Kirby Appeal

Kirby Cove Beach in Marin

Still haven't cycled over the Golden Gate Bridge yet? We have a twist on this classic tourist outing. It's very simple. Instead of crossing over the bridge and veering right to head down to Sausalito with the Bike and Roll crowd, turn left and go up Conzelman Road toward Hawk Hill. You can do this as a hike, too.

A short (slight huff and puff) third of a mile later, you'll come to a gated fire road—the inconspicuous entrance to one of the best beaches in the Bay Area: Kirby Cove. Bike 0.75 mile down the dirt road to reach this cove to call your own. Well, there probably will be other people there, but not many!

The gated road keeps the crowds blissfully at bay (pun intended). Pull out that blanket from your backpack, spread the goodies you brought for a picnic, and gaze at the all-time classic view: the Golden Gate Bridge is close enough to skip a rock to, San Francisco's downtown skyline rises and glows in the background, and the Pacific splashes and crashes against the dark sand beach.

BONUS CAMP: Kirby Cove has a few reservable campsites.  The facilities are simple: BBQ grill, picnic tables, and fire rings. There's no water or wood, so bring both. Earplugs, too, if you're sleeping over; the foghorns can be loud.

Dogs aren't allowed at Kirby Cove.

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