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California Coastal Trail - San Francisco

Hike along the Coastal Trail from the Cliff House at Lands End to the Golden Gate Bridge
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 8.9 miles
Duration: Half day

Overview :  This section of the California Coastal Trail runs from the Cliff House near the Sutro Baths all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge and ... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Parking

Park in the parking lot just off of Point Lobos Avenue and walk north toward the trailhead. If this lot is full, you can turn north onto El Camino Del Mar where there is a larger parking lot.

In 1887, at Adolph Sutro's urging, Congress designated Seal Rocks a marine preserve--one of the nation's first--to protect the colony of sea lions that resided there. The colony has since moved around the Golden Gate to Pier 39, but you can still spot sea lions and seals off Lands End.

The Sutro Baths were a large public bath house constructed in 1896 and served the San Francisco community until 1966 when the building burned down (how ironic).

Take the short path down to the shore to get a closer look. There is a small tunnel you can walk through under the main platform to see the waves crashing on the nearby rocks.

When... More

4. Vista Points

Sweeping views of the entire Golden Gate are offered along the trails at Lands End. Vistas include the Marin Headlands, Golden Gate Bridge, Pacific Ocean and the Mile Rock lighthouse, all of which can be seen from the California Coastal Trail.

Three overlooks along the trail offer seating and photo opportunities. At Eagles Point, at the... More

5. Labyrinth

About halfway along the trail you will reach an optional detour that allows you to walk to the Labyrinth. The Labyrinth was created by a local artist and also offers great views of the Marin Headlands across the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance.

Take your time to walk the maze, but don't cheat!

If you want more time at the beach,... More

Lands end stops here and the wealthy Sea Cliff area begins. Follow the sidewalk and stay left and you will soon arrive at an entrance to Baker Beach.

Here you will find some steps leading down to the start of Baker Beach. The next section can be walked along the beach or on harder ground near the parking lots.

8. Stairs

Take these stairs up to the main road where you will turn to your left and find the beginning of the Batteries to Bluffs trail.

9. Batteries and Views

Soon you will reach the batteries and you can take some time to explore and walk around them.

You will also have great views of the beach below, as well as of the Golden Gate Bridge and Marin Headlands in the distance to the right.

10. Marshall Beach

You can take a short sidetrip down to Marshall Bridge where you can watch the waves crash on the sand or just relax and take a break.

11. View Point

Here is another great view of the Golden Gate Bridge. The trail turns to the right here, where it will end at a parking lot. You can choose to continue along the Coastal Trail to the Golden Gate Bridge, or turn back the way you came.

This section of the Coastal Trail ends at the Golden Gate Bridge (but the full trail crosses the bridge and continues into Marin Headlands, but that hike is for another day.