Scenic Vistas in the Marin Headlands


The Marin Headlands is more than just a view... but if it is a view you seek, these are our recommendations!

Conzelman Road is generally where visitors go to take their picture with the Golden Gate Bridge (look here for a map of the Marin Headlands). To access Conzelman Road, drive through the Baker-Barry Tunnel, turn right onto McCollough Road and drive straight until you reach the roundabout. You will then be on Conzelman Road. You can parallel park alongside Conzelman Road to take advantage of any of the scenic vistas along the way. Hawk Hill and Battery Spencer are among the most popular vistas, as they involve only a short hike from Conzelman Road. These sites also have unique military history and provide habitat for endangered species, like the mission blue butterfly. Kirby Cove is another scenic spot, and it involves hiking on a mile-long dirt road from Batter Spencer. If you're looking for a more secluded view of the city, Slacker Ridge offers an up-close look at San Francisco if you're willing to take a short-but-steep hike to the top. Finally, Battery Rathbone-McIndoe is past Hawk Hill and located off of the narrow one-way stretch on Conzelman Road that leads to the Point Bonita Lighthouse.

Aside from Conzelman Road vistas, Hill-88 is a two mile hike from Rodeo Beach and is the highest point in the park that you can hike to. Not only does it offer sweeping views of Rodeo Lagoon, Rodeo Beach, and the city, but it also has interesting Cold War history.

Tips & Highlights:

  • Large stretches of Conzelman Road are one-ways! You cannot drive up Conzelman Road from the US 101. Drive through the Baker-Barry Tunnel instead.

  • Saturdays and Sundays are very crowded. It can be difficult to find parking. Please watch for pedestrians and cyclists.

  • They don’t call San Francisco ‘Fog City’ for nothing! Prepare for foggy weather, especially in the summer months.
  • Want to share your photos with us? Use the hashtag #GOGAYes to give us permission to reshare your photos.

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Scenic Vistas

  • The Golden Gate Bridge extends in a foggy bank from the green hills of Hawk Hill.
    Hawk Hill

    Learn more about the spectacular views, soaring raptors, endangered species habitat, and military history that characterizes Hawk Hill.

  • View of Rodeo Lagoon and Rodeo Beach from Hill 88. San Francisco is in the distance.
    Hill 88

    A former Nike radar site and the highest point in the Marin Headlands that you can hike to.

  • The Golden Gate Bridge on a clear day from Battery Spencer
    Battery Spencer

    One of the most popular scenic overlooks for the Golden Gate Bridge and an Endicott era battery.

  • The San Francisco city skyline from behind the top of a trail.
    Slacker Ridge

    A 1.5 mile hike from the Golden Gate Bridge or a 0.5 mile hike from the Conzelman Road roundabout will bring you to Slacker Ridge!

  • kirby cove beach front with golden gate bridge in view
    Kirby Cove

    Kirby Cove has a campground, a beautiful view of the bridge, and a historic battery.

  • View of concrete casemate with Point Bonita in the distance.
    Battery Rathbone-McIndoe

    Battery Rathbone-McIndoe is an Endicott era reinforced concrete battery that offers striking views of Point Bonita and the bridge.

Last updated: April 4, 2021

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