“A mega-popular hike hitting many Bay Area attractions in one fell swoop.”
— Nick Wilder
Stunning trail with optional rock outcrops to climb on.
A mostly easy hike with amazing views and great options to extend your visit with other activities. Explore the remains of Sutro Baths
, have lunch at the Cliff House, visit the Legion of Honor art museum, and embrace the fantastic tourist attractions that make this area justifiably popular.
From the large parking area and helpful visitors center, follow the trail into the woods as it wraps around the very northwest tip of the city. Several viewpoints open up and it's worth stopping at each to enjoy the views. You might have cold fog or crisp sun, but either way, this moody trail delivers.
The trail is built on the bed of an old rail line, so it's mostly dead-level. One short section has been re-routed around an eroded part of the cliff and has a long, steep section of stairs. You could optionally turn around at the stairs to avoid that difficulty and still have a wonderful hike. Also, be sure to take the little detour on Mile Rock Trail
History & Background
This trail is built on the remains of an old rail line. In the 1880's the Cliff House and Sutro Baths
were being built on the west end of the city, which was miles from downtown at the time.
A private train was built to connect the tourist attractions, and at 5 cents a ride, was quite a bargain for the amazing views it gave riders then, and hikers today.