San Francisco: Golden Gate Park & Lands End

After my city exploration through SF on the last day of my Rapha Bike Hire, I had to take advantage of the warmth and sun. So, I opted to take an exploratory hike / walk through Golden Gate Park and then Lands End. I brought my GoPro and my girlfriend’s DSLR camera to take some higher resolution pictures. I also tested out my Vasque hiking boots that I got on sale at REI several months ago! (This is going to be my last SF Recap post from the trip last month).

 

Golden Gate Park Review:

 

Before this trip, I had some general ideas about what to expect from Golden Gate Park. I knew that it was going to be considerably larger than Central Park in NYC (About 20% larger). However, I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of the layout. For example, Golden Gate has some nice off-road trails that I saw a lot of people riding mountain bikes on. For road cycling, GGP seems to better serve as a transitory path to and from different parts of the city.

On the flip side, Central Park has a dedicated loop for cyclists and runners while still allowing drivers to cross through the park at certain points through specified tunnels. In other words, you’re most likely not going to see serious road cyclists riding continuously around GGP, but they’re going to use GGP to get up to Presidio to get to the Marin Headlands, etc…

 

Lands End Golden Gate Park

 

The surroundings felt very raw in GGP, which I appreciate greatly. I suppose, in a sense, this is also a testament to Central Park being nicely manicured, but I really like the more natural perspective as well. During this trip, we didn’t get to make it to the Japanese Tea Gardens or the Museums within GGP, but we definitely have that on the list for our next trip out to SF.

Nevertheless, I made my way through the western part of GGP and then exited by the Northwest corner onto Ocean Beach. There was a very calming sensation in this part of SF. Any metropolitan feel dissipated and the sounds of waves crashing took the forefront.

 

Lands End Trail(s)

 

I walked up the hill on Point Lobos Avenue, where I had ridden earlier in the day and then made my way over to the Lands End Lookout.In a word, this part of the city was unique. The waves crashing on the rock formations, the view of the Marin Headlands, and the wind-swept trees made for some perfect footage opportunities.

A lot of people were out and about after the rain storms, so the trails were somewhat crowded. In fact, there was a small wedding reception happening to overlook the Golden Gate Bridge. I may, or may not have accidentally been in some of the photos that the wedding photographer was taking.

 

 

SF Micro Climates

 

I wanted to catch the sunset down by the beach on the way back to the Airbnb. However, a rain shower passing through the area foiled that plan. One other fascinating point I wanted to mention was that SF has micro climates and even sub-micro climates. Experiencing rain for (literally) the span of 4 blocks was neat. Though, I had to later look up the micro climate phenomenon that I had heard about.

“San Francisco is a city with micro climates and sub-micro climates. Due to the city’s varied topography and influence from the prevailing summer marine layer, weather conditions can vary by as much as 9 °F (5 °C) from block to block. The Noe Valley district for example, is typically warmer and sunnier than adjacent areas because the surrounding hills block some of the cool fog from the Pacific.”

 

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