Soak in San Francisco’s seaside stories on this three-mile trek along the coast. With hundred-year-old ruins, a legendary restaurant, and Instagram-worthy views, this is not your average hike.
For free parking, stay in the lot above the Sutro Baths.
"To extend the hike, take in Sutro Park and walk down to the Beach Chalet for a post-hike beer (they can call you a cab to get back to your car)."
"Nice views of the beach, bridge, bay and Alcatraz. Also a good area to bring your dog."
"Bring a few beers to enjoy with the spectacular views."
"Bring a camera and a water bottle! The stairs can be intense but it's totally worth it when you see the views! "
Of all the walking wonders that San Francisco has to offer, the Lands End Trail is perhaps the most breathtaking — and the most mystifying. In a mere three-mile jaunt, the trail meanders past some of the city's truly sacred gems. At one end of the trail sits the Legion of Honor, presenting a dramatic start to a winding walk through the hillside. Along the way, the trees give way to expansive vistas of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin headlands.
A set of ascending steps at 0.90 mile brings the easy section of this hike to an end. Look for native strawberry and yerba buena plants on the grassy hill to the right. The trail crests and almost immediately begins to drop, again on steps. Eucalyptus and cypress trees shade the trail and screen most of the view, but as the trail sweeps downhill a dramatic vista north across the Golden Gate opens up.
Trail running doesn’t get any more majestic than this. To avoid the tourists ogling the “Steep Cliff” signs, head to the Lands End Trail in the early morning (be prepared for fog). Enter the trailhead around the Legion of Honor, and run the wide-ish path atop of the windswept coastal cliffs. The run is moderate, save for some blood-pumping staircase action. The views are definitely worth the pain.