Golden Gate Trailblazer: Where to Hike, Stroll, Bike, Jog, Roll in San Francisco and Marin

Golden Gate Trailblazer: Where to Hike, Stroll, Bike, Jog, Roll in San Francisco and Marin

5.0 15
by Jerry Sprout, Janine Sprout

A book for the active traveler wishing to explore beyond the common San Francisco-Marin tourist destinations. A primer for those wishing to ramble, scramble, or scoot the trails within the natural splendor of this world-famous area. Organized geographically, each section is prefaced with colorfully written historical and topographical background followed by a…  See more details below


A book for the active traveler wishing to explore beyond the common San Francisco-Marin tourist destinations. A primer for those wishing to ramble, scramble, or scoot the trails within the natural splendor of this world-famous area. Organized geographically, each section is prefaced with colorfully written historical and topographical background followed by a detailed map. The trailhead portion follows offering specific driving directions and activity descriptions. Things-to-do range from high-energy treks for adventurers to leisurely outings for the whole family.

A Best Of section allows readers to pick an activity that suits the day and mood such as "Hike-To Beaches and Coves", "Docks, Piers, Jetties", Places to Wow the Houseguests", "Summits To See It All", "Beach Runs", Coastal Bluff Bike Rides", "Woodsy Wheelchair Rides", "Baby Stroller Sea Air Trails", "Bay Kayaking Waters", "Lake and Bay Side Skate/Scooter Paths" and "Family Outing Mini Walks". Some 175 photographs give readers an idea of what's in store. A lengthy Resource Links section provides contact numbers for parks and campgrounds, groups and organizations, museums and attratctions, as well as selected local eateries and accommodations - ranging from swank to rustic. A special Website page lists "Visitor Info", "Events", and "Public Agency" sites for up-to-the-minute entertainment and essentials. A special two page directory is dedicated to dog owners. Listed are regulations and directions to dog parks, open space preserves and special paths. The world-famous Golden Gate Bridge is also featured with interesting facts, photos and statistics. This is the most comprehensive book to pack take along.

Author Biography: Having been reared in San Francisco and Marin, Jerry and Janine Sprout have chosen their hometown trails for the subject of their third book. Golden Gate is a follow-up to Alpine Trailblazer, a guide to the Sierra from Tahoe to Yosemite, and Kauai Trailblazer. The couple have been seeking new trails together for more than 20 years.

Read More

Editorial Reviews

Midwest Book Review
In both layout design and content, the very model of what a user-friendly guidebook should be.
Sundance Quarterly
The new outdoor bible!
Sunset Magazine
It's always nice to see a new book like Janine and Jerry Sprout's. A comprehensive guide to the idyllic outdoor bounty surrounding the Golden Gate.
Wilderness Press
The essential Bay Area guide for lovers of the outdoors.

Product Details

Diamond Valley Company
Publication date:
Trailblazer Series
Edition description:
1 ED
Product dimensions:
6.01(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.71(d)

Read an Excerpt


Best for: A whiff of Flower Power lingers at San Francisco's famous intersection. Nearby are two parks with city views and an excellent children's museum.

Parking: From the north or south, take Highway 1, which is 19th Ave., to Fulton St. on the north border of Golden Gate Park. Turn east on Fulton. Note: Traveling south, you can't turn left off 19th Ave.; turn right on Cabrillo, the street before Fulton, and then make two lefts in order to cross 19th Ave. on Fulton. Head about a mile east on Fulton and turn right on Stanyan St. Go 4 blocks to Haight St. and park-you may have to park in the vicinity and walk to the corner of Haight and Stanyan to begin the stroll. Bus: SF Muni 33, 43

Agency: San Francisco Recreation and Park Department; *Special Interest: Kids

STROLL: Haight Ashbury and Panhandle loop (1.25 mi.); Haight Ashbury, Buena Vista Park and Corona Heights loop (2.75 mi.)

All strolls begin at historic Alvord Lake Bridge, a pond and small park that is the tunnel entrance to the east end of Golden Gate Park. This is the oldest roadway tunnel in California. Cross Stanyan and proceed up Haight Street. The block was once home to the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin and Jefferson Airplane. The Haight still resonates sixties themes, with colorful clubs, ethnic cafes, head shops, used records, tattoo parlors, vintage clothing, and psychedelic junk stores-visited by tourists of every stripe and this century's version of street kids. For the full effect, begin this stroll after noon on weekends; this is not an early-bird type of street. Two blocks past Haight and Ashbury, at Central Avenue, the street scene fades. For the Panhandle loop, go left on Central for two blocks until you hit the Panhandle, a block-wide and .75-mile-long greenbelt tagged on to the east end of Golden Gate Park. Take the bike path to your left, about .5-mile back to Stanyan Street.

For the Buena Vista and Corona Heights loop, cross Central Street, and then Buena Vista Avenue West. Go up the broad set of concrete stairs, followed by a steep asphalt path. Buena Vista is a hilltop park with several meandering paths, large cypress and eucalyptus trees and, as its name suggests, views of almost all quadrants of the city. At the top of the first asphalt path is a playground with northward views. From the playground, wind your way up to the buena vista, a grassy knoll on top with tree-filtered views. Then head down the utility path on the south side of the knoll to get an enticing glimpse of Corona Heights, a primitive chert crag juxtaposed above the hubbub of upper Market Street. To get there, continue to the corner of Upper Terrace and Buena Vista Avenue. Go down Upper to a quaint, five-street intersection, where you hang a sharp left, downward, on Roosevelt. After one block veer left at Museum Way into the park-to your left will be a dog park with city views. Take the path around and up. From the top, you'll see Sutro Tower due west; Twin Peaks are to the south . . ."

