This hike is a moderate, approximately 9 mile hike with 1300 ft of elevation change.
Portions of this hike are in an urban setting. This hike follows the Coastal and Batteries to Bluffs Trails from the Sutro Baths most of the way to the Golden Gate Bridge and back. Be prepared for LOTS of stairs, both up and down and some walking on the beach.
We will meet at the Lands End Visitor Center where there are restrooms and ample free parking available. We will take the path next to Louis' eatery to the Sutro Baths ruins. We will stay on the upper path to Point Lobos where there is a nice observation area. Then we will continue around the point to climb the stairs that are not shown on many maps. We'll go up these stairs to connect with the Coastal Trail (bear left).
We will stay north on the coastal trail for about 0.5 miles. Off the left, we will take some stairs down that lead to Mile Rock Beach and Lands End. The views from Lands end toward the Golden Gate are fabulous (if it's not foggy). We'll also have an opportunity to walk a labyrinth with the Golden Gate Bridge as the backdrop before we continue around the point and follow the path back up the hill to re-connect to the stairs we came down earlier. When we reach the top of the stairs, we will continue (L) north on the Coastal Trail. We'll continue to follow the trail until we reach Eagles Point observation deck and then the trail end (of Lands End) at Camino del Mar.
The next 0.5 miles is an urban walk through the Sea Cliff neighborhood where the houses are old and enchanting. We will follow Camino del Mar for about a 1/4 mile, then left onto Seacliff. Follow Seacliff for another 1/4 mile or so. Follow the road to the right. Turn left onto N. 25th Ave. This turns into a cul de sac. At the end of the cul de sac, there is a gate which leads down to Baker Beach.
At the bottom of the stairs, we will walk along the beach and north, enjoying a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge (if it's not foggy). We'll continue down the beach for a while before climbing up the hill. This is a fairly hard climb.
At the top of the hill, we will take Lincoln Ave and the Batteries to Bluffs Trail north up and down several sets of stairs. The Coastal Trail passes Battery Godfrey and Battery Boutelle on it's way to the Golden Gate Bridge; we will stop at one of the batteries for our lunch break before we head back by a slightly shorter (and flatter) route.
Car pool etiquette- First and foremost....come prepared to drive. Yes.....I know.....a lot of you are trying to car pool because you don't want to or can't drive for whatever reason. I don't want you to be disappointed, so if you can't drive please be aware that you might not be able to join the hike. There is always that risk if you are counting on others to be your transportation. There may be no others wanting to car pool from your selected location or there might be a lot of people and everyone might want to ride. You might arrive late, be in the wrong spot or get stopped by a swarm of your paparazzi...come prepared to drive to the trail head if you want to hike! If we have a gang wanting to ride we determine who gets the rider seats by who has most recently been a driver in the past. This is worked out based by who shows up at the car pool location. We can't guarantee anyone a seat because we never know until that day who will show up. We do our best to work it out and make everyone happy but we need everyone to pitch in and help make it work! General rule of thumb for riders...$5 one hour or less to trailhead $8 over one hour to trailhead Please insist your driver accept the money. It's to cover more than gas money...it's the wear and tear on the vehicle. We like to take care of our drivers!Then PLEASE if possible try to use the two locations below. The more locations we have the less effective we are and it's so much more complicated. Exceptions would be if you are not close to either location.
Car pool locations:
SANTA ROSA: Coddingtown Shopping Center in from of the Coddingtown Library to leave by 8:35
PETALUMA-Lucky at the intersection of Lakeville and Caulfield Ln. Park closest to Payran St. suggested leave by 8:55
We combine enjoyment of the trail with respect for everyone’s time. A steady pace and we just keep going! If you are in the lead you will end up waiting at trail junctions. If you are in the back you will be asked to do your best to keep up with the group and at waiting points the group may move on as soon as you are within sight. Our pace averages 2.5mph. We do get separated from time to time as everyone walks their own pace but please bear in mind that you will need to be able to stay within a reasonable distance from the group. Make sure this is something you are prepared for and would enjoy.
TO BRING: YOU! glorious hiker person you – dying to hit the trails and laugh, talk, sweat and enjoy in a group of like minded Wanderers… Oh yeah, and you should always bring your hiking safety essentials as well as layered clothing, water and food appropriate to the outing as mentioned below.
Please always check your email the night before just in case there are any necessary adjustments to the hike details. Cancellations or any adjustments will be posted by 10pm the previous evening.
RSVP etiquette must be followed. Only RSVP when you can commit to attend. Once you have RSVP'd if you have an emergency that means you have to cancel please change your RSVP by 5pm the prior day. This will avoid a "no-show" reflecting on your participation history. Over 3 "no-shows" might mean we have to excuse you from the group. We try very hard to respect each other in this group.
Give yourself time to find the trail head so that you arrive prior to the scheduled time. That is the time we head out on the trail. It would be disappointing to miss having you on the hike due to late arrival. You will be left behind if you are not ready to head out at the hike start time.
Wear comfortable hiking shoes with good rugged soles that are well broken in.
Duration: approx 4-4.5 hours
Facilities: at the trail head and at Baker Beach parking lot
Bring plenty of water. More than one bottle is usually a good idea.
Dress in layers. San Francisco weather can be changeable and very different from Sonoma County!
Bring a lunch. We will have a break before turning around.
Bring your smile and great attitude! We are ALL about trail enjoyment while respecting everyone’s time!
See you on the trail!