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.
Even on a windy, overcast mid-February day this was a great hike. Amazing views (East Bay, San Francisco, highway 37 all the way through Vallejo).
We did a slightly different route than the one published, turning it into a point-to-point hike instead of out-and-back. Parked one vehicle at the end of the Luiz Fire Road (on Creekside Drive), and started the hike at the Big Rock trailhead. Overall hike was still ~7 miles, taking us along the ridge for a solid ~2.5 miles. Hike time was 3 hours.
According the posted signs, portions of this alternate route are closed during deer hunting season (some of the route is an easement on private ranch land). So check before heading out.
Red trail provided by AllTrails is not an actual trail. It's a narrow path on the side of the road. You can indeed follow it Rodeo Lagoon/Beach to Bonita Lighthouse but don't expect a nature trail--the path is 2 feet from the main road but fairly safe as vehicular traffic is only 25 MPH. I'd recommend just visiting Bonita by car then driving to Rodeo Lagoon/Beach and hiking the Coastal trail which starts at the parking lot/restroom of the beach and leads to all the abandoned WWII bunkers/batteries.
Great first 4 miles- beautiful views. Last 3 mile leg of this route is a little ridiculous. There really isn't a trail all the way through and you will be walking through a lot of parking lots. At one point you are walking through the YMCA property grounds and playgrounds just to stay on track- really bizarre ending to the hike.
K C. on Lands End Trail
great hike near the city with lovely views of the Golden Gate Bridge, access to Mile Rock Beach & Sutro Baths. The only downside is the parking. It's tough finding parking on the weekends, especially when it's a nice day out. I recommend going on a weekday to avoid crowds & wasted time trying to find parking.