Lands End Lookout and the historic Sutro Baths offer visitors stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, the Golden Gate, and a glimpse into the history of this rugged corner of San Francisco. Providing easy access to the northwestern tip of the San Francisco peninsula, this Golden Gate National Recreation Area gem includes a visitor center, walking trails, and access to the historic Sutro Baths. The parking area is also the main access point to the Lands End Coastal Trail, a 1.4-mile trail that is popular with runners and bikers that runs above the southern shore of the Golden Gate.
Land's End will attract both the history aficionado as well as the naturalist. Until the 1770s Lands End was the site of a seasonal village for the Yelamu Ohlone tribe that hunted and gathered the bountiful wildlife of the area. San Francisco's early population growth during and after the Gold Rush had developers eyeing Lands End as an ideal recreation site for city dwellers to escape the crowded streets and access the rugged Pacific coastline of the Golden Gate. They built the original Cliff House restaurant and overlook as a seaside destination. Adolph Sutro, the wealthy entrepreneur and former mayor of San Francisco, purchased Lands End in the 1880s and constructed Sutro Baths. The public baths consisted of seven pools, six of which were fed by ocean water, and after its initial popularity the complex struggled until it burnt down in 1966.
Walking trails connect Lands End Lookout to the Sutro Bath ruins. An access trail north of the parking area weaves through Monterey cypress as it overlooks the Pacific and proceeds down to the ruins above Point Lobos. The lookout area and associated trails are a good place to watch for marine life; porpoises, sea lions and seabirds are regular sights. Lands End Lookout is a popular tourist attraction that can be crowded on weekends. Plan your visit on a sunny day to take advantage of the views and consider combining it with a walk, run, or bike along the Lands End Coastal Trail. Dogs are allowed on leash.