Hiking at Lands End - Things to See

Antonette Loresca

Hiking at Lands End - Things to See

Take few minutes to relax, get inspired or just admire the sea from the other side of the city. Lands End is a park within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco. It is located between the Sutro District and Lincoln Park at the aperture of the Golden Gate, a barren shoreline filled with rocks. The place is well-maintained and safe for hiking, picnicking, sweating out, biking, bird-watching and dog walking, but be sure not to leave anything behind.

There are several ways to walk the trails of Lands End, from Point Lobos and El Camino del Mar where both have parking space. Check out the following areas to visit along the trail from Point Lobos where it includes the view of the Sutro Baths:

Seal Rocks. Starting from Point Lobos at the end of Great Highway, offshore on the left side is the Seal Rocks. A marine preserved for the colony of Steller's sea lions and California sea lions which were moved to Pier 39 at the edge of Fisherman's Wharf in 1989 though you can still see some of them in Seal Rocks.

Lands End Lookout. A new solid building of new visitor center located near the parking lot and at the cliff above the ruins of Sutro Baths, Lands End Lookout soared on April 27, 2012. Visitors can enjoy the view, coffee and buy souvenirs while preparing for the trail.

Sutro Baths. Continue to Point Lobos Avenue, head left side for the parking. From the parking take the trail on west side overlooking the ruins of the Sutro Baths below the Cliff house. The Sutro Baths was a large swimming pool complex owned by Adolph Sutro, opened to the public in 1896 and was burned down in 1966. History of its construction and inauguration can be seen on sign from the parking lot. A railway can be seen along the cliffs above the Golden Gate which was used to bring visitors to this attraction but were closed due to landslide in 1925.

Vista Points. Take a rest and photo of these breathtaking views of San Francisco: Marin Headlands, Golden Gate Bridge, Pacific Ocean and the Mile Rock lighthouse from a wooden platform and staircase. Place for capturing perfect sunset over the Pacific with vivid reflection casting on the water of the Sutro Baths ruins.

Remains of Shipwrecks. During low tide the tips, stern post and boilers of a freighter name Ohioan are still visible. The Lyman Stewart and the Frank Buck both crashed into the rocks off Lands End.

Labyrinths. Half-mile from Sutro Baths is the most popular and the only remaining labyrinth created in 2004 by a local artist Eduardo Aguilera. People come here to stroll their way into the epicenter and meditate with a spectacular view of the Marin Headlands and the Golden Gate Bridge. Them who found their way to his labyrinths left him stories, gifts, stay in contact or meet him during his gatherings.

Upon reaching the end of the trail, you can either stop or go back via El Camino Del Mar which parallel the Coastal Trail passing thru the vast golf course that surrounds the Palace of Legion of Honor Museum (mentioned in my older post http://www.san-francisco-hostel.com/best-things/free-admission-to-the-legion-of-honor-every-first-tuesdays). Descending the stairs near the Legion of Honor is the Coastal Trail leading to many attractions in Lands End including the Eagle's Point another stop-over to enjoy a breath-taking view.

USS San Francisco Memorial. This memorial was built by the city of San Francisco in honor of the naval ship and the people on it who fought and died during the 1942 Battle of Guadalcanal.  It is made up from the parts of the heavy vessel surrounding the flag post giving a horrific moment of the battle. Beneath the post is a granite monument with plaque commemorating the ship's crew, history, and the city of San Francisco.

West Fort Miley. A military reservation on Point Lobos on the southern side of the Golden Gate with only one remaining army building, the Fort Miley Veterans Administration Hospital, an artillery storehouse, now a maintenance building for the National Park Service. West Fort Miley offers a grassy picnic area for visitors surrounded by the historical batteries including the Battery Chester.

Lands End may be in the edge of San Francisco and few locals visited the place but it is definitely not the least scenic spot rather it holds few of the most beautiful attractions in the world.


Recent Hostel Blog

Book Now