Baker Beach

It is roughly a half mile long, beginning just south of Golden Gate Point, extending southward toward the Seacliff peninsula, the Palace of the Legion of Honor and the Sutro Baths.

The first weekend in January Chris and I embarked on our first SF Adventure of the year to Baker Beach. I’m sure it surprises you to know that in all of our adventures around the city we’ve only been the infamous beach once – while on our GoCar tour. The northwestern portion of our beloved city has always been kind of a mystery to me. We frequently walk through Golden Gate Park up Ocean Beach to Sutro Bathes, but they most we’ve ever ventured into The Presidio trails was to the Labyrinth. Determined to understand the area better, we started by walking to The Presidio entrance on 14th Ave.

When you first enter there is a giant building – The Presidio Landmark. If you walk around the parking lot to the left, you’ll find the entrance to the Lobos Creek Trail.

Next to the Lobos Creek Trail entrance.

The Lobos Creek Trail starts by going downhill in a heavily wooded area and then spits you out in a valley with a plastic/wood walkway. Volunteers and park rangers are working to restore the land into the dessert / sand dune ecosystem it once was. It’s full of local plant life and animals.

Lobos Creek Trail

From there we got a little lost walking over to Baker Beach. On the map it implied that there was a trail, but we ending up wandering through people’s backyards. Regardless, it was pretty cool and I’d definitely do it again.

Secret garden hut.

Secret oriental garden.

Finally, after squeezing between overgrown plants and a barbed wire fence for a bit, we made it to the beach! Inside the barbed wire fence was this really cool building.

Where we entered the beach.


We walked up the beach to Battery Chamberlain. Battery Chamberlin holds the last 6-inch “disappearing gun” of its type on the west coast. On the first full weekend of each month, you can take part in demonstrations of the gun and visit a small seacoast defense museum at the battery.

The Last Gun

We had heard about The Last Gun while on our GoCar tour and had wanted to check it out, but never made it over to Baker Beach – until now! We found out that on Saturdays they to the aiming demonstrations and on Sundays (when we were there) they do the manual retraction. We got there just in time to participate in the last demonstration of the day!

Chris (and I on the other side) manually retracting the 50-ton cannon.

After the arm-pumping success of making the gun disappear, Chris wanted to head over to the rocks on the northern most point.

The sea foam coming off the ocean was huge!

We made friends with some weird beach art before we walked out onto the rocks. The waves were pretty huge that day and as we unsteadily walked onto the smooth rocks, two people passed us and one was laughing really hard. I stayed back and took a few pictures of the water so white it looked like milk. Chris ventured out further onto the wet rocks and kneeled down to get the perfect shot. Moments later a giant wave came in and splashed up around the rocks.

I screamed.

A good amount swarmed in on top of the rocks Chris was kneeling on. Fortunately the ocean didn’t swallow Chris and he stood up immediately. Unfortunately the front of him, up to his chest, was totally soaking wet. Although he was very annoyed, he was okay. I went from being terrified to laughing uncontrollably and remembered the people who had passed us on way out. After that thrilling part of our adventure we walked up the giant wooden steps from Baker Beach over to Battery Crosby.

Battery Crosby

It was fun to climb around on the old battery (even though I was too short to really go anywhere) and there were beautiful views of the bridge (as seen in the first picture of the post). Battery Crosby marks the entrance to the Batteries to Bluffs Trail – which looks amazing. Chris was too cold, tired, and wet to embark on that trail at the time, so we ended up walking back home – with a small pie detour.

I can’t wait to return to Baker Beach and hike the Batteries to Bluffs Trail, perhaps that will be our next SF Adventure! Until next time, I can’t wait to hear more of your 2013 adventures – what have you been up to so far?


Yay Baker Beach!