dogs on leash
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area (GGNRA) is a U.S. National Recreation Area administered by the National Park Service that surrounds the San Francisco Bay area. It is one of the most visited units of the National Park system in the United States, with over 13 million visitors a year. It is also one of the largest urban parks in the world, with a size two-and-a-half times that of the consolidated city and county of San Francisco. The park is not one continuous locale, but rather a collection of areas that stretch from northern San Mateo County to southern Marin County, and includes several areas of San Francisco. The park is as diverse as it is expansive; it contains famous tourist attractions such as Muir Woods National Monument, Alcatraz, and the Presidio of San Francisco. The GGNRA is also home to 1,273 plant and animal species, encompasses 59 miles (95 km) of bay and ocean shoreline and has military fortifications that span centuries of California history, from the Spanish conquistadors to Cold War-era Nike missile sites.
We hiked the Bolinas Ridge Trail from Olema to the Coastal Trail down in to Stinson Beach via the fire road trail in August 2016. It was a 22 mile day (we didn't have a car so walked from the B&B we stayed in and also to the hotel in Stinson) but it was absolutely beautiful. From the rolling hills with cows lounging to the almost rain forest like atmosphere with moss covered rocks it was worth every step. We saw 8 other people the entire time we were on the trail so it was very peaceful. It was foggy most of the day but when that fog would clear the views were amazing. Beautiful hike!
The first 3/4 mile on the fire road is fairly steep but when you get to the loop, it's very easy. It's also very shaded in the loop. I went counter clockwise and took every left. There seems to be some other adjoining trails. I hike with 2 smaller dogs and they picked up some small burs that stuck to them. Nothing too bad.
Great trail! We ended up here much later than planned because it took us two hours to go 26 miles:( So we ended up getting here right after sunset and we had to park a mile away from the trailhead so added two miles to our hike. It was nice parking up at the parking lot further up the hill because you have a pathway along the road with a guardrail between you and the road the entire way and this allows you more views of the bridge during the extra hike. The trail itself is an easy wide dirt road that leads down to a campground next to the beach. It was one of the best views I've ever seen of the Golden Gate Bridge:) And the swing is the reason to go. We walked back in the dark but felt safe the entire way since it was a wide path and had the glow of the bridge to guide us. Lots of raccoons!:) We are looking forward to coming back during the day.