San Francisco County

SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY covers a mere 46.4 square miles, by far the smallest county in California. Only in San Francisco do the city and county governments exist as one entity, with about half of the land publicly owned. San Francisco County hosts the only fully complete Coastal Trail of all fifteen coastal counties in California, a mere 10¾ miles long. You can easily walk it in a day or two, but the attractions are SO great and numerous that it takes days to do it justice. The Coastal Trail through San Francisco is one of the world's greatest urban trails.

CCT begins its city trek by crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, among the great human architectural achievements and most beautiful structures in the world. From the 220-foot height of the bridge's deck, you'll have breathtaking views of one of the planet's most dramatic coastlines. The vistas on the clearest days range up to 80 miles. Countless people have driven over the Golden Gate Bridge and stopped at the vista points for the fabulous views, and millions have walked on the bridge. Relatively few people have experienced these riches by walking the length of the bridge and continuing along water's edge either east along the bayshore or west to the Pacific. The Golden Gate Bridge has become an important trail junction, with four long-distance trails now crossing the bridge. All of these trails lead to San Francisco's many natural and cultural features.

After crossing the bridge, you'll walk through a gorgeous and dramatic urban landscape. The trail out to Land's End follows the edge of the cliffs overlooking the outer San Francisco Bay, the bridge and the Marin Headlands, then traverses the affluent neighborhood of Seacliff before continuing high along the cliffs to pass within sight of an excellent art museum. After reaching the historic Cliff House, the trail runs the length of expansive Ocean Beach before visiting Fort Funston where some of the sand dunes that once covered almost half of San Francisco remain in a natural state. Most of the Coastal Trail, except for the bridge and Seacliff, traverses the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Explore the Trail

Click a section to discover more detailed information on pieces of the trail that can be explored within a day. Find highlights of what each area has to offer as well as other resources.

The Golden Gate Bridge can be seen far to the north.

San Francisco Section 1

Golden Gate Bridge North Vista Point to the Cliff House, Golden Gate National Recreation Area
The wide Ocean Beach has plenty of room for hikers and beach visitors

San Francisco Section 2

Cliff House to Fort Funston, Golden Gate National Recreation Area