Activities in the Parks

Can’t Choose Your Own Adventure? Start Here and Go!

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With hundreds of miles of trails threading through 37 distinct sites across 80,000 acres of the Golden Gate National Parks, it can be hard to decide where to go and what to do. Let the Parks Conservancy’s experts be your guide! We’ve carefully curated our favorite hikes, walks, and excursions to share with you and your loved ones. There’s something (and some place) for everyone! We reveal some of the natural wonders and historical highlights you’ll experience along the way, but there are plenty more surprises for you to discover. So browse below, then grab your boots and backpack. Your national parks are waiting.

View over Green Gulch Farm Zen Center
Hiking
  • Birding
Ditch the summer fog in San Francisco for the sunny peaks of our Golden Gate National Parks in Marin County. Have some fun in the sun on this moderate eight-mile hike and finish it off with a frothy pint at the local "English" inn! Along the way, you'll see newly...
Agave Trail on Alcatraz
Trail
Wrapping around the southern edge of the island, this trail literally presents a "different side" of The Rock. This 0.6-mile, easy walking trail features plenty of its spiky succulent namesake (planted to slow erosion and serve as a verdant fence), as well as breathtaking views of the San Francisco skyline...
Habitat restoration volunteers work on Alta Ridge
Trail

Length

5.02 miles round-trip
This is a long but gradual climb from the eastern side of the Marin Headlands . This fire road is in good condition, making for an easy route to meander along. As you climb up and out of the woods, look east out to the two peaks of Mount Diablo...
Baquiano Trail up Sweeney Ridge
Trail
Difficulty: Moderate

Length

2.22 miles round-trip
Driving up to the parking area is steep, and it's a premonition of what the trail will be like. You guessed it, the ascent will be too. However, switchbacks make the climb much easier. Near the top of the ridge, it flattens out and becomes a fire road. Be sure...
Battery Alexander near Battery Mendell
Trail
Difficulty: Easiest

Length

0.97 miles round-trip
This trail involves walking along a dirt trail through several Civil War-era military batteries near a cliff edge. It also includes several areas where terrain varies and involves stairs.
Batteries to Bluffs Trail, Golden Gate Bridge
Trail
Difficulty: Strenuous

Length

0.70 miles round-trip
Stretching from just south of the Golden Gate Bridge to Battery Crosby, the trail offers spectacular coastal panoramas, views of the Golden Gate, and a safe descent to Marshall’s Beach.
Ranger leads a demonstration at Battery Chamberlin
Trail
Difficulty: Easiest

Length

0.15 miles round-trip
The army built Battery Chamberlin on Baker Beach in 1904 to protect the harbor’s minefields. In 1977, the Golden Gate National Parks acquired a 97,000-pound cannon of the type originally emplaced here, and visitors today can still see this “disappearing” gun that can be cranked in and out of its...
Battery Crosby in the Presidio
Trail
Difficulty: Easiest

Length

0.27 miles round-trip
This short segment of the Batteries to Bluffs Trail takes visitors to Battery Crosby, an Endicott-era battery completed and armed in 1900 to protect the underwater minefield outside the Golden Gate. On the first Saturday and Sunday of each month (from 11 am to 3 pm), you can see a...
Bridge overlook off the Battery East Trail
Trail
Difficulty: Easiest

Length

0.80 miles round-trip
One of the signature trail improvement projects of the Parks Conservancy, the multi-use Battery East Trail features eye-popping views of the soaring towers of the Golden Gate Bridge , as well as an overlook/seating area to admire the span and San Francisco Bay.
Sunrise from Battery Spencer
Trail
Difficulty: Easiest

Length

0.86 miles round-trip
Battery Spencer Trail is a 0.5 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Sausalito, California that offers scenic views and is good for all skill levels. The trail is primarily used for hiking and walking and is accessible year-round.
Golden Gate Bridge view from Battery Yates at Fort Baker
Trail
Difficulty: Easiest

Length

0.30 miles round-trip
After visiting Cavallo Point and the beautifully restored Colonial Revival buildings along the main parade at Fort Baker , be sure to make a side trip to Battery Yates, located just off Satterlee Road. The trail to Battery Yates (named after an Army officer killed at the Battle of Little...
Presidio National Cemetery Overlook
Trail

Length

3.80 miles round-trip
From: Arguello Gate To: the Golden Gate Bridge and back Explore the charm, seclusion, natural wonders, and historic and cultural variety of the Presidio . Stunning views await you on this short trip through forests and grasslands and along coastal bluffs, from the Presidio's south-central entrance to its northwest tip...

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