Coastal Trail: Baker Beach to Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco

A path that links cliff-top views, sandy beaches, cypress groves, historic war defenses, and the entrance to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Hiking Easy

Distance
5.2 km
Ascent
119 m
Descent
119 m
Duration
1-2 hrs
Low Point
9 m
High Point
85 m
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
Coastal Trail: Baker Beach to Golden Gate Bridge Map

Description

This section of the California Coastal Trail features some of the best views to be found in The Presidio. It is an easy walking and biking path from Baker Beach to the Golden Gate bridge, with intermediate access and car parking at points in between. Dogs are allowed on leash, and parts of the trail are suitable for strollers and wheelchairs.

Baker Beach is a wide strip of sand and surf within sight of the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s a very popular place on sunny afternoons. Just above it is Battery Chamberlain, where this section of the Coastal Trail begins. Unlike other batteries in the area, Chamberlain has one of its turret guns still in place. You can walk right up to it, though most of the mechanism is usually under a tarp.

From Battery Chamberlain, the Coastal Trail curves uphill through a stately grove of cypress trees, then parallels Lincoln Blvd. This section is mostly flat and quite scenic, with elevated views over the ocean. If you want a more interesting and challenging alternative, however, you can detour on Batteries to Bluffs Trail, which drops down onto the undulating slopes below (note that pets are not allowed on Batteries to Bluffs). Batteries to Bluffs rejoins Coastal Trail near Langdon Court and the Golden Gate Overlook.

In addition to the great view of the bridge at the overlook, there is a string of batteries. This location at the entrance to the Bay was crucial for defense, so defenses here were numerous. The trail weaves among the them, and you can take time explore each one if you like. The Golden Gate Bridge is next.

The path passes beneath the bridge, then curves up the other side to the pedestrian entrance. You can choose to walk across the bridge (no pets allowed), or continue to other Presidio destinations like the Golden Gate Promenade or Fort Point.

Sources: https://www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit/coastal-trail.htm https://www.presidio.gov/trails/california-coastal-trail http://californiacoastaltrail.info/cms/archives/cte2003.php?aid=78

Difficulty

Easy

Walking along a well-kept trail that’s mostly flat. No obstacles are present.

Low Exposure

1 out of 4

The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Remoteness

1 out of 4

Close to help in case of emergency.

Best time to visit

January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December

Features

  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Family friendly

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area