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Hike 7: The Reverse Grand Walk: Warming Hut to Cliff House — 4.9 miles, 12 miles roundtrip round-trip
Start: Warming Hut Cafe, 938 Marine Drive (at Long Avenue); 415-561-3042.

Start at the Warming Hut Cafe and Bookstore — perhaps for a pre-hike caffeine boost — at the base of the Presidio. Take Long Avenue to the Battery Trail East to hike through the Presidio. When the path ends, turn right onto Lincoln Avenue, then El Camino del Mar before hitting the course again on the Land’s End Trail, which turns into the Coastal Trail. Once the trail clears, make a right onto Los Lobos and you have arrived!
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Photo: Courtesy of The Cliff House.
The Cliff House’s Terrace Room has been doing a Sunday champagne brunch since probably forever. The Terrace Room’s classic buffet-style brunch includes free-flowing bubbles, but it’s really all about the views of the seal rocks and Ocean Beach below. If buffet-style isn’t your thing, head over to Cliff House’s Sutro’s bar for more pub-style fare and cocktails. Pair any of the burgers or sandwiches with truffle fries and a Bloody Mary, and enjoy those same floor-to-ceiling views of the bay.

The Cliff House, 1090 Point Lobos Avenue (at 48th Street); 415-386-3330.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Hike 8: Sutro Park to Sam's Chowder Mobile in Golden Gate Park — 2.9 miles one way
Start: Sutro Park (at 48th Avenue); No phone.

Get started on 48th Avenue, headed toward Golden Gate Park. Then take a right onto Anza Street and another onto 36th Avenue which will take you into the park. There are so many paths through the area — just try to parallel John F. Kennedy Drive until you make it to Stow Lake. You’re close. Head around the lake toward the Japanese Tea Garden, which is just across from Sam’s Mobile Chowder.
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Photo: Courtesy of Sam's Chowder Mobile.
Benefits of park dining: seating anywhere you like with no reservations required, no corkage fee, and free live music likely somewhere within earshot. Plus, Sam’s Mobile Chowder, located just across from the Japanese Garden and open on weekends from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., serves a crazy lobster roll that can satiate even the hungriest hiker's hankering. Anything fried (popcorn shrimp, fish and chips, calamari) makes an excellent accompaniment to the famous rolls.

Sam's Mobile Chowder, 75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive (at Martin Luther King Drive); 650-712-1766.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Hike 9: Dolores Park to El Techo De Lolinda — 9 miles, one way
Start: Dolores Park, 566 Dolores Street (between 18th and 20th Streets); 415-554-9521.

This is a nicely paced hike for those in search of an easy run that ends with a rooftop dose of hair of the dog. This urban trailhead is at the intersection of Dolores Park and the J-line of the MUNI, meaning more cocktails and no driving! Hike through the park however you wish, before hitting 21st Street and trekking urban-style to Mission Street.
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Photo: Courtesy of El Techo De Lolinda.
Terrace in the Mission with sweeping, city views? Bloody Marias and micheladas ready to pair with chicharrones served by the pound or half pound? Done and done. El Techo’s signature egg dishes include Benedictos — poached with jalapeño cornbread and chorizo — or rancheros, fried and served with pork and salsa verde. You could also keep it light with Argentine-style mango spruced up with cucumber, lime, and habañero.

El Techo De Lolinda, 2518 Mission Street (at 21st Street); 415-550-6970.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Hike 10: Golden Gate Bridge/Fort Point to Presido Social Club — 2.2 miles, one way
Start: Marine Drive (near Golden Gate Bridge); No phone.

Not a traditional hike, the Fort Point route into the Presidio is filled with bay views and sights of trees galore (it's a national park, after all) yet it's entirely paved and is a runner-friendly brunch trek. Start underneath the Golden Gate Bridge at the Fort Point historical site, then follow the paved road up to Chrissy Field Avenue, which becomes the quiet McDowell Avenue, and then Lincoln Avenue, Lombard, and Letterman. Take a quick right at Ruger, and voilà, brunch!
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Photo: Courtesy of Presidio Social Club.
San Francisco’s only military-barracks-turned-dining-room, Presidio Social Club serves seasonal, locally sourced comfort favorites such as the Mission-style chilaquiles and huevos rotos, or the healthy, but still super tasty, kale salad (recommended if you’re hiking both ways!). Feel like tucking into a leisurely meal accompanied by an adult beverage? Seasonal brunch libations such as the famous Painkiller or Bellinis (made with a fresh peach purée) can’t be missed. Outside seating lets you maximize time in the great outdoors.

Presidio Social Club, 563 Ruger Street (at Lombard Street); 415-885-1888.