Bay Area Ridge Trail: The Presidio

San Francisco

Cypress forest and ocean views on an urban trail route to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Road Biking Easy

Distance
8.1 km
Ascent
124 m
Descent
124 m
Low Point
48 m
High Point
111 m
Gradient
VIEW ON MAP
Bay Area Ridge Trail: The Presidio Map

Description

The Bay Area Ridge Trail will eventually make a loop around the entire Bay Area, but it’s only complete in sections. This segment through The Presidio links existing urban trails to make a bike route to the Golden Gate Bridge. Surfaces alternate between pavement and packed dirt, which are suitable for most bikes. If you like to ride, it’s much better than dealing with busy streets or crowded parking near the bridge.

The mapped route begins at Arguello Gate of The Presidio. Limited free parking is available here, either at Presidio Cafe or along Pacific Avenue. If full, you can find street parking in a nearby neighborhood or use public transportation to reach The Presidio.

Almost right away, the trail dips into an impressive woodland of Monterey cypress. Among the tall trees, you’ll suddenly smell damp soil and hear the sounds of birds, even though you’re in the middle of the city. Pause to read the Ecology Trail signs if you want to learn about the area’s history and natural environment. There’s also a 100-foot-tall sculpture inspired by the trees.

After leaving the cypress grove, The route links briefly with a residential street, then enters another patch of forest before passing Rob Hill Campground, the only place to camp inside the city. Next comes the historic sites and ocean views. You’ll pass a World War II memorial, then a few different overlooks where you can see the Golden Gate Bridge. There are several old defense batteries near Langdon Court, and hiking trails leading among them. This is a great place to park the bike and explore for a bit. From there, you can continue to the bridge.

Sources: https://ridgetrail.org/san-francisco-presidio-2/ https://www.presidio.gov/trails/bay-area-ridge-trail

Difficulty

Easy

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

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area