Hiking inn to inn (4)

From San Francisco’s Cliff House, Ocean Beach beckons.  Broad and flat, it stretches as far as you can see, disappearing into the mist.  Stride out on 9 miles of10474485663?profile=original uninterrupted beach to start this 30-mile, 4-day walkabout.  Urban life fades as you hike a coast that is extraordinarily wild.

     Hike miles of solitary beaches, the flanks of coastal mountains, and bluff trails above the wild Pacific.  Enjoy interesting inns and delightful coastal villages along the way.

     What joy to hike for hours along the immense and powerful Pacific.  Day 1 (13.6 miles) ends in the 10474485865?profile=originalcoastal hamlet, Pacifica.  Perhaps you’ll take a swim and then savor a fresh catch-of-the-day at a restaurant overlooking the sea. 

     Day 2 (7.8 miles) journeys up the side of Montara Mountain.  Views open to the narrow10474485688?profile=original channel of the Golden Gate and the steep, forested hills of the Marin Headlands.  The vast Pacific stretches out below you, the horizon only interrupted on a clear day by the Farallon Islands, ancient mountain peaks jutting out of the sea 27 miles offshore.  

     Walk the bluffs and cypress forests above Fitzgerald Marine Reserve on Day 3 (4.0 miles).  Take a path to the shore and explore the intricate web of tide pools alive with green anemone, orange sea stars, and scurrying crabs.  Harbor seals, pelicans, egrets, cormorants, grebes, and countless shorebirds feed on the reefs and offshore waters.  End the day in Pillar Point Harbor, a seaside village of inns, restaurants, and taverns with live music.

     Enjoy another long beach stroll on Day 4 (4.6 miles).  You may want to walk barefoot and 10474485100?profile=originalconnect deeply with sand and surf.  You will soon return to the urban ramble, but now you can savor hiking inn-to-inn from San Francisco to Half Moon Bay.


This is one of the most popular Northern California inn-to-inn hikes.  Read about the ideas and adventures from the Walkabout Community on the Forum.

The San Francisco to Half Moon Bay Walkabout is one of a dozen inn-to-inn hikes found in “Walkabout Northern California: Hiking Inn to Inn”.  It can also be purchased as an individual guide.



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La Jolla to Mexico - Hiking Inn-to-Inn

Stand on cliffs overlooking La Jolla Bay, and take in the abundance of wildlife.  10474484276?profile=originalMigrating whales feed close to shore.  Sea lions bark a noisy chorus from offshore outcroppings.  Harbor seals lounge on sheltered beaches.  Dolphins, leopard sharks, shovel-nose guitarfish, and Garibaldi damselfish ply the clear waters.

     Then set out on the final leg of a 200 mile inn-to-inn hiking adventure from North L.A. County to the border with Mexico.  You will hike rugged, rocky coastlines and sublime swimming beaches, on this 32-mile,10474484872?profile=original 5-day sojourn.  Pass through working class seaside villages and elegant upscale towns, offering great cuisine, interesting inns, and always – the wild Pacific.

     After taking advantage of La Jolla’s many restaurants and taverns, hike the first day (5.1 miles) along the rugged coastline, sheer cliffs, pocket coves, and inviting beaches of La Jolla Peninsula.  End the day in Pacific Beach, popular with surfers and sun worshippers.  Take a swim.  Then grab a table at a sidewalk cafe and enjoy the 10474484661?profile=originalpeople-watching parade along the strand.

     Hike coastal beaches and the north shore of San Diego Bay on Day 2 (8.5 miles) and Day 3 (6.8 miles).  A ferry takes you across the bay to Coronado.  The Hotel del Coronado is one of the largest and oldest wooden structures in California.  Ornate and regal, it is worth a visit.  Stroll the grounds.  Have a drink at the outdoor beach-side bar.  Then enjoy a balmy evening in the surrounding village – shops, bars with live music, and 10474484897?profile=originalrestaurants with sidewalk tables.

     Day 4 hikes the Silver Strand, an eight-mile long and quarter mile wide strip of sand dune separating San Diego Bay from the Pacific.  You will probably have this beautiful beach all to yourself, sharing it only with flocks of snowy plover and marbled godwits.  There is no hurry.  Slow down.  Savor a deep connection with the powerful Pacific.

     10474484686?profile=originalArrive in Imperial Beach, a slow moving, working class hamlet, the last stop before Mexico.  Enjoy a swim on the beautiful beach. Then take a long walk to the end of the pier and feast on fish tacos and crab cakes at Tin Fish Restaurant, or saddle up to the bar of IB Forum, “the most southwesterly bar and grill in the continental U.S.A.,” for steaks, burgers, or 10474485261?profile=originalseafood.

