Biking across the Golden Gate Bridge or around Golden Gate Park – Routes, maps, sights and more!

Bike Golden Gate Bridge

If you’re planning a trip to San Francisco, cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge is probably among the top things on your list. I’m assuming that because it was on mine! And maybe questions like “what are the best bike routes in San Francisco?” and “how long does it take to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge?” are popping up in your mind as well. I’ve been there too.

San Francisco is actually the fourth largest city in California so you can imagine there’s a lot to see. That’s why I’ve put together a little list of the best self guided bike tours of San Francisco with different areas for you to explore while biking across the Golden Gate Bridge. It also comes with points of interest, maps and other super important information that can hopefully inspire you to hop on a bike and get those wheels in motion!

Pick your favourite route to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge or around Golden Gate Park below!

Some things to remember when biking across the Golden Gate Bridge

  • It takes about 10-25 minutes to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge depending on how fast you are, how windy it is and how many photos you stop to take!
  • It can get very windy when cycling over the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • Remember to take water, some snacks, sun cream and a helmet on your adventure.
  • You can only bike across the Golden Gate Bridge on the left side of the bridge (when leaving San Francisco); the right side is for walking and the middle is for motor vehicles. When returning to San Francisco, the right side is for cycling and the left is for walking.

1. Golden Gate Park to Golden Gate Bridge (Battery Spencer)

Starting from the Panhandle bike path, this bike route takes you through three of San Francisco’s most famous sights in one ride: Golden Gate Park, The Presidio and Golden Gate Bridge. The Golden Gate Park to Battery Spencer lookout bike ride is 7.3 miles long and takes approximately 1h, depending on the winds and how many stops you make.

Battery Spencer view point and Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

Golden Gate Park to Golden Gate Bridge bike ride highlights

Don’t forget to check out the following points of interest:

  • Conservatory of Flowers
  • Presidio of San Francisco
  • Golden Gate Overlook
  • Golden Gate Bridge 
  • Battery Spencer (Golden Gate Lookout)

Note: Once you have cycled across the Golden Gate Bridge, you will need to go up a steep hill to the Battery Spencer viewpoint. Riding your bike here becomes a bit of a hassle (unless you’re quite fit). There’s no harm in simply holding on to your bike and walking it up the last bit. It’s only less than a quarter-mile! Once you’re up there, it will be worth it. The Battery Spencer has THE BEST view of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco!

Golden Gate Park to Golden Gate Bridge map

2. The Embarcadero to Golden Gate Bridge (Battery Spencer)

Riding along the Embarcadero gives you some of the best views of the San Francisco Bay and promenade. It’s a relatively easy path to cycle too as it’s mostly car-free and fairly flat for San Fran! Cycling from The Ferry Building to Battery Spencer is roughly 8.1 miles long and takes about 50min to complete.

Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco

The Embarcadero to Golden Gate Bridge bike ride highlights

Some of the main sights here include:

  • Ferry Building
  • Pier 39
  • Fishermans Wharf
  • Ghirardelli Square
  • Aquatic Park and Municipal Pier
  • Fort Mason
  • Marina Green
  • Palace of Fine Arts
  • Crissy Field
  • Fort Point
  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • Battery Spencer (Golden Gate Lookout)

Embarcadero to Golden Gate Bridge map

3. San Francisco to Sausalito bike ride

If you want to experience the great Californian coastal scenery first hand, cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco to Sausalito should be on your bucket list. Sausalito is a Mediterranean style seaside village in Marin County, just north to San Francisco. To get there, simply follow any of the routes outlined above, and continue up to Sausalito. The ride takes over 1h 30min in both of the above cases, and the ride will be roughly 12 miles in total. Of course, you will need to come back too!

San Francisco to Sausalito bike ride

San Francisco to Sausalito bike ride highlights

Some extra sights to check out (although a bit out of the way) are:

  • Vista Point
  • Fort Baker
  • Battery Yates
  • Cavallo Point

San Francisco to Sausalito map

Biking from Sausalito to San Francisco

You can either choose to cycle back or return by ferry from Sausalito to San Francisco. If you opt for the second option, you’ll go past Angel Island and Alcatraz Island! Have a look here at everything you need to know about Alcatraz.

There are two ferries you can choose from:

  • Blue and Gold ferry (from Sausalito to Fisherman’s Wharf).
  • Golden Gate ferry (from Sausalito to the Ferry Building).

