Tunnel to Marin Headlands Closed
The tunnel on Bunker Road from Alexander Avenue in Sausalito towards the Marin Headlands is closed for construction. Please follow the detour signs to Conzelman Road (just above the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge) to go up over the hill. More »
Muir Beach (but not nearby Muir Woods) parking lot closed June-November 2013
Muir Beach parking lot will be closed from June-November 2013 due to construction. Restrooms or nearby parking will not be available at Muir Beach during this period. Pacific Way is closed except to residents. Check back for updates or call (415)561-3054 More »
CAUTION: Post Storm Damage to Coastal Trail
The Presidio Coastal Trail segment just north of the Pacific Overlook and adjacent to Lincoln Blvd remains CLOSED indefinitely. We have posted signage to alert bicyclists and hikers and with information for safe trail alternatives. More »
ROAD CONSTRUCTION UPDATESStarting in 2010, the Marin Headlands and Fort Baker Transportation Infrastructure and Management Plan will be making improvements to 11 miles of historic roads in the Marin Headlands and Fort Baker. Please visit www.projectheadlands.gov to learn more about the plans and to obtain information about possible traffic interruptions.
Welcome to the Marin Headlands! One of the most unique areas in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, the Marin Headlands covers various types of histories from the Miwok Indians to the Military, including historic Fort Barry and Fort Cronkhite, the NIKE Missile site and the 150 year-old Point Bonita lighthouse. Other attractions include varied hiking trails, dog friendly Rodeo Beach, and astonishing views of the coast and San Francisco. The explosion of wildflowers in the spring and raptor migration in the fall fill the headlands with year round excitement.
The Marin Headlands is an example of open spaces still available in the Bay Area for visitors to enjoy.
Tips and Highlights
The sea cliffs and road cuts of the Headlands have exposed some of the finest examples of pillow basalt and radiolarian chert.
Millions of years ago, these rocks formed at the bottom of the sea, several thousand miles from the coast. The black pillow basalt was created from lava spewing from vents, while the red-brown radiolarian chert formed as the remains of radiolarians (microscopic protozoans) collected in layers.As the seafloor moves slowly east, it slides under the North American continent and leaves behind scrapings of radiolarian chert and pillow basalt.
Marin Headlands Visitor Center
Park lands are open from sunrise to sunset.
Check out Transit 511.org for MUNI 76 Service on Sundays and holidays.
To MAHE VC from San Francisco
Go north on highway 101. Take the Alexander Avenue exit (second exit after crossing the bridge). Stay to the right on the exit ramp to get onto Alexander Ave. Turn left on Bunker Road (a brown sign saying "Marin Headlands Visitor Center" marks the intersection). Go through the one-way tunnel and drive approximately 2 miles. Turn left onto Field Road. The visitor center will be on the right side of the road.
To MAHE VC from the East Bay
Take 580 west to the Richmond/San Rafael bridge. Cross the bridge( toll this direction will cost $2). Take the second exit after the bridge, go through Larkspur and get on 101 south. Follow 101 south through the Waldo tunnel. Take the last "Sausalito" just before the Golden Gate bridge. Turn right at the end of the exit ramp and Pass under 101, at the stop sign go straight onto Alexander Avenue. Turn left on Bunker Road (a brown sign saying "Marin Headlands Visitor Center" marks the intersection). Go through the one-way tunnel and drive approximately 2 miles. Turn left onto Field Road. The visitor center will be on the right side of the road.
To MAHE VC from the North Bay
Follow 101 south through the Waldo tunnel. Take the last "Sausalito" just before the Golden Gate bridge. Turn right at the end of the exit ramp. Pass under 101, at the stop sign go straight onto Alexander Avenue. Turn left on Bunker Road (a brown sign saying "Marin Headlands Visitor Center" marks the intersection). Go through the one-way tunnel and drive approximately 2 miles. Turn left onto Field Road. The visitor center will be on the right side of the road.
Volunteers answer questions and lead scheduled interpretive walks and programs. For more information on park programs please see our quarterly Park Adventures.
The Point Bonita Lighthous is open Saturday, Sunday and Monday from 12:30-3:30 PM.
The Nike site is open Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday from 12:30-3:30 PM and on the first Saturday of each month.
Battery Townsley is open the 1st Sunday of each month from 12:00-4:00 PM.
The visitor center's exhibits includes: An introduction to the Headlands' natural history and an investigation into the Headlands' human history (Miwoks through modern times). There is a Miwok shelter which we encourage you to sit inside and listen to present-day Coastal Miwok people talk about their culture. You will be able to see how cramped the living quarters of the enlisted men stationed in the Headlands were. Don't forget to smell the native plants also present in the visitor center. Perhaps you would rather examine and identify various animal bones instead? Or read about the daily life of an 1850's lighthouse keeper. In addition, you can also pick up a book or field guide from the center's comprehensive bookstore and learn more about the Marin Headlands.
Did You Know?
The trail to Point Bonita lighthouse is the location of what is likely the earliest detailed geologic map in the state, completed by F. Leslie Ransome in 1893.