After living in San Francisco for 5 years I learned to love the hikes in San Francisco and Marin County! I also love the sunsets and sunrises over the Golden Gate Bridge and probably have about 1,000 photos of them saved to my phone. Because I needed to add one more sunrise picture to the list, my friends and I decided to do a sunrise hike above the Golden Gate Bridge before work one morning.
We mainly decided to do a sunrise hike above the Golden Gate Bridge because it was easy and on the way to work. After searching for the best sunrise hikes in the area, we ended up deciding on the Hawk Hill hike! Everyone raved about how it had the best view of the Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise and we had to see for ourselves.
Hiking to Hawk Hill at sunrise
This hike was extremely easy. I actually wouldn’t even call it a hike because it was definitely more like a quick walk. If this doesn’t motivate you to get up early to see the Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise I don’t know what will!
After only 1 mile to the top, we got to see one of the prettiest sunrises I’ve ever seen in the Bay Area! I thought it was the perfect way to wake up in the morning.
How to Get To the Golden Gate Bridge Sunrise Hike?
As you’re coming across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, you’ll want to head towards Sausalito and take the Alexander Ave. exit.
Next, you’ll want to take a left under the overpass and you’ll be on the road to Hawk Hill. You’ll pass by a bunch of lookout spots, but keep driving until you reach a round-a-bout and a small parking area next to a gate. You’ll want to park in that parking area. Then, get out of the car and walk past the gate and continue uphill along the road. The road will lead you to the top.
In the chance that the rangers have already opened the gate, you can actually drive almost the entire way to the top! If you choose to drive all the way up, you’ll be about a 1/4 mile from the bunker area.
Here’s a map to help you navigate your way there.
When to get there for the best sunrise views?
Try getting there about an hour before sunrise. This is when we had the best views. Once you get to Hawk Hill you can keep climbing up even more. It’s a pretty steep incline, but you’ll see a bunker at the top. This bunker has amazing panoramic views of the ocean and Marin Headlands.
It’s a bit chilly up there so be sure to pack a jacket! On your way back it’s always a good idea to stop at Philz for some coffee in Sausalito! They open at 6 am.
Here’s the progression of the sunrise as we were hiking!
After hiking to the top of Hawk Hill we continued on a bit further to the bunker at the top! Here were the views from the top. I truly believe this is one of the best places to watch the sunrise in San Francisco!
I highly recommend hiking up a bit more as the sunrise continues to get stronger over the Golden Gate Bridge. Up here you’ll be able to see a lot of the Marin Headlands as well as the ocean. To me, this was one of the best parts of the sunrise hike.
I hope you get to try this out one morning. It really is the best sunrise hike above the Golden Gate Bridge! Let me know in the comments if you try it out!