This hike is a moderate 9 mile hike with 1300 ft of elevation change. This is an exploration hike which means that although we have done this a couple of times....we are still learning and perfecting the best way to do this hike. When we are in the process of perfecting a trip it's best if you are an adventurer! We will be following the following guide:
Portions of this hike are in an urban setting. This hike follows the coastal trail from the Sutro Baths 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 and to find the find 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, there are some stairs 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 thru 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 can either walk along the beach, or continue on the path toward the parking lot. As we continue up (north) the beach, we should have 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. And there are more stairs, up and down before we reach our turnaround point.
At the top of the hill, we will take Lincoln Ave north (to the left)which passes Battery Godfrey and Battery Boutelle. The Coastal trail continues all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge, but 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.If you can't drive please be aware that you might not be able to join the hike. 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...come prepared to drive to the trail head if you want to hike! 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 8:30
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!
Please always check your email the night before just in case there are any necessary adjustments. This is especially important if there are any weather issues. Cancellations due to weather will be posted by 10pm the previous evening.
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.
Wear comfortable hiking shoes with good rugged soles that are well broken in.
Duration: 5-6 hours
Facilities: At the start/end
Bring plenty of water. More than one bottle is usually a good idea.
Dress in layers. This hike could be very cool if foggy.
Bring a lunch. We always have a break at a scenic spot about half way
Once again, always try to car-pool if you can. If there is a noted car pool that doesn’t work for you, it would be wonderful if you posted your own in the hike’s comments. If you are a rider than make sure to give your driver gas money as mentioned above.
See you on the trail!