Most extreme winter adventures in San Francisco


San Francisco's winters may not be characteristic of subzero temperatures and snow, but instead have frequent rainy weather and of course fog. Here are a handful of activities for adrenaline junkies during the cooler months.

Surfing at Ocean Beach

During the colder months, the waves are bigger than the summer months. For those surfing pros that want a bit more of a challenge, this could be right down your alley. Make sure to play it safe through and check the tide patterns and weather forecast before heading out.

Rock Climbing at Glen Canyon

The City By The Bay's mild winter climate is great for taking advantage of outdoor bouldering, where people have been climbing the rocks in this park since the 1930s. There are plenty of beginner routes that you can easily scramble up. Make sure to be on the lookout for poison ivy, which grows rampant around these parts. Best of all if you are taking public transportation there, it's only a 10 minute walk from BART.

Sea Kayaking on the SF Bay
Kayaker silhouetterarpia via Getty Images

Take advantage of year-round kayaking trips around the Bay, especially during the winter when the waters are less crowded. You can choose to go on a nighttime trip, which is especially magical because you can glide past illuminated views of the Embarcadero and AT&T Park. One reliable company is City Kayak, where you can get rentals and lessons, and is located at Pier 40.

Mountain Biking Mount Sutro

There are plenty of mountain biking pathways around the Bay Area, but within city limits there's Mount Sutro, which is one of the best with 61-acres of well-maintained pathways and mapped out trails by local off-road cycling group SF Urban Riders. During wintertime, the trails are bound to be less crowded, but just as ideal.

Kiteboarding in Oyster Point
Recreational Sports. Man Kiteboarding In Sea Water. Extreme SportGetty Images/iStockphoto

For those who have been kiteboarding before, there are opportunities to go on adventures trips and clinics during the wintertime with well-reputed companies like Kite 415. Located in Oyster Point Park in South San Francisco, they also have other branches around the Bay Area.

Julia is a freelance writer and native San Franciscan, born and raised. She has her own travel blog and has written for Matador, Roads and Kingdoms, and USA Today.