Because San Francisco Bay has so many edges, every year our Coastwalk is a little bit different. For several years we walked from where we park the cars, up over St. Hilary’s Preserve and down to Tiburon in time for the Angel Island ferry, but it was too strenuous a start, and there were a few too many unmarked junctions. We have done some interesting one-time routes, such as an excursion along Alameda shoreline via the Harbor Bay Ferry, and strolls through Chinatown and along the Embarcadero. Even if the route doesn’t change on a given year, we might end up with different campground reservations than usual, and have to start with Angel Island rather than end there.
I’ve been leading San Francisco Coastwalk for more than 20 years. For most of the past dozen years, we’ve been doing some variation of two days in San Francisco and 2 nights on Angel Island. When we do walk across the Bridge, we usually head west from the Bridge on the Coastal Trail, staying at the Marin Headlands hostel. But in 2012, we are making our first-ever excursion along the Bay Trail through Sausalito. If you have a spare couple days next weekend, and want to join a San Francisco adventure with 1-2 dozen other intrepid explorers of all ages, there’s still time to sign up until mid-week. http://coastwalk.org/coastwalks/2012-golden-gate-family-walk/
Day 1 (Saturday, June 30) we meet in Tiburon and take the ferry to San Francisco, walking 6 miles to the Presidio. We’ll camp out at Rob Hill with a group of Anza Trail re-enactors and friends from the Ridge and Bay Trails.
Day 2 (Sunday, July 1) we get a ranger tour along the Presidio’s western edge, to the Golden Gate Bridge, then we cross the Bridge to Marin County. It’s early so it shouldn’t be completely full of tourists. Ducking under the Bridge we take the old service road down to Fort Baker, sneak along Horseshoe Cove and past the Discovery Museum, then along the new East Road sidewalk and into Sausalito. Generally speaking we won’t stop at any tourist shops or coffee houses, but we’ll take a good rest break/lunch stop near the center of town, and another break at the Bay Model. If all goes well we’ll bid farewell to the waterfront and houseboat docks at 3 PM sharp and saunter over to Marin City in time to catch the 3:22 #19 bus to Tiburon, and the 4:00 PM ferry to Angel Island. We’re camping overnight in the Quartermasters Warehouse at West Garrison, arriving just after the last performance of Odysseus. Today’s Odyssey is roughly 9 miles from start to finish — longer than I had planned on, but nearly all level and with several rest breaks.
Monday we romp on Angel Island including a visit to the Immigration Station Museum, and up over the top of Mt. Livermore, and free time before dinner (5-6 miles). Tuesday morning we pack up and head back to Ayala Cove for a Coastwalk brunch, then head home from Tiburon mid-day.
You bring your enthusiasm, energy, a day pack, and lunch each day. Tents recommended for Rob Hill; you just need a sleeping bag for Angel Island. We provide 1 breakfast, 1 brunch, 3 tasty dinners, guides each day, and we haul your gear from camp to camp. Pretty cool way to camp out in sight of the City. Join us if you can!
On my pre-walk last Sunday I encountered hundreds of bicyclists (both locals and tourists) making the trek to Sausalito — happily on Sunday they’ll be on the west sidewalk of the Bridge and after Fort Baker we’ve got sidewalks and they’ve got bike lanes. I found a bunch more restrooms I hadn’t put on my maps, and a few more hidden waterfront paths along the houseboat moorings. If you were going to do this walk as a day-trip on your own, you could have a really enjoyable 5-7 miles. There are several places to lunch or picnic in Sausalito, and several possible return routes to San Francisco (Golden Gate Transit from Sausalito or Marin City). Remember once you get to the north end of Sausalito it takes another 10 minutes to cross under 101 and reach Marin City Transit Center (a glorious name for two bus shelters behind the shopping center). Many bus lines run only come once an hour, but they run like clockwork).
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