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Best trails in Golden Gate National Recreation Area

13,828 Reviews
Looking for a great trail in Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California? AllTrails has 96 great hiking trails, trail running trails, mountain biking trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. Ready for some activity? There are 62 moderate trails in Golden Gate National Recreation Area ranging from 1 to 15.1 miles and from 0 to 1,683 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!
Description

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.

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Map of trails in Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Park information
Acreage:
74,820 acres
Park hours
Monday
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday
All day
Thursday
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Contact
(415) 561-4700
Top trails (96)
#1 - Lands End Trail
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(1962)
Length: 3.4 mi • Est. 1 h 22 m
Lands End Trail explores the historic Sutro Baths and offers brilliant view of the Pacific. A must see for any visitor to San Francisco. This is the wildest, rockiest corner of San Francisco. A corner strewn with shipwrecks and a history of landslides. At the tip of Lands End is Point Lobos, named by the Spanish for its many lobos marinos (sea wolves), as the barks of those sea lions, as they are called today, drifted up from the rocks below. The sea lions have since relocated to the calmer waters of San Francisco Bay. Trails at Lands End offer a cliff-top walk through dark cypress and open grass and 30-mile views up and down the California coast. The craggy headlands that border the Golden Gate have always challenged developers. The rocky exposed bluffs, often windswept and cloaked in fog, have hampered attempts to tame this corner of San Francisco. Despite the terrain, this section of the Coastal Trail was once a railroad bed, and the adjacent street, El Camino del Mark, once extended through Lands End. The two roads led to the Cliff House, Sutro Baths, and Ocean Beach. Landslides eventually closed both routes.Show more
#2 - Rodeo Beach Coastal Trail Loop
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(897)
Length: 4.8 mi • Est. 2 h 35 m
The coastal Trail follow the bluffs above the Pacific Ocean. Great views for sunsets, remember a camera for this picturesque hike. Take the Coastal trail to the Miwok trail for unbelievable views of the Pacific Ocean and Rodeo Beach. Although steep, this hike is worth the effort.Show more
#3 - Mori Point Loop Trail
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(961)
Length: 2.5 mi • Est. 1 h 16 m
Just a short distance down the coast from the city of San Francisco, Pacifica is where the concrete truly ends and gives way to green hills and dramatic coastal scenery. Mori Point is a great place enjoy a sunset, do a spot of whale watching or simply enjoy the waves of the Pacific Coast washing up onto the shores. Remember to check out the ridgeline trail too, where you can see all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge on a clear day. Also, when savoring the splendor of the coastal bluffs of Mori Point in Pacifica you might want to bear in mind that the views here were so nearly very different. Developers have considered many plans for this land - condominiums, commercial development, an intersection for a new freeway extension and even a proposal to create a "Coney Island of the West" on the wetlands below. In 2000, the fervent efforts of the Pacifica Land Trust, California Coastal Conservency and the Trust for Public Land resulted in the purchase of the land and it was turned over to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area for preservation and restoration. Alternatives: - Consider extending your hike North of Mori Point to Pacifica pier. - Trailspotting's Sweeney Ridge Guide connects Mori Point to the hills above Pacifica.Show more
#4 - Pirate's Cove
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(455)
Length: 3.6 mi • Est. 2 h
#5 - Kirby Cove
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(234)
Length: 3 mi • Est. 1 h 35 m
Kirby Cove is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, in the Marin Headlands, just west of the Golden Gate Bridge and is located eight miles north of downtown San Francisco, at historic Battery Kirby. The moderate 2 mile round-trip trail and cove offer views of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge and the northern California Pacific Coast. The Cove features a pristine coarse-sand beach with great views - when it's not foggy - of the Golden Gate Bridge and northern San Francisco. The steep, mile-long trail to the cove begins at the parking area above Battery Spencer on Conzelman Road. The path descends through Monterrey pines and cypress, Blue Gum eucalyptus, coastal sage and colorful Lupine along the hillsides. Temperatures are usually between 50-55 degrees for the lows and 60-65 for the highs. Fog is prevalent in the summer months from May-Sept. Hiking, picnicking and taking in the awesome views from Kirby Cove are the park's most popular activities. Battery Kirby is a historic army battery used from 1898-1934. Kirby Cove offers four overnight camping sites and one day-use picnic site, all reached via driving the steep access road. The day-use site is available as an accessible camping/picnic site to persons with physical disabilities. Campsites are available for use only by prior reservation but anyone can walk down the road to enjoy the vistas and picnic on the bluffs or beach. Show more
#6 - California Coastal Trail: Lands End to Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(517)
Length: 4.4 mi • Est. 2 h 13 m
Hike along the Coastal Trail from the Cliff House at Lands End to the Golden Gate Bridge 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 passes many landmarks including Baker Beach, the Seacliff area, Marshall Beach, and the Batteries to Bluffs Trail. This area of San Francisco is unknown to so many residents, even though it is one of the most beautiful areas in all of the Bay Area. You will walk along trails on the cliffs above the water where you can watch crashing waves, sailboats, and the occasional surfers, all while having perfect views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands across the bay--it's hard to beat. There are several small detours to small beaches along the trail as well, if you care to take a relaxing break. There are several points along the trail where you can leave the trail or turn back to make the hike shorter.Show more
#7 - Coastal Trail, Miwok Trail, and Bonita Lighthouse Loop
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(271)
Length: 8.5 mi • Est. 4 h 23 m
NOTE: No dogs on the Point Bonita Trail portion leading to the lighthouse. The Point Bonita Lighthouse is only open Sun-Mon 1230p-330p.Show more
#8 - Mori Point and Sweeney Ridge Loop Trail via Skyline College
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
hardYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(366)
Length: 9.4 mi • Est. 5 h 18 m
Note: It has been reported that the parking lot is CLOSED. Please see the park's website for up to date information. This is a nice trek along the Ridge and then down to the coast and looping back up to the Ridge. Awesome views. Dogs are not allowed on the trail between Skyline College and Sweeney Ridge as it is a butterfly reserve.Show more
#9 - Tennessee Valley Golden Gate Loop Trail
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(308)
Length: 5.5 mi • Est. 3 h 5 m
Take the Tennessee Valley trail all the way to Muir Beach. After a stroll through the headland valleys, nothing is better than dipping your toes into the cool Pacific. Show more
#10 - Sweeney Ridge Trail via Mori Ridge
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(515)
Length: 4.6 mi • Est. 2 h 35 m
This hike connects to the Sweeny Ridge which offers excellent views of the Pacific Ocean. This area can often have lots of coastal fog, be prepared for all situations. The Mori Ridge trail climbs steadily up through over 1,000 feet of height - some of which is steep enough to make a regular walking gait difficult, and only the most kamikaze trail runner would attempt. This trail is a perfect choice for an out-and-back trail, if you're planning to head back as the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean, and the unencumbered views are nothing short of stunning.Show more
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