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Find Nature at Lands End

The wildest, rockiest corner of San Francisco is a land of rich history and spectacular nature
id_1009346
Rating: 5 out of 5 by EveryTrail members
Difficulty: Easy
Length: 3.4 miles
Duration: 1-3 hours
Family Friendly

Overview : 

Lands End is the wildest, rockiest corner of San Francisco, a corner strewn with shipwrecks and a history of landslides. At the tip of Lands End is Point Lobos, named by the Spanish for its many lobos marinos (sea wolves); the barks of those sea lions, as they are called today, drifted up from the rocks below. The sea lions have since relocated to the calmer waters of San Francisco Bay. Trails at Lands End offer a cliff-top walk through dark cypress and open grass and 30-mile views up and down the California coast.
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Tips:  This is a GREAT little walk in San Francisco if you are looking for a nice escape from the city.

The Palace of the Legion of Honor is... more »

Picnicking


There are several nice stops along the path where you can stop to have a snack or picnic while enjoying the great view.

Picnic tables, grills and a restroom are available at West Fort Miley. Park at the West Fort Miley parking lot, walk a short way back along El Camino del Mar (near the entrance to the parking lot) and take the first paved road uphill to the left.

Biking


Bicycles are permitted on most trails at Lands End. Bikes are not permitted on open terrain of the Coastal Trail between Pointed Rock access road and Eagles' point; Coastal Trail bikers can bypass that gap by using El Camino del Mar. Check the maps posted here and at trailheads throughout the park for current access information.

Dog Walking


Dogs are permitted on designated trails at Lands End and beach areas. Check the map above for access information. Current dog walking information is also available on the park's website, www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit/pets.htm, and by telephone at 415-561-4732.

Viewing Wildlife


Lands End is a great place to spot birds--more than 250 species, including Brandt's cormorants, brown pelicans, Heermann's gulls, red-winged blackbirds, Anna's hummingbirds and chestnut-backed chickadees. Turn your sights to the surf and you might see dolphins, seals, sea lions or a migrating whale. less «

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Points of Interest

1. Parking

Park in the parking lot just off of Point Lobos Avenue and walk north toward the trailhead. If this lot is full, you can turn north onto El Camino Del Mar where there is a larger parking lot.

In 1887, at Adolph Sutro's urging, Congress designated Seal Rocks a marine preserve--one of the nation's first--to protect the colony of sea lions that resided there. The colony has since moved around the Golden Gate to Pier 39, but you can still spot sea lions and seals off Lands End.

The Sutro Baths were a large public bath house constructed in 1896 and served the San Francisco community until 1966 when the building burned down (how ironic).

Take the short path down to the shore to get a closer look. There is a small tunnel you can walk through under the main platform to see the waves crashing on the nearby rocks.

When... More

4. Rails Along the Golden Gate

In the late 19th century, three miles of sand dunes lay between the developed portion of San Francisco and Ocean Beach. San Francisco mining engineer and entrepreneur Adolph Sutro owned much of the Lands End area. He had bought the Cliff House in 1881 and would soon build his famous Sutro Baths and Sutro Heights gardens.

Sutro persuaded his ... More

5. Vista Points

Sweeping views of the entire Golden Gate are offered along the trails at Lands End. Vistas include the Marin Headlands, Golden Gate Bridge, Pacific Ocean and the Mile Rock lighthouse, all of which can be seen from the California Coastal Trail.

Three overlooks along the trail offer seating and photo opportunities. At Eagles Point, at the... More

6. Shipwreck Remains

The Mile Rock overlook at the end of the paved segment of the Coastal Trail offers views of the remains of three historic shipwrecks. At low tides the wrecks of the Ohioan, Lyman Stewart and Frank Buck are visible by looking northwest almost at the shoreline. Offshore to the northeast stand Mile Rocks, the Mile Rock lighthouse and the... More

7. Labyrinth

About halfway along the trail you will reach an optional detour that allows you to walk to the Labyrinth. The Labyrinth was created by a local artist and also offers great views of the Marin Headlands across the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance.

Take your time to walk the maze, but don't cheat!

If you want more time at the beach,... More

8. End of the Trail

Once you have reached the other end of the Lands End Trail you can either walk back along the same route or walk along the road that leads through the golf course past the Palace of Legion of Honor Museum.

The Palace of the Legion of Honor is a museum in Lincoln Park surrounded by a golf course. It houses a standing collection as well as several temporary exhibitions.

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Address: 100 34th Ave
Phone: (415) 750-3677
Hours: Tue-Sun 9:30am-5pm
Admission: Adults $10, Seniors 65+ $7, Children 13-17 and college students with ID $6, Chldren 12 and under ... More

10. USS San Francisco Memorial

The USS San Francisco Memorial honors those who fought on the navy cruiser that spearheaded the naval battle of Guadalcanal in World War II. The ship sustained 45 hits in combat. The names of 107 men lost in the battle are engraved in the memorial, flanked by part of the actual shell-riddled bridge of the warship. You can walk around the... More

Adolph Sutro created his garden in the 1880s for his own pleasure, but invited the public to stroll among the exotic tree species, delicate flowerbeds and stone statuary. The quiet lawns are a favorite place for picnickers and a rest stop for hikers and bikers.