Exploring Lands End

by Katie Cook

I started the New Year by exploring two popular San Francisco sites that I had some how managed to overlook- Mile Rock Beach and the rock labyrinth at Lands End.

The labyrinth is located on a bluff overlooking Mile Rock Beach and the Pacific. The well-maintained labyrinth is made of loose rocks. The view of the Marin Headlands and the Golden Gate Bridge is so outstanding that I rushed through the labyrinth because it seemed sinful to look at the ground instead of the ocean.

The path from the labyrinth leads down the bluff to Mile Rock Beach. The beach is usually a small rocky beach with a few logs scattered on the sand. However, when we visited yesterday the beach was a tidepool wonderland thanks to the extreme low tide (also called California King Tide).

We saw crabs, starfish, and giant sea anenomes in the tidepools and we walked between Mussel-covered rocks that were 5-to-6-feet tall. It was amazing to think that we were walking where the water would normally be 7-feet deep! A few people were crabbing and harvesting mussels, but most people were just enjoying the tidepools and taking advantage of the extra shoreline.

A mussel-covered rock at Mile Rock Beach.

To access the labyrinth take the Mile Rock Beach path from the main Lands End trail. The trail is short but it has over 100 stairs and a sand ladder.

To take advantage of the beach and tidepools plan your visit around low tide. The next King Tide will hit on January 29-31.

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