A view without equal of the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, the Bay, and the Pacific Ocean, Slacker Hill is the both the highest hill on the ridgeline fronting the Golden Gate and the closest to the bridge, making it an excellent running and hiking destination.

Although the Headlands can be crowded, particularly at the parking-lot chaos of the Vista Point and pull-offs along Conzelman Road, the three routes leading to the summit of Slacker Hill remain relatively quiet, even during busy weekends. Each can be tied into larger loops throughout the Headlands (like the Ninja Loop), and the Slacker Hill detour makes for a great addition to any long run or hike.

The first (and longest) begins at Vista Point, the first exit after you cross the Golden Gate Bridge going north. Park and take the pathway under the bridge. Go left at the top of the stairs and you'll see the beginning of the gorgeous SCA/Coastal trail with signage on the left with mileage to Rodeo Beach and Tennessee Beach. Continue up this trail and across Conzelman Road, climbing for 1.1 miles till it reaches the top of the ridge. Hang a left here and continue to climb another .3 miles. Eventually the road will widen into a fire road at the highpoint and you can take a left up a use trail for .2 miles to the summit. Occasionally this trail is closed for wildlife observation so check for signage. If closed you can continue downhill .25 miles to the roundabout at McCullough Road, and take a hard left up another use trail to the summit.

The second route begins at the pull-offs for Battery Spencer on Conzelman Road. Park and walk up Conzelman Road until you see the rusted pipes sticking out of side of the steep hillside on the right side of the road; they'll be obvious after you pass the un-climbable walls of radiolarian chert layers (stacks of red rocks). Climb up there and follow the usetrail .6 miles to the summit.

The third route beings by parking at the roundabout at McCullough Road and following the usetrail .4 miles to the summit. Or you could continue up Coastal Trail and take a right at the trail to the summit, checking again to see if the trail is closed for wildlife observation.

Once you feel good about your workout, head to Philz to replenish and take in Sausalito.

Pack List

  • Water
  • Light Layers
  • Nutrition (as needed)
  • Sunscreen
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RT Distance 1 Miles
Activities Chillin, Running, Fitness
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Scenic

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

almost 4 years ago

Usually hit this early morning. See maybe 1-2 other people. Gorgeous views, great place to catch the sunrise, and probably sunset, and without the crowds of Hawk Hill.

almost 4 years ago

Beautiful view from Pacifica all the way up to Bolinas Bay on a clear day! Likely you will be the only people up here :)

So happy I finally checked this off my list! It was an energizing sunrise hike and I'm happy I brought my camera!


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