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Golden Gate Trailblazer: Where to Hike, Stroll, Bike, Jog, Roll in San Francisco and Marin 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
My girlfriend and I rode our bikes from L.A. to San Francisco along Highway 1 last month. We arrived unprepared and were grateful to have discovered this book recommended by a fellow cyclist. The amount of information is almost overwhelming. Once we started sifting through it and eating up the miles we appreciated all its detail. All the trail descriptions contain a little history and there's a nice mix of photographs. What a resource.
Guest More than 1 year ago
We wish we could have stayed longer. Sadly Beth and I only had two weeks and Golden Gate Trailblazer contains enough hikes for two years. The highlight of our trip was renting bikes for two days and taking them to Angel Island, Golden Gate Park, Sausalito and across the famous bridge. Maps and directions and places to rent bikes all courtesy of these authors who have thought of everything a tourist needs to know.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There are tons of Bay Area recreational guidebooks so choosing one that would suit my personal checklist was difficult. I been hunting a long time for a book like this one. It's a book written by hikers for hikers. The authors have distilled all the good stuff and presented it intelligently in a logical format. I refer to it all the time for weekend bike rides and long dayhikes most often in Marin. Golden Gate Trailblazer dishes out the best; plain and simple.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've thumbed through a lot of books and this one has triple the activities of any Bay Area book out there.I just arrived here from Vermont and commute to San Francisco every day over the Golden Gate Bridge. This guide gets me out there with miles and miles of wild California terrain on its plate. It's become a pretty sweet vehicle for getting acquainted with people around here. Having a dog helps too. The maps are incredibly detailed and are key to making this book work. Nice work!
Guest More than 1 year ago
For us, this book fills in all the blanks for the best open spaces to hike in the Bay Area and doubles as our city walking guide/restaurant guru. The mountain biking routes that crisscross Marin County are exceptionally well described and make for good out of the way picnic spots on weekends. The trail above Tiburon led us to commanding aerial views of San Francisco, Angel Island and the Golden Gate. Trailblazer packs alot of entertainment. It jumpstarts our Saturday mornings and we'd like to thank Bay Nature magazine for turning us on to it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you're new to the Bay Area like us, this is the only guide you'll find that lists ALL "la creme de la creme" hikes and bike rides. Each section is carefully organized with detailed maps keyed to the trailheads, exact distances prefaced by an overview that describes what the trail is best for. The local authors know all the shortcuts and backroads which made it simple to find our way to open space entrances that seem purposefully tucked away. Their "Best Of" personal recommendations were invaluable, key to finding the exquisite views only the San Francisco Bay can deliver. Just enough history to make it lively reading. This book has made us feel lucky to call the West Coast home.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Why I chose this book: Its handcrafted appeal, comprehensive index, clear maps and tons of photographs. It proved to be the guide I used the most since it suited my budget and really delivered when it came to solid accurate directions and historical information. I had never been to San Francisco before and pre-reserved my hotel and event tickets through the use of their web links. The book took me on walks to all of the city's famous landmarks and combines it with a long list of spectacular hikes in Marin County. Highlights for me were Bolinas, Stinson Beach and trails within Point Reyes National Seashore. As Bay Area natives, I think they give readers an indepth look at an area they truly know inside and out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really counted on this book. It was like being on a private tour without the cost and without the herd. The book led me through all the famous San Francisco landmarks like the Golden Gate Park and North Beach and then presented me with all kinds of other choices that were more on the wild side - places where I could stretch my legs and get the lay of the land. It contains all the qualities of what I think makes a good guidebook: brevity, accuracy, lively writing style, clean maps and evocative photos. This book is a real gem.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had only three days to see San Francisco and Marin County. I consulted this book repeatedly during my visit. Every recommendation, from city walks to ten mile hikes to restaurants to famous landmarks to museums was excellent. This is a book you can trust if you're in a hurry or if you have weeks to explore the place. These travel writers did a commendable job organizing and putting so much information into one backpack sized volume.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For our first trip to California we bought three books thinking we'd cover just the northern coast. Turns out we ended up spending most of the trip in the San Francisco area soaking up the culture and walking as many of the streets and waterfront trails as time permitted. This book is intelligently laid out with numerous maps and easy driving directions. Highlights were the ferry ride to Sausalito, Exploratorium, Golden Gate Park, Chinatown and Discovery Museum. For our family of five, this was THE traveling partner to have along.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has become my new standby and the one I recommend to anyone moving here. It's refreshingly written by local authors who have pounded out every trail imaginable and obviously loved their job. Well though out and organized with just enough history to make it interesting. I feel they have set a new standard of excellence with this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Terrific resource for all the best mountain biking and hiking areas around here. I liked the personal approach that only local authors can convey like suggestions of where to find 'Summits to See It All' and 'Long Beach Walks' and 'Ferry and Ride' bike rides. I find myself referring to it for all sorts of local information. Every Bay Area resident should own it because it's so useful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoy hiking while on vacation and chose this book primarily for that purpose. I liked the personal approach, the brevity and wit, the way it was organized and most of all the evocative photos. Bring your bike so you can keep on going when your feet give out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book to suit the way I like to get to know a place -- on foot, on a budget. The elegant cover lured me in and thankfully the text matched the packaging. Obviously written by natives who know every unique corner. Fantastic selection of walks, runs, bike ride routes. I never ran out of things to do. No overblown descriptions. No fat. Have it with you wherever you go.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is by far the most comprehensive adventure guide for the area motivating me to get out and make every weekend count. Having lived here for five years, I'm finding dozens of trail systems that I've overlooked. The historical references were excellent, so were the detailed maps. Many of the San Francisco restaurant choices my personal favorites. I like the fact that it offers alot of free outdoor things to do in a place that is known for its high end economy. It's definitely worth buying even if you're a local.