Golden Gate National Recreation Area Trails

Find your path to discovery and adventure

For many of us, the sprawling and spectacular trail system at Golden Gate is how we experience the parks and encounter their many wonders. More than just a line through the woods or a swath across a bluff, the trail is where we can marvel at nature, learn about culture, and understand history. Trails are as unique and complex as the ecosystems they help protect, or the extraordinary people who help care for them. Introduce yourself to one of the trails in the Golden Gate National Parks. And get ready to meet magic.

Refine
Golden Gate Bridge views from the paths at Fort Mason
trail
Difficulty: Moderate

Length

0.82 miles round-trip
This segment of the Bay Trail, skirting the northern edge of Fort Mason , features lovely Golden Gate Bridge vistas and an overhead view of the piers and buildings of lower Fort Mason, the port of embarkation from which 1.6 million military personnel shipped out to the Pacific Theater in...
Ben Johnson Trail
trail
Difficulty: Easiest

Length

2.64 miles round-trip
One can start the hike to the Ben Johnson Trail through Muir Woods National Monument by either the Redwood Creek Trail or the Hillside Trail. The steep climb to the ridge snakes through the redwood forest and up through the fog-line onto the grassland and shrub-scaped top of Mount Tamalpais...
Gun at Black Point Battery in Fort Mason
trail
Difficulty: Easiest

Length

0.35 miles round-trip
During the Civil War, the U.S. Army hastily built two batteries, armed with 10-inch Rodman guns, at a site that locals called Black Point. These armaments at Point San Jose Military Reservation (later called Fort Mason ) served as backup to the fortifications on Alcatraz and at Fort Point ...
Trail atop Bolinas Ridge
trail

Length

11.90 miles round-trip
From the top of Bolinas Ridge take in bird’s-eye views up and down the San Andreas Rift Zone. The fault divides Olema Valley , a lovely, undulating landscape reminiscent of England, that dips slowly down to the waters of Tomales Bay in the north, and Bolinas Lagoon in the south...
Hikers pause to enjoy the beauty of the Bootjack Trail
trail
Difficulty: Strenuous

Length

4.80 miles round-trip
This climb up the steep slopes of Mt. Tamalpais reveals beatiful vistas of the Bay Area and the Pacific Ocean. The redwoods of Muir Woods gradually give way to Douglas fir, bay laurel, and tanoak as the trail wends upward. From the Bootjack Campground, established in the early 1920s, continue...
Visitors explore the Cataract Trail
trail

Length

2.70 miles round-trip
Located on Mount Tamalpais ' wild northern slope, this hike starts on Cataract Trail, passes the Laurel Dell picnic area, then veers on to the High Marsh Trail and on to peaceful Potrero Meadows via the Kent Trail. The loop finishes with the Benstein Trail. With varied terrain, terrific views,...
Former Tennessee Valley Native Plant Nursery and adjoining stables
trail
Difficulty: Easiest

Length

0.66 miles round-trip
This short trail leads to the National Park Service Mounted Patrol Stables and the former Tennessee Valley Native Plant Nursery. This is the halfway point on the way to the Tennessee Valley Beach. There is also a bench where the Chaparral Trail leads off the Tennessee Valley Trail. You'll find...
Fort Baker Chapel
trail
Difficulty: Easiest

Length

0.31 miles round-trip
At the rear of the newer Cavallo Point buildings at Fort Baker , you'll discover a set of stairs that connect you with the Drown Road Trail. Highlights include sensational views of the Golden Gate, and, of course, the historic post chapel itself (now a picturesque event and wedding venue).
Gradual descent to the surf at China Beach
trail
Difficulty: Moderate

Length

0.11 miles round-trip
Access to the beach is via a paved drive or stairway down from the parking lot to water level.
trail
Difficulty: Easiest

Length

0.28 miles round-trip
Aerial view of Rancho Corral de Tierra trails
trail
Difficulty: Strenuous

Length

3.74 miles round-trip
The trailhead is near the intersection of Coral Reef Avenue and Sevilla Avenue in El Grenada, but parking can be tricky in the area (Quarry Park, half a mile away, is probably your best bet). The trail itself, one of the best ways to experience Rancho Corral de Tierra ,...
Sweeping vista from the Coastal Trail above Muir Beach
trail
Difficulty: Easiest
The Coastal Trail is the true connoisseur's way to drink deeply from the quintessence of the California experience. As it threads through the three counties of the Golden Gate National Parks (Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo), the Coastal Trail treats adventurers to spectacular Pacific vistas, iconic chaparral hills, soaring...