From the issue All the Light Moves
Full Moon Noir
A lighthouse, a full moon, and views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Can you get any more noir? Full Moon Disclosure: You’ll need to plan ahead and save the date for this one, but it’s worth it! The newly re-opened Point Bonita Lighthouse sits on the western tip of the Marin Headlands and the entrance to the Golden Gate. Every full moon, the National Park Service hosts tours of the lighthouse, and though their July and August dates are filled, new dates for the fall will be added in the coming months (details below). The majority of the tour actually happens as the sun sets, painting the Golden Gate Bridge even more golden. An informative docent shares amazing stories about past shipwrecks (over 300 during the gold rush years!) at the Golden Gate. It’s a thrill to cross over cliffs on Point Bonita’s new, 132-foot-long bridge. Stop for a moment to take in the view up and down the coast, as the rugged ocean growls below. The span brings you close to the famous, beaming Fresnel lens, which can be seen 18 miles away (inside the lighthouse you can pick up a passport-style stamp to add to your journal). But perhaps the coolest moment is looking on as the sun sets to the west, the moon climbs to the east, and the the waves crash below: This is one mysterious and dramatically beautiful place at dusk. Lights, camera, full moon action!
Full-moon tours are offered year-round; to make a reservation, call Marin Headlands Visitor Center (415-331-1540). If you prefer to visit by day, tours are offered every Saturday, Sunday, and Monday from noon to 3:30 p.m. From Hwy. 101, take the exit for Alexander Ave. and turn right at the stop sign. After 150 yards, turn left toward the tunnel on Bunker Rd. Continue on Bunker Rd. to Field Rd., and turn left. Follow the signs to Point Bonita Lighthouse. No dogs.