Catch a Sunrise at Hawk Hill

Hawk Hill

Amazing views of the sun rising over SF, Angel Island, and the Golden Gate. You can drive up to to a parking lot at the top of the ihll or take a quick 1 mile RT hike to the top of Hawk Hill. There's lots of open space to set up your tripod and enough service to get your insta post up.

If you're leaving from SF, head over the bridge and exit onto Alexander Ave. Make the immediate left under the overpass and you'll be on the road to Hawk Hill. There's a parking area just below the gate leading up to Hawk Hill. From the parking lot you can walk west about ten yards along the outside of the guard rail to take a well-worn use trail out to a spur overlooking Point Diablo. The views here are fantastic and have no crowds.

If you get there before sunrise, you have about a 1-mile hike up to the top of Hawk Hill. If you luck out and the rangers have already opened the gate, you can drive almost to the top. From the upper parking lot, there's a fire road that's less than a quarter mile up to an old bunker. This is the best place to take in the sunrise. Get your tripod, GoPro, or phone all set up, then sit back and relax. We highly recommend bringing a thermos with your favorite coffee; it's not always the warmest up there.

It's also good to bring a windbreaker or a warm blanket, the area is very exposed. As you're driving out on the way back down, there's also a good lookout on Conzelman Rd. You'll see a parking lot to pull out to and most likely a few other photographers. This is a great spot to catch the sun passing through the arches of the bridge.

If you need a refill on coffee after this morning adventure, head to Philz in Sausalito. It opens at 6am.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Headlamp
  • Jacket
  • Beanie
  • Fleece
  • Thermos
  • Coffee
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Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Family Friendly

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Amazing spot for viewing sunrise over SF and the GGB

This was the perfect spot to photograph the sunrise if you want to include the entire GGB and see downtown in the back (posted my photo for reference). There are a few turnouts so you can park and take photos on the way up to the top of the hill. I highly recommend getting their early and going closer to the top. Hopefully, mother nature plays nicely and you'll get just the right amount of clouds for unreal sunrise colors.

If you're planning on doing this in the winter months, bring gloves and maybe a thermos of coffee. It's cold and when the wind picks up, you'll be glad that you were prepared.

You get great views of the golden gate! Be sure to get there about an hour before sunrise so you have enough time to make it to the top before the sun starts coming up. Don't forget your headlamp.


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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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