Lands End Loop
A morning outing to Lands End provides about as much wilderness as can be found in San Francisco; the beauty is so stunning, it's easy to miss the ghosts. But walk a few minutes under the thick mantle of Monterey cypress and they'll appear.
Prop yourself against the crumbling walls of a concrete pillbox on Mile Rock Beach and watch the fog slide like gray silk over the Marin Headlands. Listen for black oystercatchers whistling on the rocks, just beyond the protruding spar of a shipwrecked freighter. Search for coyote prints and blooming irises behind the torn-metal monument to the USS San Francisco, battered but unsunk at Guadalcanal.