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 started at Rock Springs parking lot and followed the Cataract Trail all the way to the end for 3.5 miles. We then climbed back onto Cataract Trail and turned left onto Helen Market Trail for 2 miles. This took us to the Alpine Lake. From Alpine Lake we took the Kent Trail all the way back to the parking lot for a total of 9.2 miles with 2,260 elevation gain. This was a wonderful hike. We saw many powerful waterfalls and beautiful Alpine Lake as well as many wild flowers and lush green hills.
Lands End is a cute little hike. Maybe a good 4 miles all around. You're basically walking along Ocean Beach towards the cliff side. The hike is fairly easy, short. There are stairways that will possibly get you tired but past the stairways and the rest is easy.