Golden Gate NRA, Battery Kirby Beach


What? : A small beautiful beach viewing the Golden Gate Bridge.


Where? : Located in Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Marin Headlands section (north of San Francisco), you need to park near the popular Battery Spencer viewing point and take the 1 mile hike to the beach below.

Google Map Link


Due note 1: Battery Spencer viewing points is always crowded and you may find it difficult to find parking space in the small parking lot. Most of the parking is being done on Conzelman Rd roadside, it is the one-way, so you need to come from within the park (use the north main park entrance road).


Due note 2: Don’t plan on swimming, the ocean water is cold and dangerous !


Due note 3: There is also a campsite here, and they let you take your car down the road, check at the park website for reservation information:


My thoughts: This is a beautiful small beach nested below the towering cliffs. The view of the Golden Gate Bridge from this location is breathtaking and it worth the 1-mile hike (uphill on your way back to the car).

When I visit here during early May trip I manage to see Gray Whale entering the San Francisco bay, I manage to get only few pictures…

The visit:

The beach is nested in a sheltered cove with rocky bluffs on either side.

A one-mile hike from the parking to the beach below will be using clearly marked un-paved road that will take you down.

Today, the cove is forested by planted large eucalyptus, pine, and Monterey cypress. The steep cliffs and the local trees around the cove provide shelter from the bay winds of the Golden Gate. The beach is covered with small green and dark-red pebbles.

This beach provides one-of-a-kind panoramic view of the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco Bay as you look east. This is especially beautiful at sunset where the sun color all in yellow and red colors.

A large abundant coastal defense site, Battery Kirby, is located just at the beach.

This was part of the Harbor Defense of San Francisco; Battery Kirby was a concrete gun battery with two 12" guns. The army use this location starting from 1898 until

1934, when it was placed in an abandoned status as obsolete.


At the beach you can see the small brick tunnel draining Kirby Cove canyon creek through Battery Kirby, this drainage tunnel reminds me the Lord of The Rings Helms Deep drainage tunnel…