     It is only 3.3 miles to the border, a 6.6 mile round trip.  The estuary, marshland, and sand dunes of Border Field State Park flank the beach, a protected refuge rich with birdlife.  You will reach the Tijuana River, and this may end your journey.  But in late summer and fall, it runs shallow and can be waded.  The river’s mouth teems with pelicans, cormorants, gulls, egrets, and endangered least terns and snowy plover.  The terns make an incredible racket, 10474484301?profile=originalchattering and screeching.         

     You will probably have the final 1.6 miles of this serene beach to yourself.  Reaching the border fence, pause to take in the moment and relish the memory of a five-day adventure along America’s southwestern edge, hiking inn-to-inn.

The La Jolla to Mexico Walkabout is one of the multi-day hikes found in “Walkabout Malibu to Mexico: Hiking Inn-to-Inn on the Southern CA Coast”.  It can also be purchased as an individual guide.



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10474464056?profile=originalThe American River starts high in the peaks of the Sierra Nevada. It winds and crashes through deep canyons down to the foothills where it eventually is tamed to form Folsom Lake. Released again, it flows wide and powerful to meet the Sacramento River. The discovery of gold on the American in 1848 brought a stampede of thousands to mine its banks and create a new California.

This 66-mile, four-day walkabout starts in the foothill town of Auburn and descends downstream, along the river. (The first two days of this walkabout make for a fun weekend inn-to-inn hike.) Along the way you will visit a country B&B, inns on the river bank, and a luxurious resort and spa. Hike back in time through the old towns of Auburn, Folsom, and Sacramento and enjoy saloons, a brew pub, live music, and some excellent restaurants. Walk in the footsteps of the pioneers, hiking inn-to-inn through the Sierra foothills along the American River.

We are rapidly descending into the spring and we are leaving our snowy region far
behind; everything is getting green; butterflies are swarming; numerous bugs are
creeping out, wakened from their winter’s sleep, and the forest flowers are coming
into bloom.
      ~ John C. Fremont, March 1, 1844 journal entry along the American River



Visit the Walkabout store to learn more about this and other guides to hiking from inn-to-inn through the wilds of California.

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.
        ~Henry Miller

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Walkabout the Mendocino Coast


The Mendocino Coast is a land of extraordinary beauty.  Take a romantic two-day, 14.1 mile hike, and explore the lush forests of the coastal range and the headlands on the edge of the rugged, wild Pacific.  Along the way, you’ll visit interesting coastal villages, stay in charming inns, and enjoy sumptuous cuisine.

Our hike starts in Albion and heads north, ending in the town of Mendocino.  The Albion River Inn is one of our 10474462698?profile=originalfavorite places to stay on the California Coast.  It perches on cliffs overlooking a narrow bay, the mouth of Albion River, and the vast Pacific stretching to the horizon.  Their restaurant is fantastic.  They will serve you a delicious complimentary breakfast before you strike out.

The first day’s hike is an 8.3 mile ramble to Little River.  There is no trail along the coast for this section, so our route takes a quiet country road and ascends to the first coastal ridge.  Here we enter an eerie and rare Mendocino pygmy forest with hundred year old cypress standing only two feet tall and five foot high full-grown redwoods.  The terrain and foliage quickly changes as we descend into the lush redwood forests of Van Damme State Park.  Hike back to the coast on the trail along Little River as it meanders through the 10474463463?profile=originalwoods.  You’ll reach the town of Little River where there are several inns and B&Bs. 

Day 2 (5.8 miles) hikes along one of the most spectacularly beautiful coastlines in California – steep cliffs dropping to the sea, offshore outcroppings relentlessly pounded by the powerful Pacific, a verdant coastal terrace, and mountains dense with Sitka spruce, Douglas fir, and redwoods.  Keep an eye out for harbor seals, pods of dolphins, and migrating whales.

Stroll into Mendocino by walking the bridge over Big River.  You may want to stay10474463894?profile=original a few days to enjoy the many pleasures that Mendocino has to offer – fine dining, taverns, inns, and beautiful hikes along the headlands – and to savor the memory of an adventure on the Mendocino Coast, hiking inn-to-inn.

The Mendocino Coast Walkabout is one of a dozen inn-to-inn hikes found in “Walkabout Northern California: Hiking Inn to Inn.”  It can also be purchased as an individual guide.


10474459675?profile=original“In my room, the world is beyond my understanding,

But when I walk I see that it consists of three or four hills and a cloud”
- Wallace Stevens

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