Trail: THE GOLDEN GATE LOOP — Golden Gate Bridge to Golden Gate Park and Back


Before you venture across the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco also has other beautiful sites like the Presidio, Legion of Honor, the Cliff House, Ocean Beach and Golden Gate Park some of which were featured in the 2012 Amgen Tour de California and the route from Lincoln Boulevard to Golden Gate Park are all part of the Escape From Alcatraz Triathlon. Golden Gate Park is the place to be on Sundays when two miles of John F. Kennedy Boulevard is closed to cars. On a nice day, this route is a great way to add some miles to your ride or just see more of the sites of San Francisco from you bike.

Distance: from San Francisco Ferry Building 16.75 miles, route is 11.98 miles long

–Trail Starts at mile 4.77 of The Golden Gateway

–Trail Ends at mile 5.37 of The Golden Gateway at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge

Climbing on Route: 686 feet (209 meters)

Difficulty: The route has a couple of long climbs and one that is very steep, but short. Overall, it’s a great ride, even on a rental bike.

-Elevation Map for the Route provided by MapMyRide.com
Download the Route Sheet here: Directions – Golden Gate Loop
Starting at mile 4.77 of the Golden Gateway Trail, make a left onto Lincoln Boulevard and follow it to Park Road. Make a right onto Park Road, then another right onto Kobbe Avenue. You’ll reach a peak along Kobbe Avenue as you cross Washington Boulevard that gives you a beautiful view of Sea Cliff and the Lands End trail.
Keep following Kobbe Avenue until it ends at Lincoln Boulevard, then make a left onto Lincoln Boulevard and enjoy the descent until you reach Sea Cliff at 25th Avenue and the road becomes El Camino del Mar.

Continue to follow El Camino del Mar as it goes through Sea Cliff and make a left when the road reaches an end.

Continue following El Camino del Mar as it climbs to the Legion of Honor, then make a left at 34th Avenue up the last bit of the climb.
You can either park your bike and take in an exhibit or continue along the descent down 34th Avenue to its intersection with Clement Street.
Make a right onto Clement Street and continue to climb through the Outer Richmond district. Clement Street ends and the street becomes Seal Rock Drive.
Seal Rock Drive is a short, but very steep hill with a stop sign at the end. Make a left at the stop sign onto El Camino del Mar, but be careful on this descent for any cars crossing your path who do not have stop signs.
El Camino del Mar quickly intersects with Point Lobos Avenue which becomes the Great Highway (CA-1). Make a right onto Point Lobos Avenue and continue descending past the Cliff House Restaurant.

Again, be very careful on this descent as you will pick up speeds of 30+ mph, but will have cars backing out from their perpendicular parking spots along the road and other cars stopping to spalk. Stay toward the dashed lane line for safety.
Continue to follow the Great Highway a few more lights until you get to John F. Kennedy Drive, just before the Beach Chalet. You will make a left onto JFK Drive, although the safest way is to enter the parking lot just before the light and use the crosswalk.
Follow JFK Drive past the windmills and through the park. This is a bit of a climb, but not much of a grade and the lanes also tend to be wide. Just stay vigilant for parked cars opening their doors.
JFK Drive turns left at the first stop sign with South Fork Road. Turn left and continue along JFK Drive.
Along the way, you will see the buffalo pasture, picnic areas, sports fields, Lindy in the Park and the de Young Museum. On Sundays, JFK Drive is closed to cars and is bike and pedestrians only from Transverse Drive to Kezar Drive. Once or twice a year they shut down the Great Highway from JFK Drive to the San Francisco Zoo, along with the entire length of JFK Drive from the Great Highway to Kezar Drive for Sunday Streets. Check the Sunday Streets website for the day(s).
Just after the de Young Museum, make a left onto Conservatory Drive West, and then another left onto Arguello Boulevard. There is a light on Arguello Boulevard just as you exit the park.
Continue along Arguello Boulevard as it crosses Geary Boulevard and California Street. Arguello Boulevard has a very steep climb at the end, just before it enters into the Presidio. Gear down to prepare for this 15% – 18% grade climb.
Continue along Arguello Boulevard in the Presidio as it winds its way past the Presidio Golf Course and Vista Point. Just past Vista Point, make a left onto Washington Boulevard just before Arguello Boulevard starts to descend.
Follow Washington Boulevard through the Presidio. After some rolling hills, you will pass by another lookout point and then cross Kobbe Avenue at the World War II Memorial. Washington Boulevard, then merges with Lincoln Boulevard.
The traffic at this point increases significantly. Follow Lincoln Boulevard until it intersects with Merchant Road at a stop sign. Make a left onto Merchant Road.
Follow Merchant Road, but be careful, this road merges directly onto US-101. DO NOT GET ON US-101! Make a left and follow Bike Route 95 just before the intersection with US-101.
Follow the bike path under the bridge and you be back at the path on the East Side of the Golden Gate Bridge. From here you can either cross on the pedestrian side of the bridge or go to the Bay Trail and cross to the bike side of the bridge. Either way, the route has met back up with The Golden Gateway.
This route through San Francisco allows you to add mileage to your route to Marin, or to jut enjoy more of the biking San Francisco has to offer on those days you don’t feel like crossing the bridge. Either way, this route has beautiful scenery, great riding and gives you alternate way to access some of San Francisco’s treasures.

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UPDATE: Golden Gate Bridge West Sidewalk Still Closed — April 1, 2012 through May 15, 2012


UPDATE:  The West Side of the Golden Gate Bridge will continue to remain closed for renovations through May 15, 2012.  The renovations were scheduled to last thru April 1, 2012, but they have taken longer to complete than originally anticipated.  For more information, see the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District information page here.

