Grand Loop Around Presidio
9.5 miles     1400 ft
20 Mar 2011

Awesome city hike with a section that goes along the Pacific coastline and Baker Beach.

Location: San Francisco

Elevation Profile

Location: Intersection of Graham Street & Moraga Avenue, San Francisco, CA . Parking area is visible in Google Maps if you zoom in sufficiently.

Google Maps:

Parking Fees: Free on Saturdays and Sundays. (last visited: March 2011)

Capacity: Very large parking lot for the Presidio.

Latitude: 37.797857     Longitude: -122.458967

Trip Planning

Trail Maps

» Walker's Map of San Francisco by Pease Press: Excellent quality maps showing many parks and trails in the San Francisco area. Many of these parks do not have free trail maps online. Cost was $7.95 in April 2011.

» GGNRA Trail Map: Decent trail map. Mileage information is missing.

» Presidio Trail Map: Good map showing various trails near the Presidio. Also see Presidio Trails (PDF) and Presidio Map for further information.


Route Summary: Ecology Trail → Mountain Lake Trail → Mountain Lake Park → Park Trail → Lobos Creek Valley Trail → Coastal Trai → Batteries to Bluffs Trail → Coastal Trail → Ridge Trail → Julius Kahn Playground → Lover’s Lane.

Details: A good map would be helpful in making choices at innumerable junctions encountered in this hike. Most junctions were clearly marked by signs. However, a few required us to make judgment calls.

  1. To Inspiration Point: From the intersection of Funston and Moraga, follow Ecology Trail to reach Inspiration Point.
  2. To Mountain Lake Park: Follow signs for Bay Area Ridge Trail to reach West Pacific Avenue. Then follow signs for Mountain Lake Trail to reach a fork in the road. Take left at the fork to enter Mountain Lake Park and walk around the park. Enjoy great views of Mountain Lake at the park. Then return to the same fork. Take right to follow Anza Trail.
  3. To Lobos Creek Overlook: Follow Anza Trail to reach an intersection with Park Trail soon after walking below Highway 1. Take left on Park Trail and follow signs to reach Point Lobos Creek Overlook, where you may enjoy panoramic views of San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean.
  4. To Lincoln Blvd: Follow Point Lobos Creek Trail. Along this trail, there are several unsigned junctions. So you would need a good sense of direction. As long as you keep moving westwards towards the Ocean, you should be able to reach Lincoln Blvd.
  5. To Baker Beach Sand Ladder: Cross Lincoln Blvd and follow unnamed trails leading to Baker Beach. There are forks along the trail. All of them converge to Baker Beach. You may then walk along the beach and come up via the Baker Beach Sand Ladder, or you may walk half the length of the beach, then walk up to the northern end of the parking lot to Battery Chamberlain. Then follow signs for Coastal Trail going via Battery Chamberlain to eventually reach a junction with the Sand Ladder trail.
  6. Batteries to Bluffs Trail: From Coastal Trail, turn left along Batteries to Bluffs Trail. Make a short side trip to Marshall's Beach. This trail re-connects with Coastal Trail. Turn right to follow Coastal Trail adjoining Lincoln Blvd to return to the junction with the Sand Ladder trail.
  7. To Immigration Point: Cross Lincoln Blvd and follow signs for Immigration Point overlook. A series of staircases leads you to Immigration Point, providing a panoramic view of the Pacific.
  8. To Cemetery Overlook: From Immigration Point, cross Washington Blvd. Turn left and walk parallel to Washington Blvd. Just before the first intersection with other paved roads, look for signs for Bay Area Ridge Trail on your right. Follow Bay Area Ridge Trail, also called Rige Trail. In March 2011, we ran into forks in this trail with no signs to guide us. Eventually, we reached the intersection with Park Blvd. Ridge Trail continues next to a road called Amatury Loop. Follow signs for Ridge Trail to reach the Cemetery Overlook, providing views of Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco National Cemetery.
  9. To Julius Kahn Playground and Lover's Lane: From the intersection of Ridge Trail and Washington Blvd near Inspiration Point, you may either follow Ecology Trail back to the starting point, or you may follow unsigned trails through Julius Kahn Playground connecting you to Lover's Lane. Finally, take left on Presidio, left on Funston and right on Moraga.
Ecology Trail to Mountain Lake
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