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On The Trail - Presidio Perimeter 10 Mile Loop

The Basics

Route Name: Presidio Perimeter Loop

Discipline: Hiking, Trail Running, Running

Distance: ~10 miles (dependent on starting point)

Elevation: 1100 feet

Difficulty Rating: Hard 

 View of the Golden Gate Bridge from the Batteries to Bluffs Trail

View of the Golden Gate Bridge from the Batteries to Bluffs Trail

Summary

This ten mile route combines much of northwest San Francisco's classic running and hiking routes. The Presidio Perimeter Loop delivers epic scenery, quad burning climbs, and a chance to explore one of the city's most pristine parks, The Presidio. Notable highlights are as follows:

  • The Lyon St Steps
  • Lobos Creek Valley Trail
  • Batteries to Bluffs Trail
  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • Hoppers Hands @ Fort Point
  • Golden Gate Promenade (Chrissy Field / East Beach)
 Strava / Mapbox / OpenStreetMap

Strava / Mapbox / OpenStreetMap

Step by Step Directions

1. Park in the East Beach parking lot or the SF Yacht Club parking lot

 

2. Head south, crossing Marina Blvd at Baker St, and run by the Palace of Fine Arts. Hang a right on Bay St for a block; then, turn left on Lyon and head across Lyon/the 101

 

3. Head south on Lyon St until you reach the end of the street. Here you will find the famous Lyon St Steps. Climb the 332 steps past impressive Pacific Heights mansions to the top. Once at the top, take a quick breather and enjoy the sweeping bay views to the north. 

 

4. Enter the Presidio via the gate to your west. Follow the dirt path a short distance and cross Presidio Blvd and Pacific Ave. Here you will find a wooden post on the side of Pacific Ave directing you to head west for the Mountain Lake Trail

 

5. Follow the Mountain Lake Trail down the hill past Julius Kahn park and continue up the hill toward the Presidio Golf Club. Cross Pacific Ave twice at the top of the hill and into the parking lot next to the golf club. The parking lot will turn back into a dirt path (one of the cities most popular dog walking spots). continue down the hill until the trail splits

 

6. At the junction, follow the signs for the Mountain Lake trail to the right (north). Follow the loop around the lake. Once you pass under Veterans Blvd, the trail changes to the Park Trail. Continue on the Park Trail across 14th and 15th Ave and you will quickly find yourself at the Lobos Valley Overlook with the Pacific Ocean to the West

 

7.  Once at the top of Lobos Valley, you will see a trail heading down into the valley to the west along the wooded hillside. Follow the southern most trail. Toward the bottom of the wooded area, take the split to the left. Continue down two half flights of sandy stairs and onto the Lobos Creek Trail boardwalk until it ends at Lincoln Blvd. Follow the sidewalk on the right hand side of Lincoln Blvd north up the hill. Eventually, you will want to cross over to the west side of the road where the dirt trail (Coastal Trail)begins to hug the guardrail

 

8. Continue on the Coastal Trail past the first split for the Baker Beach Sand Ladder to the second split for the Batteries to Bluffs Trail. Follow this pristine trail down the hillside past historic war batteries and enjoy the views of the Golden Gate Bridge before the grueling climb back up to the coastal trail

 

9. Once you rejoin the coastal trail, follow it toward the bridge past another series of batteries. Head under the bridge and up the runner path on the east side and head out to the first "gate" of the bridge and back.

 

10. Once you come back off the bridge path, head east and stay on the trails closest to the water looking for signs to Ft Point. You will pass Battery East on your way down to Marine Dr. Take a quick left once you reach the road and head out to hit Hoppers Hands on the fence at Ft Point. From here, follow the road back east for the home stretch toward your car. At the warming hut at Torpedo Wharf, keep left and follow the Golden Gate Promenade past Crissy Field and East Beach to the finish line

 Steps 1 & 2 - Google 

Steps 1 & 2 - Google 

 Steps 3 & 4 - Google

Steps 3 & 4 - Google

 Step 5 - Google 

Step 5 - Google 

 Step 6 - Google 

Step 6 - Google 

 Step 7 - Google

Step 7 - Google

 Steps 8 & 9 - Google

Steps 8 & 9 - Google

 Steps 10 & 11 - Google

Steps 10 & 11 - Google

View of Crissy Field and San Francisco from the Golden Gate Bridge

 Presidio.gov

Presidio.gov

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