Mother Nature gave most dogs a nice warm coat. They don’t “need” sweaters, thank you very much. But… Read more.
Shipwrecks. Crashing surf. Gnarly cypress. Wildflowers. If you live in San Francisco, you already know about the spectacular Lands End Trail that hugs the city’s rugged northwest edge. If you’re visiting with your dog, put a Lands End hike high on your list of priorities. In springtime, wildflowers add a punch of color to what in any season is a stroll through one million-dollar view after another, all set to the sound of a crashing sea. Fall is the most reliable season for clear weather.
There are many points of entry and exit to the Lands End Trail, but a good starting and ending point is the Lands End Overlook parking lot and visitor center at Point Lobos Avenue and El Camino Del Mar near the historic Cliff House restaurant and museum. Walk from there to the epic ruins of Sutro Baths, then head north along the Coastal Trail for a postcard-framed views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Follow the broad, well-groomed path along a bluff overlooking treacherous waters that have swallowed many a ship over the years. From the Eagle's Point Overlook you have several options, all of which are rewarding and none of which will get you lost.
Distance: Four miles round-trip to Eagle Point, with many add-on and alternate return possibilities.
Difficulty: Easy to moderate.
Leash rules: Dogs must be on-leash or under voice control.
Parking: Parking lot at Lobos Avenue and El Camino Del Mar, or a bit farther out at Ocean Beach.
Drinking water: Water fountain at the lookout area
Hours of operation: Although there are no posted hours, the Lands End parking lot closes at 1:00 am. We wouldn't advise being out there past sunset! The parking lot "officially" opens at 7:00 am, but has no locked gates.
GGNRA Update 2017: Lands End is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, managed by the National Park Service. Bay Area dog owner groups and individuals have long been fighting a new dog management plan that would significantly restrict dogs and their owners from large areas of the GGNRA. Implementation of these new rules are on hold due to legal actions. For now, this one of many on-leash and off-leash areas in the GGNRA we can all still enjoy!