Golden Gate National Recreation Area/Marin Headlands,
National Park Service, Marin County
0.57 mile loop to a spectacular viewpoint and bird watching hotspot.
Distance, category, and difficulty:
This 0.57 mile loop hike is easy, with little elevation change.
Dirt trail and steps.
1/2 hour or more.
Nice any time, best in autumn for birdwatching.
From northbound US 101 in San Francisco County, cross the Golden Gate Bridge and exit at Alexander (the first exit past the view point turnoff). At the base of the exit ramp bear left, then turn left onto Alexander, pass under 101, and just before the merge back onto 101, turn right onto Conzelman. Drive uphill on Conzelman Road to the roundabout junction with McCullough. Continue on Conzelman 0.6 mile, to roadside parking just before Conzelman becomes one way.
From southbound US 101 in Marin County, exit Sausalito (the last exit before the bridge). Drive uphill on Conzelman Road, and follow Conzelman to the roundabout junction with McCullough. Continue on Conzelman 0.6 mile, to roadside parking just before Conzelman becomes one way.
GPS coordinates* for trailhead:
(* based on Google Earth data, shown as degrees, minutes, seconds)
Side of the road parking. No entrance or parking fees. Pit toilets at edge of parking lot. There are handicapped-designated parking spots, and the trail is wheelchair accessible, but it is poorly suited to chairs. No maps or water available at trailhead.
Gas, food, and lodging:
Gas, restaurants, and stores about 6 miles north in Marin City. There are a few camping options in the Headlands, including small camps at Kirby Cove and Bicentennial.
On this hiking-only trail dogs are permitted on leash.
The Official Story
NPS's GGNRA page.
Marin Headlands Visitor Center 415-331-1540
Parks Conservancy Hawk Hill page
Map from GGNRA (download Marin Headlands Trail Map)
Tom Harrison Maps' Southern Marin Trail Map (order this map from Amazon.com) is a good guide to the area.
A Rambler's Guide to the Trails of Mt. Tamalpais and the Marin Headlands, map from Olmsted and Bros (order this map from Amazon.com).
Go to Bay Area Hiker Home page
Autumn is a prime birdwatching season in the bay area, and Hawk Hill is one of the best known destinations for raptor observing. The bare Headlands hilltop also offers eye-popping views of the surrounding Marin hills, the Golden Gate, and San Francisco.
Total distance: 0.57 mile