1. Local

Hiking the Lands End Trail - San Francisco

A short round-trip from the Sutro Baths to Eagles Point

By

Lands End Trail in San Francisco

Stairs to Coastal Trail - El Camino del Mar

Photo © Ingrid Taylar

Lands End Trail Overview

See a complete Photo Tour of the Lands End Trail -- beginning at the Sutro Baths and leading to Eagles' Point at the east end of the Coastal Trail segment.

-----------

The Lands End trail is an easy to moderate hike -- depending on how far you walk. If you do the three-mile round trip from Point Lobos to Eagles' Point, you can meander past the Sutro Baths, the Legion of Honor, and along cliffs with beautiful views of the Marin Headlands and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Getting to the Lands End Trail

See a Street Map of Outer Richmond with marker for the Lands End Trail.

Note these parking changes through 2008 -- due to construction on Merrie Way:

The parking lot on Merrie Way is closed through late 2008 for improvements to the Merrie Way parking area and Coastal Trail.

To access the Lands End Trail, you can park on Point Lobos Avenue (near the Cliff House) and walk down by the Sutro Baths and follow detour trail markers to link with the Coastal Trail.

Or . . .

Turn right on 48th (which becomes El Camino del Mar) and park in the lot adjacent to the USS San Francisco Memorial and Fort Miley. This lot and trail entrance are designated "Accessible."

Public Transit to Lands End

By public transit: Take the #18 or #38 bus to Geary and 48th. The #1 California bus will get you to Geary and 33rd where you can transfer to the #18 or #38 . . . or walk the extra distance.

The Lands End Trail - Bypassing Sutro Baths

Take the trail access from the parking lot on El Camino del Mar if you want to bypass the the Sutro Baths. You have two options from this parking lot:

  1. Descend the stairs next to the USS San Francisco memorial (the northwest side of the lot) to connect with the Coastal Trail below
  2. Use the Accessible trail head at the northeast side of the lot to walk along the El Camino del Mar Trail which parallels the Coastal Trail

The Lands End Trail - Including Sutro Baths

To include the Sutro Baths in your hike, start the trail just below Louis' restaurant on Point Lobos.

Follow the trail down the hill and note posted detour signs. (If you descend to the baths below the main trail, there is no through-way to the Coastal Trail from below. You'll have to return to the main path to continue on the Coastal Trail.

Lands End Trail & El Camino Del Mar Loop

The Coastal Trail and El Camino del Mar parallel each other on the way to the Legion of Honor. If you choose not to double back, you can begin on the Coastal Trail, then loop back on El Camino del Mar when you reach Eagles' Point. Or, you can begin on El Camino del Mar and descend stairs near the Legion of Honor which will take you down to the Coastal Trail.

Legion of Honor

About a half mile into the hike, you'll see a trail up to the Legion of Honor. You can choose to ascend here to visit the Legion of Honor, or continue on the Coastal Trail.

See a Profile of the Legion of Honor as well as Legion of Honor photos

Mile Rock Beach & Lands End Point

Also near the half mile mark, you will see a stairway leading down to Mile Rock Beach -- and optional detour from the Coastal Trail. You'll have to ascend again (100 or so stairs) if you decide to experience the rocky sanctuary. But it's worth a trip down to see the labyrinth and the tumultuous tides of the ocean.

Coastal Trail to Eagles' Point

Continue on the main trail to Painted Rock. At this point, you'll see a warning sign to keep out of the area off the main trail (due to cliff dangers). Follow the marked hikers' trail and stairs up the hill.

Along the way, you'll navigate some landscaped stairways as well as a few hills. The views along the Coastal Trail, all the way from the trail head to Eagles' Point are stunning and picture-worthy.

At the end of the line, you'll come upon Eagles' Point -- just before you exit this section of the Coastal Trail (on 32nd in the Richmond). It's natural turn around point. Or, you can walk back along El Camino del Mar. El Camino del Mar is a road and at the Legion of Honor, you can pick up the El Camino del Mar Trail.

If You Return on El Camino Del Mar . . .

. . . You'll turn right as you exit the Coastal Trail on 32nd. The golf course will be on both sides of the road as you walk up the hill on a dirt walking shoulder, toward the Legion of Honor.

From the Legion of Honor, you can continue back on the El Camino del Mar Trail (at the far west end of the parking area below the Legion) -- or you can take a spur trail down to the Coastal Trail, and back to the starting point parking area.

Other Lands End Options

  1. Hike the hill from the Camino del Mar parking area, up to Fort Miley and Battery Chester. There are signs from the parking lot, leading to Fort Miley.
  2. Cross Point Lobos and visit Sutro Heights Park -- one of Adolph Sutro's terraformed parks, now showing just a few remnants of Sutro's regal structures and statues.
  3. Check out the Camera Obscura at the Cliff House. (You can descend stairs on either side of the Cliff House, and you'll see the <i>Giant Camera</i> kiosk. There's a small charge to go in and view the camera ($3 in 2008). Well worth it if you haven't seen one of these devices previously.

Dining at Lands End

Before or after your hike, you can grab a meal at Louis' which overlooks the Sutro Baths. Louis' is a family-owned establishment with standard American fare like omelettes and burgers.

For a more elegant option, check out the Cliff House with its Zinc Bar, Bistro and Sutros dining areas.

For a longer hike, begin at Ocean Beach, hike up to the Cliff House and catch the trail from the Sutro Baths.

If you visit the Legion of Honor as part of your tour, the museum has an excellent cafe with sandwiches, soups, salads and light dining fare, including espresso drinks.

Dogs Are Permitted

Leashed dogs are permitted on the trails. Bring a scoop and bags to keep the trails clean. For areas where you can run your dog off-leash, see our list of San Francisco Dog Parks.

Map of the Lands End Area

See a Map of Outer Richmond Attractions

Download a map from National Park Service.

  1. About.com
  2. Local
  3. San Francisco
  4. Parks, Nature & Animals
  5. San Francisco Hikes & Walks
  6. Hiking the Lands End Trail - San Francisco - Hiking Lands End in the Outer Richmond

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.