Tickets can be purchased on board. To learn more about the Sausalito – San Francisco ferry schedule and tickets, please visit: www.goldengate.org

4. Golden Gate Park bike trail

Heading over to the Golden Gate Park is a must for anyone looking to exchange the hustle and bustle of the streets of San Francisco for a green scenery. But don’t be fooled! The iconic park is buzzing with activities throughout the whole year! The green lung of San Francisco offers 1,071 acres of gardens, museums and lakes and is even home to a few bisons (yeah, you’ve read that right!). It’s even bigger than Central Park in NY!

Biking Golden Gate Park - Conservatory of Flowers

Being so large, riding a bike in Golden Gate Park (or even renting a segway) makes it the perfect way to move around the park easily. The following Golden Gate Park bike trail starts at the Panhandle bike path, perpendicular to Haight Street and takes you through the Golden Gate Park from East to West.

Golden Gate Park bike trail highlights

Keep your eyes peeled for the following main points of interest:

    • Conservatory of Flowers
    • De Young Museum
    • Rose Garden
    • Stowe Lake
    • Portals of the Past
    • Spreckles Lake
    • Bison Paddock
    • Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden
    • Dutch Windmill
    • Ocean Beach
    • Murphy Windmill
    • Chinese Pavilion
    • Huntington Falls
    • San Francisco Botanical Garden
    • Japanese Tea Garden
    • Shakespeare Garden
  • California Academy of Sciences

Golden Gate Park bike trail map

Thanks so much for checking our guide to biking in San Francisco! I hope you liked our Golden Gate Park and Golden Gate Bridge bike ride itinerary options. Are there any other highlights that we should add? I’d love to know!

G.x


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52 comments

  1. Faye

    I’d love to visit San Fransisco someday! I’ll be making note of this post for whenever I do get the chance to visit. Also, I had no idea that it would take 10-25 minutes to cycle across the bridge, in my head it’d take like a maximum of 5 mins but of course it’d be longer – it’s huge!

    https://www.femaleoriginal.com

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Thanks for stopping by, Faye! So glad you liked this post. And yes, the bridge is much bigger than it looks. I was blown away by it too! x

      Reply

  2. David Fowler

    Interesting itineraries, great photos as always and I love the maps.

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Thanks David! x

      Reply

  3. Graham Crosby Crosby

    Great post. We went to San Francisco a long time ago and vowed to return one day. Taking a bike ride sounds a brilliant idea, particularly the one to Sausalito. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Hi Graham – thanks for the comment! Travelling to san Francisco is always a good idea in my opinion! I hope you get to visit again soon.

      Reply

  4. Erin

    I love how you gave so many options. Golden Gate Park was one of my favourite memories of my visits to San Francisco, so I highly recommend a visit to the museum there whether biking or not. Great post! Thank you for sharing.

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Thanks Erin! We explored the Golden Gate Park a couple of times and we still didn’t get to see everything! Definitely worth going back even if it’s just to cycle around the park! x

      Reply

  5. Kalin

    I love the maps of the routes you included! That’s perfect for someone like me who has to have everything laid out and planned. San Francisco has always been near the top of my list and I would definitely love to bike around the golden gate bridge

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Thanks Kalin! I’m the same, everything has to be planned beforehand. I don’t do well with improvisation! x

      Reply

  6. Adriana

    Hola,

    The city looks amazing. I would like to visit one day. Reading your post makes me want to travel again.
    Thanks for sharing the biking trails. It’s very helphul. I ‘m going to keep them in mind.

    Adriana

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Hola Adriana, thanks for the comment! I’m so glad you’ve liked this post and I hope you get to visit San Francisco soon!

      Reply

  7. Alghashiyah

    I love San Francisco I pinned it on Pinterest. I didn’t get a chance to bike ride but I will definitely consider it next time. The view is amazing from the stop. I chickened our walking across the bridge I’m getting nervous thinking about it now ….. lol thanks for sharing

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Thank you! I would recommend crossing the bridge either by walking or cycling. The views from Battery Spencer are the best reward!

      Reply

  8. Under flowery sky

    San Francisco is fantastic, great to see it in this non-touristic
    focus. So many gardens and places around, I would love to do
    this tour. Thanks for the tips and the detailed stops..

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Thank you! I’m glad you’ve found this post inspiring x

      Reply

  9. that happy reader

    Great post! I really enjoyed seeing these routes.

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Thank you!

      Reply

  10. Baby Boomer Super Saver

    You’ve shared some lovely spots to explore in San Francisco! I’ve walked across the bridge, but never rode a bike across. There is so much to see and do in Golden Gate Park, those are some of my favorite places to visit in San Francisco.

