Mile Rock Club

Chill at Mile Rock Beach in San Francisco

Solitude in San Francisco is a just a Mile Rock away. This small and secluded cove tucked beneath wild and beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, the Marin Headlands, and the Golden Gate Bridge is easy to reach if you don't mind lots of steps. From the Lands End parking lot by the Cliff House, follow the Coastal Trail east. The trail famously parallels dramatic cliffs buffering a moody, shipwreck-strewn section of the Pacific, with rows of Monterey cypress trees framing some of the ocean scenery. At just over half a mile, a sign for Mile Rock Beach Viewpoint will point you down 112 steps.

Follow the path at the bottom to Eduardo Aguilera's enigmatic Eagle Point Labyrinth—a circular cliff-top maze of loose beach rocks whose air of mystery is enhanced by the sound of the Pacific's hypnotic and fiercely crashing waves below—not to mention unmatched Golden Gate vistas. One more staircase descent and you've made it to Mile Rock. Choose a log (there are plenty), break out a picnic, and stay awhile. Whether exploring the expansive boulder-covered beach at low tide or experiencing the rush of high tide's narrow shore, Mile Rock Beach is a San Francisco refuge.

Lands End

TIP: Budget time for extra sightseeing in the area: The Sutro Bath ruins and observation area are just steps away from the parking lot. Keep an eye out for the SS Ohioan, one of three shipwrecks exposed at low tide.

Free parking is available at the new visitor center, called Lands End Lookout, located at 680 Point Lobos Ave. Walk east on the Coastal Trail and take the offshoot trail to Mile Rock Beach. Descend the stairs. When the staircase makes a sharp left, continue on a trail going straight. The labyrinth comes into view and then you’ll see another steep stairway leading to the beach. Dog-friendly!

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Up Umunhum

    Rising from the Santa Cruz Mountains, Mount Umunhum is one of the Bay Area’s highest points, reaching an impressive 3,486 feet. With the new 7.4-mile (round-trip) addition to the Bay Area Ridge Trail, locals can finally step up to its peak.

    View
  2. Napa's Wild Side

    It’s wine country’s Amazon. Cutting 50 miles through the famous Napa Valley and emptying into San Pablo Bay, the gentle Napa River is an ecological—and recreational—delight. And Napa Valley Paddle helps you enjoy it.

    View
  3. Strolling With Sam

    Most people come to Samuel P. Taylor State Park for the beautiful creekside campground and picnic areas. But the hiking here can be pleasantly peaceful on a short trail featuring old-growth redwood trees.

    View
  4. Sponsored

    Four Ways to Fall for North Lake Tahoe

    As vivid autumn colors start to line the sky and crowds begin to dwindle, North Lake Tahoe’s breathtaking secret season takes over and is a favorite among locals. With turning leaves, crisp air, and 12 towns to explore, North Lake Tahoe is the place to disconnect.

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Apple of Your Eye

    That fall feeling is definitely in the air and on display at the Oak Glen Preserve. Apple orchards and colorful leaves are a bonus, as are the apple cider donuts and slushies you can enjoy post-hike.

    View
  2. Secluded Royale

    Panoramic coastal views and a killer leg workout combine on this 2.7-mile (round-trip) out-and-back hike to secluded Coast Royale Beach in Orange County

    View
  3. Rock Star Hike

    The sandstone giants of Vasquez Rocks Natural Area Park might be the coolest damn formations in SoCal. Explore the craggy slabs on a 2.5-mile hike.

    View
  4. Clarity in Claremont

    The majority of Claremont Hills Wilderness Park is inaccessible, rugged terrain but there’s a 4.9-mile moderate loop that’s well-maintained and feels gloriously far away, despite being close to the city.

    View