San Francisco Urban Hike: The Presidio

activities / Hiking & trekking

San Francisco Urban Hike: The Presidio information and booking

from
$45
Duration
2.5 to 3-hours
Departs from
Tour departs from the bottom of the Lyon Street Steps, Pacific Heights District
Returns to
Returns to original departure point
Time of departure
1:30pm
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Tour description provided by Viator

Enter a new world as you embark on an urban hike through the historic Presidio in San Francisco. Following your expert guide, wander through groves of pine, cypress and eucalyptus trees as you explore the highlights of this historic park and former military post. Visit San Francisco National Cemetery, stroll down Lover's Lane and the Ecology Trail, soak up views of Alcatraz and the Palace of Fine Arts from Inspiration Point, and stop by Presidio Chapel. Great for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs, this tour is the perfect balance of interesting history, stunning scenery and a feel-good workout.

Your morning or afternoon tour starts at the bottom of the Lyon Street Steps on the cusp of San Francisco’s Pacific Heights district. Get ready for a moderate workout on this 3-hour hiking tour (don’t worry, the views are well worth it).

Following your guide, hike up the stairs and pause at the top to soak up sweeping views of the city spilling into San Francisco Bay. The domed Palace of Fine Arts punctuates this awesome vista.

You'll enter into the southeast corner of the Presidio, a massive park and former Spanish and American military base that’s now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. You’ll feel as if you’ve entered another world as you leave the urban hustle and bustle behind and begin hiking through a dense forest.

Take a stroll down Lover’s Lane, one of the oldest foot trails in the Presidio, nicknamed for the site where soldiers visited their sweethearts in the 1860s. Pass through the Tennessee Hollow Watershed, a historic eucalyptus forest and a grove of newly planted trees that merges into the Pacific Heights neighborhood, home to some of San Francisco's most magnificent homes.

Above Tennessee Hollow you’ll find Inspiration Point, a spectacular vantage point with fantastic views of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz, Angel Island, the Palace of the Fine Arts, rare serpentine grasslands and eucalyptus canopies.

Near here, your guide will point out a piece of natural art created by Andy Goldsworthy, famous around the world for interpreting the subtle shifts of place and time. Wood Line is a series of horizontal cypress trees snaking elegantly into the valley of the Tennessee Hollow Watershed.

In the northern center of the Presidio on a slope overlooking the bay lies San Francisco National Cemetery, a beautiful final resting place of more than 30,000 Americans including military veterans and their families. Explore this historic cemetery and hear stories from your guide about its interesting history and legends.

Continuing on another trail, your guide will point out another one of Andy Goldsworthy’s works. Spire, located on the Bay Area Ridge Trail near the Arguello Gate, is a sculpture comprised of 35 large cypress trunks fastened together, whose zenith reaches more than 90 feet (27 meters) into the sky.

Following Ecology Trail, journey through the Presidio’s largest redwood grove, and then visit Presidio Chapel, with it's beautiful stained-glass windows, Spanish Mission Revival architecture and spectacular views of the Bay.

Emerging out of the forest, your urban hike ends back at the Lyon Street Steps.

What's included

  • Professional guide

What isn't included

  • Gratuities (recommended)
  • Hotel pickup and drop-off