The Diamond Valley Company

 

 

 
  TREK EXCERPT from Golden Gate Trailblazer    
       
  GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE NORTH  
     
  Best for:
Take a walk across the graceful steel span from the north side, or look down upon the bridge towers from vantage points atop the Marin Peninsula
     
  Parking:

From Hwy. 101 north, take the Sausalito exit after coming through the Waldo Tunnel—your last exit before the bridge. Veer right on the uphill grade toward the Marin Headlands, and then turn left into a large, unpaved parking area.

From Hwy. 101 south, take the Alexander Ave. exit, just past the Vista Point exit, on the Marin side of the Golden Gate Bridge. Turn left, going under the freeway and turn back toward the bridge; keep right toward the Marin Headlands, and then turn left into the parking lot. Note: Additional parking described in hiking section.

 
  Agency: Golden Gate National Recreation Area; Golden Gate Transit    
     
  Special Interests: Group Camping
     
 

The hike:

Golden Gate Bridge (up to 2.5 mi.); Battery Spencer (.5-mi.);
Kirby Cove (2 mi.); Hawk Hill (.75-mi.)

To walk the Golden Gate Bridge, go down the stairs to your right as you face the roadway. You’ll go under the roadway superstructure to Vista Point. Go down the stairs that lead to the 10-foot-wide walkway. You’ll reach the north tower, with its curved railing section and deco light stanchions, after about .25-mile. Pedestrians may walk the bridge until 9 p.m. After nightfall is a film-noir time to venture out, with city lights in the distance and the artfully lit bridge towers above dark waters.To Battery Spencer, drive uphill on Conzelman Road for about .25-mile and park on your left. Wander out through the relic cannon emplacement, at a height about half way up the bridge towers. To Kirby Cove, walk down the gated road adjacent to Battery Spencer parking area. The road winds down through conifers to a fairly large beach, usually strewn with driftwood logs. Pine needles carpet a forested flat above the beach where a group campsite is located. The beach features a Pacific-side view of the bridge. This is a ruggedly beautiful beach and the only one readily accessible on the steep southern shore of the Marin Headlands. Be aware: Surf conditions make for unsafe swimming.

To Hawk Hill, continue driving up Conzelman Road from Battery Spencer. Some 20,000 eagles, hawks, falcons, and other raptors soar over the hill each year. After 2 miles, past a turnoff to McCullough Road, park on your left. This is where Conzelman becomes a one-way road down to Marin Headlands. You will see two tunnel openings on your right. The short trail to the top is near the beginning of the one-way road. As the raptor flies, Hawk Hill is little more than a mile from the north bridge tower, and about 150 feet above it. Migrating raptors don’t like to fly over water, and both east and west of the Golden Gate are vast sheets of the wet stuff. On the short walk back, you have the option of taking trails through either of the large but short tunnels bored as part of the WWII-vintage Battery 129.