14 km through Golden Gate Park in San Francisco

Scenic run with a bit of everything, road running, trails and beach.

Length:14 km
Elevation:164 m
Route type:Loop
How to get there:You can pretty much park anywhere in Golden Gate Park. I would recommend MLK Jr Dr. close to the California Academy of Sciences and the De Young museum. There is street parking available for 2 and 4 hours, and there is also an underground parking garage at the Academy and the the museum. Public transport is of course also available.
How to shorten/extend run:Shorten: You can skip the run up to the Cliff House starting at kilometer 4, and instead of running up the hill turn right back into Golden Gate Park. That cuts plenty of elevation from the run and roughly two kilometers.
Extent: This run does not explore all of Golden Gate Park, so feel free to add a few more loops.
Water stops:There are water fountains in Golden Gate Park, and they seem to be in operation all year around.

I headed to Golden Gate Park right after I arrived in SFO in the morning. I was in the park not much more than 1 hour after touch down, which speaks for the lack of traffic on a Sunday morning. I also found plenty of parking on MLK Jr. Dr, when I got there slightly before 9 AM. When I returned at 10:30, parking was much harder to find. The run was really scenic, and had a bit of everything, road running, beach running and trail running. I had explored Golden Gate Park briefly during my 30 km run last September, but this time I saw much more of the park.
I started more or less at the California Academy of Sciences and ran west towards the beach. There I turned right and ran up to the Cliff House, a nice Café with a scenic view of the Pacific. Then I ran back down and back into the Park. As I passed by the Polo field, I ran a lap on the field, an interesting experience!


Trails in Golden Gate Park.
San Francisco beach from the Cliff House.
The Polo Field in Golden Gate Park.
All Photos.

You may also like...