Fort Funston Beach Loop

San Francisco

Family and dog-friendly loop featuring sea cliffs, wildflowers, a sandy beach, and historic war forts.

Hiking Moderate

Distance
2.6 km
Ascent
60 m
Descent
60 m
Duration
0-1 hrs
Low Point
0 m
High Point
57 m
Gradient
Fort Funston Beach Loop Map

Fort Funston, named for an old military installation, still has defense batteries that you can view up close, but today it's better known for natural scenery, including cliff-top views and hiking among sand dunes. It's also one of the few San Francisco parks with extensive off-leash dog areas, making it quite popular among locals. Note that dogs must be under "voice control" to be allowed off leash, meaning they will hear and obey when called.

Description

A network of trails leads throughout Fort Funston. The loop mapped here is a suggestion to maximize a variety of scenery and terrain. It follows the Coastal Trail along the top of 200-foot-tall sea cliffs, then finds its way to the beach. Almost all the walking is on sand, and some parts are quite steep, making it a good workout.

Along the way, you'll see the concrete walls of Battery Davis, flowers blooming among wind-swept coastal sedge, lots of seabirds, and maybe even hang-gliders flying overhead. You can get in the water, but it’s not great for swimming due to cold water and strong currents. Note that hiking on the beach may not be safe at high tide when the surf can reach the base of the cliffs. Watch the waves and take care not to get cut off. If the beach is covered, just stick to the higher trails and overlooks.

Sources: https://www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit/fortfunston.htm https://www.parksconservancy.org/parks/fort-funston https://www.nps.gov/goga/getinvolved/upload/Map16Fort-Funstonv4.pdf

Difficulty

Moderate

Hiking along trails with some uneven terrain and small hills. Small rocks and roots may be present.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

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

  • Wildlife
  • Historical
  • Picturesque
  • Dog friendly
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Family friendly

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area