Hawk-Eyed Sunset

Sunset Hike at Hawk Hill in the Marin Headlands

Yeah, it’s a killer sunset spot—easily one of the best in the Bay Area. The challenge? A lot of other people think so too. But with far fewer tourists in the Bay Area right now, spots like Hawk Hill in the Marin Headlands don’t have nearly the traffic they normally do.

From 923 feet above the Pacific you’ll enjoy a sweeping panorama of the Golden Gate, the San Francisco skyline, and the Marin coast from Point Bonita out to Point Reyes. (Just make sure you leave within an hour after sunset, or the cops will come on a loud horn and kick you out … not speaking from experience or anything.) Hawk Hill isn’t just a prime vantage for sunset. It lives up to its name for viewing not just hawks but falcons and other raptors.

The US Army used this prime location during WWII as a coast artillery battery to protect the entrance to the bay. From the main parking area it’s a short hike through some tunnels to a sensational view of the coast. Wind your way up to the top of Hawk Hill and find ample space to saunter around old battery remnants and benches or natural perches for gazing at the sunset as it sinks, slims, and flattens across the Pacific or glows golden over our beautiful City by the Bay.

The Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco sparkling at sunset

As twilight sets in, the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges light up and San Francisco begins to sparkle, an urban oasis whispering in a silent night … brighter days ahead.

Parking for Hawk Hill is at the top of Conzelman Rd. (map). It's limited. Hawk Hill closes one hour after sunset. Dog-friendly!

Trending Stories NorCal

View all Stories
  1. Sponsored

    Outdoor Zen in Sonoma County

    Sonoma County’s abundant natural beauty is good for your mind, body, and spirit. From redwoods and rhododendron walks, to yoga in a vineyard, here are five ways to soothe your soul in Sonoma County.

  2. Feather Fanfare

    Feathery birds swing and swoop on the edge of the San Francisco Bay, surrounded by the Diablo Range and Santa Cruz Mountains. See it all from a levee in serene Ravenswood Preserve.

  3. Mellow in the Marsh

    Beach, birds, ice plant popping purple flowers: That’s a hiking slam dunk! Hike about 2 miles at Pescadero Marsh Natural Preserve using their fully reopened and well-signed Sequoia Audubon Trail.

  4. Watershed Moment

    The Presidio in San Francisco offers some of the best urban hiking in the country! And the new marsh bridges under Presidio Parkway offer more habitat for plants, fish, and bird life... and trails for us!


Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Lavender Labyrinth

    Labyrinths are meditative meanders. Add fragrant organic lavender and you're at Bees N Blooms at the foot of Taylor Mountain near Santa Rosa, experiencing their “ancient pathway of peace” and more.

  2. Putnam Pedal and Poppies!

    Helen Putnam Regional Park punches above her weight. The compact yet bountiful park near Petaluma explodes with wildflowers every spring, in particular the state’s signature California poppy.

  3. Take the Musical Road

    Drive the Musical Road—one of only a handful in the world—to connect two of Antelope Valley’s best parks, Prime Desert Woodland Preserve with its Joshua Trees and Apollo Community Regional Park.

  4. Barrel of Fun

    Put a spring in your step and a barrel in your belly in Antelope Valley's Palmdale. Do a 2.75-mile hike on Barrel Springs Trail and enjoy a local winery that shares part of the nomenclature.