A New Work of Heart

Hike from the Lincoln Steps to Mile Rock Beach in San Francisco

Heart Art at the Coastal Trail near Mile Rock Beach in San Francisco

Ready for a heartfelt hike? This urban walk in San Francisco features a beautiful mosaic stairway, panoramic views, a new work of "heart," and plentiful coastal drama. Indeed, Lands End is a popular outing on the weekend, so go on a weekday or early in the day, or a bit before sunset to avoid big crowds. Start at the Lincoln Park Steps at the very end of California Street.

The mosaic tiles of the Lincoln Stairs in San Francisco

This once simple and crumbling staircase was transformed into a colorful work of mosaic art. Brightly colored tiled steps lead up to Lincoln Park. At the top, turn right and walk the dirt trail along the golf course. The trail crosses the street to join Lands End Trail, the coast-hugging beauty that gives way to views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Marin Headlands, and Point Bonita Lighthouse.

Hikers on the Coastal Trail overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco

Less than a mile in, take the turnoff for Mile Rock Beach. This is also the way to what was once the famous Lands End labyrinth. The labyrinth is no longer there because it was continually destroyed by vandals. Now a new work of art has replaced it thanks to the good spirit of two individuals, Thomas Lew and Christian Tabing-Dalit. They took the time and care to build a beautiful rock formation in the shape of a heart. And that's just very San Francisco. Pass by the art on the way to Mile Rock Beach, where you can sidle up to a piece of driftwood (watch the tides).

Hikers sitting at Mile Rock Beach in San Francisco

Lands End Trail continues for another half mile to the visitor center and popular Sutro Baths ruins. Return the way you came. We love you, San Francisco.

Start at the Lincoln Park Steps, at California St. and 32nd Ave. (map). Walk up the stairs and turn right. Walk beside the golf course, cross Lincoln Hwy., and start walking the Lands End Trail. It's about 1.5 miles (one-way) to the end. Turn around and come back the way to you came. Dog-friendly!

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