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Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area

Marin, California

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Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area

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  • View of Battery Spencer viewpoint from Hawk Hill. Alcatraz can be seen in the background.- Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area
  • A Golden Gate bridge vista from Battery Spencer. - Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area
  • A view of Angel Island from Marin Headlands.- Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area
  • Battery Spencer.- Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area
  • Hawk Hill vista.- Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area
  • View of Hawk Hill from Point Bonita.- Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area
  • Looking north from Hawk Hill. A network of hiking and mountain biking trails transect the Marin Headlands.- Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area
  • Hawk Hill is a favorite with birdwatchers.- Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area
  • A wingspan chart on Hawk Hill.- Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area
  • Rodeo Beach.- Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area
  • Point Bonita with Rodeo Beach on the right.- Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area
  • Point Bonita Lighthouse as seen from Lands End Coastal Trail.- Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area
  • The trail to Point Bonita Lighthouse.- Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area
  • Point Bonita.- Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area
  • Bonita Cove.- Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area
  • Seals at home in Bonita Cove.- Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area
  • Point Bonita Lighthouse.- Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area
  • Mountain biking trails above Tennessee Valley, Marin Headlands.- Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area
  • A quick glimpse of the San Francisco skyline from the Coyote Ridge Trail, Marin Headlands.- Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area
  • The view north from the Coastal Trail, Marine Headlands. - Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area
  • Muir Beach.- Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area
  • Decommissioned cold-war era NIKE missile site.- Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area
  • Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is a common site in the Marin Headlands.- Marin Headlands + Golden Gate Recreation Area
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Beautiful vistas. Diversity of recreational actvities.
Cons: 
Battery Spencer crowds
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Region:
Marin, CA
Congestion: 
High
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall
Current Local Weather:
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Adventure Description

Adventure Description

Team

While the Marin Headlands may be best known for front-and-center views of the Golden Gate Bridge found at Battery Spencer, there is much to explore beyond this heavily traveled viewpoint. Encompassing 2,100 acres of rugged, hilly landscape overlooking the Pacific, the Marin Headlands have been protected and managed by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area since 1970, and for good reason. The area is an outdoor recreation treasure trove. With dozens of miles of hiking and mountain biking trails, walk-in campgrounds, a handful of spectacular beaches and numerous historical sites of interest, the viewpoints only scratch the surface of this outdoor playground.

The Marin Headlands area encompasses the coastline running from Fort Baker west to Point Bonita and northwest to Muir Beach, including the majority of the hills and valleys between the coast and the 101 Freeway. Depending on one’s destination, there are multiple access roads, chief among them Conzelman Road, Bunker Road in the south, Tennessee Valley Road, and Highway 1 slightly further north.

Highlights include Battery Spencer, Hawk Hill, Point Bonita Lighthouse, Kirby Beach, Rodeo Beach, Tennesse Valley and Muir Beach. Trails can be picked up and explored from many of these locations. Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the rich network of trails for mountain biking, trail running and hiking, including the Coastal Trail, Miwok Trail, Pirate Cove Trail and numerous others threading their way through the valleys and up ridges, such as the trail extending from Tennessee Valley to Middle Green Gulch Loop. Other hikes lead to a beaches and campgrounds like Kirby Cove, and beachcombers and surfers will enjoy Rodeo Beach and Muir Beach.

While dogs are allowed on leash or under voice control in some areas of the Marin Headlands, it is important to note they are prohibited in other areas. Be sure to check the regulations by calling (415) 331-1540 before you get to the trailhead with your dog.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Map

Field Guide + Map

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(10 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(107 within a 30 mile radius)

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