hiking

walking

birding

views

trail running

nature trips

wild flowers

beach

kid friendly

wildlife

mountain biking

dogs on leash

no dogs

dog friendly

forest

road biking

horseback riding

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.

I've been slacking the past two months, been off on a punishing bender of work and play all wrapped into one blurred experience. I believe in punishment. Sometimes it's best just to pull the bandage back quickly just to get it over with. That's how I approached this ride...a keel-righting torture just for this occasion. The shoe -in from the trailhead runs along a nice transition from asphalt to gravel over relatively level ground for more than a half-mile before giving way to a rutted fire road that forks abruptly up or down. I already know down. That path wends down to Tennessee Beach. Up takes me to a ridge-running loop that follows the fox trail before bending west to Muir Beach. As a smoker, I highly recommend powering through this section, really breaking through that thick layer of "Fuck No" tearing at my willpower. Once you take the turn down down down, ride the breaks until that last fork to the right. Go left and take in the view. By now, the lungs are good and pulpy, the years of bravado coming back just like old times. Dive down this left trail toward pirates cove, mind the stones. Go all the way to a series of well kept stairs absolutely buried in cascading blooms of wildflowers, grasses and thistle. Make this your Shoop moment. Dismount, thrown that ride around your back and make the relaxing hike back to elevation for another 2 miles. The road will even-out soon enough. You'll complete the loop by meeting the fox trail/coastal trail loop again. If you haven't found heaven by the side of the road, now's a good time to talk to Jesus. Spend quality if you need to. Resist the urge to "never do this again" just because your innards said say so and make plans to do this again before taking the rest of the ride skip-hopping back down to the parking lot. Breathe. Look a at that pack of cigarettes, impulsively grab to throw them out the widow before remembering...I'm not to going to pass this problem along, no. I'll just let that pack be and watch it as I drive back into the city. Haven't reached for one yet. Feels good.

hiking
1 day ago

great views. easy walk.

hiking
2 days ago

As far as hikes go I'd give this a 2. It's a smooth, wide road. However, this is an amazing place to take guests of The City. They won't soon forget the view of that big, red bridge ;-) ((yes yes, I know it's International Orange)). You'll go from the cliffs of the headlands, through a eucalyptus forest, and down to the beach.

BTW, the swing has been cut down

hiking
2 days ago

Strenuous hike with some great views.

Beautiful hike by the ocean with a ton of purple and yellow flowers in bloom all over. Second half of hike is through a neighborhood so we just ended it early. Watch out for a really steep downhill section. It was cloudy when we went so it was fine but this trail is completely exposed so no shade.

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
3 days ago

hiking
3 days ago

Incredible views of the golden gate bridge from high up and from the coast. Excellent hike.

hiking
3 days ago

Would like to keep this one a secret but that is not what we do on All Trails - great hike. BTW - at least 8 miles. Not much parking and be prepared to drive on a few one lane roads in a residential area to get to the TH. A lot of variety on the trail + also some ups & downs but well worth it. Didnt see anyone on the trail. I made two small changes to the original trail 1) when you get closer to the lake, the original map has you going left on Grassy Knoll - go right on Continental Cove. You go up a little however there is a stretch of about a 1/2 mile that is just amazing - so Green even when everything in the Bay is Brown/Gold. This trail also connects back to the lake and Grassy Knoll 2) Near the end of the hike before you go down Candace Canyon - keep going (maybe 2 minutes) to Manzanita Fire road for some great views of the Hills. Double back and connect on CC trail. One down side - no great views of the lake but still a great hike