Yes, this lighthouse at the southwest tip of the Marin Headlands is still active and maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. Getting there is a challenge. Parking is limited and the 0.5-mile walk is steep and precarious. This spot, at the “world’s end,” is ruggedly beautiful. Nearby, old army buildings are used for environmental education programs.
Plan Your Visit
- Very limited parking availability.
- Battery Wallace, near the Point Bonita trailhead, is one of the parklands’ most scenic picnic spots with tables and grills overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.
- Bring your own water when visiting.
- Sights along the trail to the lighthouse include the ruins of an historic Coast Guard rescue station, wildflowers, and pillow basalt rock formations.
- Discover Point Bonita’s wild landscape, geology, and fascinating history with a guided tour. Visit www.parksconservancy.org/events for details. Or explore the point on your own.
- Download a higher quality audio tour in advance, that you can play on your own device.
A Beacon in the Fog
The lighthouse was originally placed on a hill above the current location and built in 1855. Point Bonita was the third lighthouse to be built on the West Coast after San Francisco’s infamous fog sent many ships crashing against the headlands’ rocky shoreline. It was moved to its current location in 1877.