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Thanks for the lovely comment! I absolutely agree, San Francisco is full of fun things to see and loads of places to explore. I would go back in a heartbeat x

      Reply

  11. Sara

    This looks like such an amazing trip!!! I’d love to visit America some day…

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Cycling around San Francisco was one of the highlights of my trip, I couldn’t recommend it enough! x

      Reply

  12. Jupiter Hadley

    Oh wow, I would have never thought to bike across and around the bridge – what a fun adventure.

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Yes! It’s a great way to explore San Francisco and to get your heart rate up at the same time!

      Reply

  13. Amanda Ajomale

    I’d love to go to San Francisco! All the way from Glasgow lol. My brother was at uni there and I kept telling myself I’d go see him but never did. I will one day though! And I’ll keep note of this itinerary too ☺️

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Thanks Amanda! I’m glad this post has made you want to visit SF! I wanted to go for years, and once I finally did, it was better than I ever imagined. I’m sure you’ll have a great time too and I hope you get to visit soon x

      Reply

  14. Nic | Nic's Adventures & Bakes

    Thanks for sharing, these bike rides look amazing, I would like to go to San Francisco one day 🙂

    Nic | Nic’s Adventures & Bakes

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Thanks Nic! I hope this post has inspired a little trip to San Francisco some time soon! x

      Reply

  15. Charlotte

    Wow, this looks incredible! I’d love to do this one day. Super informative post!

    Char | charlotterick.com x

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Thanks Charlotte! I hope you add this to your bucket list next time you are in San Francisco. You won’t regret it! x

      Reply

  16. Natalie Leung

    what a great post! I would really love to visit San Francisco one day and cycle. It looks like a great way to experience the city!

    x Natalie
    Lucy and the Runaways – Blog and Instagram

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Awe thank you so much Natalie! I couldn’t recommend cycling around San Francisco enough. You cover a lot of ground and renting a bike doesn’t cost much at all! x

      Reply

  17. Molly @ Transatlantic Notes

    This makes me want to get a bike! I love the idea of cycling around different places as I think you get a more interesting feel for a place. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      I agree, you get your heart rate up AND you get to see some amazing places from a different perspective! x

      Reply

  18. itsjustabbsxo

    Oh wow, these photos are truly gorgeous. I honestly had no idea the bridge would take that long to cycle! I guess it just shows you never really know how big something is until you see it in person! I really hope I get to visit San Francisco one day; I will definitely refer back to this post to know what I should do.. Great post lovely!xoxo

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Thank you! I hope you get to visit San Francisco soon x

      Reply

  19. Amy

    This is an awesome guide!! I live in the area and need to explore more. This is going to help me tons.

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Thanks Amy! Glad you found this guide helpful! x

      Reply

  20. Lomash Kumar

    Great post! I enjoyed this. This post spikes my interest to visit San Francisco, golden gate looks amazing. 😉
    Thanks for sharing this post.

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Thanks so much!

      Reply

  21. Katherine Belman

    This is awesome! Living in the Bay Area, I actually don’t get to visit San Francisco as much I would like. This is a great idea and thank you for the trails and the pictures! It looked like fun!

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Thanks Katherine! The Bay Area is a great place to explore, especially on a bike. Hope you get to explore soon! x

      Reply

  22. Cecile

    A bike ride on the Golden Gate Bridge sounds like an amazing idea! I was supposed to travel to California this month, and visit SF… Hopefully I’ll visit one day, but will definitely keep your itineraries ideas in mind. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      So sorry to hear that, Cecile! I hope you can reschedule your trip to California soon, and hopefully explore San Francisco on a bike too! x

      Reply

  23. Iwan R. Kusnardi

    I went to SF last December and no idea to cycling through this beautiful bridge. Someday i will return and love to following your cycling guide in this post.
    Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      You should definitely go back to San Francisco, even if it’s just to explore the city on a bike!

      Reply

  24. Smelly socks and garden peas

    Oh fantastic post! Reminds me of being in San Francisco for our honeymoon almost 11 yrs ago. We had the best fish tacos ever in Sausolito. Looks like bikes are a brilliant way of seeing more, I’m glad to see how easy it is to get about by bike there.

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Thank you! Your honeymoon sounds like a dream! Hopefully you can visit again and explore more of this beautiful city x

      Reply

  25. Liz

    Biking there sure sounds fun. So many sights to see! Plus it is great way to get some workout.

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Thanks for the comment, Liz! I’m glad you’ve found this post useful x

      Reply

  26. Savannah

    Great post and fantastic job riding! This is such an interesting travel angle and I’m sure that visitors to the city would love this as a resource. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply

    1. blushrougette

      Thanks Savannah! Glad you’ve liked this guide! x

      Reply

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