This West side reopened in mid-September 2011 from the last round of repairs and seismic renovations.  The East Side reopened to pedestrians to cross the full extent of the Golden Gate Bridge in December 2011 after seismic renovations.

This next round of construction is the final phase of improvements on the San Francisco side of the bridge including the Battery East Bay Trail (the bike/pedestrian trail from Long Avenue to the Golden Gate Bridge). The renovations will include installation of dedicated bicycle and pedestrian lanes, trail re-surfacing and grade improvements, replaced fencing and lighting, and construction of the Fort Point Vista.

These renovations will affect how you get on to the bridge as both a cyclist and pedestrian. From Long Avenue, either make a right and go up Lincoln Avenue and follow the road to the upper parking area and follow the signs to the bridge. Or you can go up the Bay Trail to the lower parking area and then transition over to Lincoln Avenue and follow the detour.

This round of renovations is not taking place during the high season for tourists fortunately. That fact alone may make this a better interaction than the last round that occurred over the Summer of 2011.

Lane markers and signs were placed on the East Side of the Bridge during the last round of renovations which helped make pedestrians aware and gave cyclists a dedicated lane for movement.

On a typical weekend, over 5,000 bicyclists cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Pedestrians and bicyclists alike will need to be aware of how crowded the bridge will be.  No matter the time of year, the hardest part of crossing on the pedestrian side of the bridge is inattentive tourists who don’t think bikes belong on their side.  Or the teenagers with headphones in who don’t hear the bikes announcing their presence over their music. To experience what it is like to bike across the pedestrian side of the bridge, check out Ridin’ Dirty below.

These next few months will require lots and lots of patience from the bicyclists and understanding from pedestrians.  Just remember to be vigilant and patient as you cross the Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge Sidewalk Closed (Again?) — January 17, 2012 – April 1, 2012


Bicyclists Traverse the East Side of the Golden Gate Bridge

Once again the West Side of the Golden Gate Bridge is close for renovations starting on January 17, 2012.  The renovations are scheduled to last thru April 1, 2012.  For more information, see the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District information page here.

This West side reopened in mid-September 2011 from the last round of repairs and seismic renovations.  The East Side reopened to pedestrians to cross the full extent of the Golden Gate Bridge in December 2011 after seismic renovations.

This next round of construction is the final phase of improvements on the San Francisco side of the bridge including the Battery East Bay Trail (the bike/pedestrian trail from Long Avenue to the Golden Gate Bridge). The renovations will include installation of dedicated bicycle and pedestrian lanes, trail re-surfacing and grade improvements, replaced fencing and lighting, and construction of the Fort Point Vista.

These renovations will affect how you get on to the bridge as both a cyclist and pedestrian. From Long Avenue, either make a right and go up Lincoln Avenue and follow the road to the upper parking area and follow the signs to the bridge. Or you can go up the Bay Trail to the lower parking area and then transition over to Lincoln Avenue and follow the detour.

This round of renovations is not taking place during the high season for tourists fortunately. That fact alone may make this a better interaction than the last round that occurred over the Summer of 2011.

Lane markers and signs were placed on the East Side of the Bridge during the last round of renovations which helped make pedestrians aware and gave cyclists a dedicated lane for movement.

On a typical weekend, over 5,000 bicyclists cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Pedestrians and bicyclists alike will need to be aware of how crowded the bridge will be.  No matter the time of year, the hardest part of crossing on the pedestrian side of the bridge is inattentive tourists who don’t think bikes belong on their side.  Or the teenagers with headphones in who don’t hear the bikes announcing their presence over their music. To experience what it is like to bike across the pedestrian side of the bridge, check out Ridin’ Dirty below.

These next few months will require lots and lots of patience from the bicyclists and understanding from pedestrians.  Just remember to be vigilant and patient as you cross the Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge West Side Reopened!


Jon and Miko Like Totally Pause Near Fort Point

On September 10, 2011 the West Side of the Golden Gate Bridge reopened to bicyclists. The West Side of the bridge will now be open 24/7 until seismic renovations are completed on the East Side of the Bridge. However, there are some restrictions on bikers during the week in the construction zone where the repainting is occuring. See the release for full details.

The East Side of the Bridge has limited access until mid-January 2012

As of September 12, 2011 pedestrians are unable to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge. Presently, pedestrians entering from Vista Point in Marin County are limited to the area immediately surrounding Vista Point and a 700 foot section of the Bridge. The renovations will be at the north anchor-housing and will last through mid-January 2012. Visitors from the San Francisco side of the Bridge are able to walk past the second tower, but must turn around at that point.

BIKES ONLY on the West Side! NO Pedestrians, Joggers, Rollerbladers or Skateboarders!

This effectively means that pedestrians, joggers, skateboarders and everyone else, EXCEPT bicyclists WILL NOT be able to cross the Bridge until it reopens in mid-January 2012. If you are a jogger and feel you should be able to run on the bike side of the bridge, DON’T! Bridge Police will be out and cite pedestrians trying to cross on the West Side of the Bridge. So if you want to walk to Sausalito, you will have to park in Marin County to do so.

Although tempting, pedestrians are not to ender the West Side of the Bridge

Bicyclists, you can now rejoice in the fact we can once again ride across the bridge without dealing with pedestrians. So don’t be bike douches, just slow down around the towers and in the construction zone because we all paused for pictures on the Golden Gate Bridge at one point in time and may do so once again.

Miko pauses for a picture at the south tower on the West Side