360° VR Panoramas of Marin and the North Bay Counties
Conzelman Road
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

Conzelman Road has some of the most jaw-dropping views in California. It was built to service the military installations along the Marin Headlands, and climbs steadily from the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge to Hawk Hill, then drops down west towards Point Bonita.

First stop is Battery Spencer, with the giant red bridge so close it seems unreal. Just past there a dirt road/trail drops to Kirby Cove, a little-known campsite right at sea level on the Golden Gate.

Conzelman Road should not be missed by anyone visiting San Francisco. Drive (or walk) across the Golden Gate Bridge, take the first Marin exit, go under the freeway then up the hill. First stop at Battery Spencer, maybe one of the next two viewpoints, then park and walk to the top of Hawk Hill.

Most people turn around where the road becomes one-way westbound, but if you have time continue on to Point Bonita and the Nike Base, or at least to the beach at Fort Cronkite. Return through the tunnel and down to Sausalito, or back to the city.


Click on a thumbnail image to open an interactive 360° panorama in a new window.
Steep descent west of Hawk Hill

Steep descent west of Hawk Hill

After the Hawk Hill parking area Conzelman Road becomes one-lane and one-way, and drops precipitously to the west. I enjoyed hearing cyclists exclaim as they rounded the corner and saw the swooping downgrade ahead.

Marin Headlands, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: November 2, 2011
See location in Google Maps

Hawk Hill parking area

Hawk Hill parking area

Most people drive the Conzelman Road to here, enjoy the view, then turn back. But an even better view is afforded by a short trail to the top of Hawk Hill, just above.

Marin Headlands, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: November 2, 2011
See location in Google Maps

Viewpoint on the Conzelman Road

Viewpoint on the Conzelman Road

Staggering views of the Golden Gate, both strait and bridge, along the Conzelman Road on the Golden Gate Headlands.

Marin Headlands, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: November 2, 2011
See location in Google Maps

Midway along the Conzelman Road, above Kirby Cove

Midway along the Conzelman Road, above Kirby Cove

Midway along the Conzelman Road, above Kirby Cove

Marin Headlands, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: November 30, -0001
See location in Google Maps

Fortifications at Battery Spencer

Fortifications at Battery Spencer

Fortifications at Battery Spencer

Marin Headlands, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: March 28, 2001
See location in Google Maps

Battery Spencer has the ultimate view of the Golden Gate Bridge

Battery Spencer has the ultimate view of the Golden Gate Bridge

Battery Spencer has the ultimate view of the Golden Gate Bridge

Marin Headlands, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: March 28, 2001
See location in Google Maps

Dense Fog at the Golden Gate

Dense Fog at the Golden Gate

Dense fog shrouds the Golden Gate Bridge viewed from Battery Spencer

Marin Headlands, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California

Date photographed: September 20, 2009
See location in Google Maps

Previous locality: Hawk Hill Next locality: Fort Baker