San Francisco is blessed with great views – in fact hunting for views is one of my favorite Things to Do in San Francisco.
The so called Lands End Trail takes this up a notch. The trail is the site of a former rail road and electric street car line. It snakes around the southern entrance of the San Francisco bay – west of the Golden Gate bridge – and offers fantastic views.
The trail can be entered either from the Point Lobos side with the Cliff House or via Lincoln Highway on the other side.
I have been on the trail just two times although I spend a lot of time in the city of San Francisco. For the longest time I did not even know it existed! The trail has seen a splurge in popularity recently and a number of tourists groups now make a stop to gleam at the views on a sunny day (there are few of those during summer in San Francisco).
The trail goes right along the ocean’s edge (same of the bluffs are downright scary) and meanders from a small ‘technical’ hike to a wide city walkway. There are a number of steps to follow up and down and you can access the beach with 267 steps down (and up) as well.
The trail gets crowded on long weekends and Sundays with joggers, tourists and dog walkers but the views towards the Golden Gate bridge, Baker Beach, Marin Headlands and the rough Pacific Ocean are worth it.
This weekend a set of dolphins was spending time near the beach and was easy to watch. Due to the elevated position you can also get lucky enough to see of the enormous migrating blue or humpback whales coming up.
If you have more than a day in San Francisco consider making it out there – you can do the return hike in about 2 hours if you go fast and about 3 hours if you take it slow.