Presidio San Francisco Loop
In San Francisco’s Presidio National Park, twenty-four miles of trails wind through Eucalyptus groves, run across beaches, and skirt historic batteries. This Presidio San Francisco hike is a figure-eight loop trail that passes by The Presidio’s most famous destinations. During this hike, you will walk along San Francisco’s only nude beach, you’ll pass two Andy Goldsworthy sculptures, and you’ll be treated to amazing views of the Golden Gate Bridge while winding along dramatic oceanside bluffs. Coyotes, hawks, and owls all call the Presidio San Francisco home, which means that you have an opportunity to catch a glimpse of the wild side of San Francisco.
Beginning at the famous Lyon Street Stairs, the Presidio San Francisco loop combines many shorter trail segments to create an all-encompassing hike featuring the Presidio San Francisco’s best highlights. In this hike you’ll travel along the California Coastal Trail, the Batteries to Bluffs Trail, and the Bay Area Ridge Trail.
While dogs are allowed on the majority of trails in the Presidio, dogs are not allowed on the Batteries to Bluffs section of this hike. The Presidio San Francisco is home to several packs of coyotes, so additional trails may be closed to dogs throughout the year. Check the Presidio’s website for current trail closures or leave your four-legged friend at home for this hike.
The trail begins at the top of the scenic Lyon Street Stairs. The trailhead begins once you pass through the black iron gate in the wall at the top of the stairs, near the intersection of Broadway and Lyon Street.
This figure-eight loop is 8.7 miles long. The terrain varies drastically throughout the hike. You’ll walk on boardwalks over sensitive native plants, climb up a steep sand ladder, and wind along stairways and narrow trails that hug the bluffs.
- Street Parking is available, but is limited to 2-hours during the week. You can also take the PresidioGo, a free shuttle that runs from downtown to the Presidio seven days a week.
- Fee: No fee
- Restrooms available at multiple locations throughout the hike
- Seasonal campground available by reservation only
Like all outdoor pursuits, hiking can be dangerous. It is up to you to assess your fitness level and education yourself about any potential dangers. While I try to regularly update these hiking guides, you should always research trail conditions before heading out.
Being prepared means arriving at the trailhead with water and some basic provisions. Each and every time I hit the trail I bring a backpack with more water than I think I need, a small first aid kit, and a snack. I also share my itinerary and plans with friends or family and I carry an InReach so I can summon help if needed. If you want to know what I carry in my pack during day hikes check out my blog post about essential gear for day hikers.
Stay safe, enjoy the trail, and soak up the magic of nature!
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