Lagoon Loop Trail

Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Marin, California

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Lagoon Loop Trail


  • Trailhead at the visitor center.- Lagoon Loop Trail
  • View to the west from the head of the lagoon.- Lagoon Loop Trail
  • View to the east from the Lagoon Loop Trail.- Lagoon Loop Trail
  • The north side of the Lagoon Loop Trail follows the road.- Lagoon Loop Trail
  • Many birds call the lagoon home, such as this egret.- Lagoon Loop Trail
  • Fort Cronkhite from the bridge at the lagoon outlet.- Lagoon Loop Trail
  • The lagoon from Rodeo Beach.- Lagoon Loop Trail
  • Fort Cronkhite, Rodeo Beach, and Rodeo Lagoon from the Lagoon Loop Trail.- Lagoon Loop Trail
  • Trail junction at the Lagoon Loop Trail.- Lagoon Loop Trail
Overview + Weather
Varied and interesting trail. Lots of birds. Dogs allowed.
Part of the loop runs along the road.
Marin, CA
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
20.00 ft (6.10 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Suitable for:
Hiking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
1.60 mi (2.57 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
40.00 ft (12.19 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

There are nearly limitless hiking opportunities in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, especially on the Marin Headlands. Unfortunately, many do not allow dogs, but the Lagoon Loop and the nearby Rodeo Beach is an exception.

A hike on the Lagoon Loop Trail can start either at the Rodeo Beach parking area or in the visitor center parking area. There is minimal elevation change, and the views of the lagoon, historic Fort Cronkhite, and Rodeo Beach are constant and beautiful. The lagoon is home to large numbers of migratory birds and several fish, including the endangered tidewater goby. The lagoon is typically cut off from draining into the ocean in the summer and fall and is subject to high levels of algae, but during the rainy season it drains through the sandbar of Rodeo Beach and the water quality is higher.

This short hike can be combined with a visit to the nearby restored Nike missile site and many historic gun batteries going back to pre-World War I times.

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