San Francisco National Cemetery

For Mountain Lake Park to Rob Hill via Juan Bautista de Anza Trail, leave the Presidio driving south on Arguello, and then turn right on Lake Street. Continue 12 blocks and park near the corner of Lake and Funston. Walk up Funston to Mountain Lake Park, and take the serene trail that goes around the lake to your right. You’ll loop north away from the lake, cross under Highway 1, and then head south again along Battery Caufield Road, which becomes a segment of the Juan Bautista de Anza Trail. In 1775, Juan Bautista de Anza, frontier captain of New Spain, led some 200 immigrants and a herd of livestock northward hundreds of miles to the far reaches of Alta California, terminating at what is now the Presidio. In 1990, Congress made the Anza a National Historic Trail. Continue almost a mile along Battery Caufield Road until you reach more off-street trail. Rob Hill highest spot in the Presidio is up through the forest to your left, a short distance north of Compton Street. To return, take a trail to your right just after Battery McKinnon-Stotsenberg; you’ll be on a section of the BART trail that leads out to Washington Boulevard. Go left on Washington and, after about one-eighth mile, turn right on a trail across from Park Boulevard. The Park Presidio Tunnel will be below the earth you trod, as you walk south for almost .5-mile, coming to the trail from Mountain Lake. Go left on this trail.

San Francisco National Cemetery Photo Gallery

Walk: San Francisco National Cemetery

To drive to the San Francisco National Cemetery, go south on Montgomery in front of the visitors center and turn right on Sheridan. After a short distance, just before Lincoln Avenue, veer left on Sheridan, up through the main gate of the cemetery. Park at the buildings on the right as you enter. The 28-acre cemetery, set on a hill under towering cypress trees in view of the Golden Gate, is particularly striking on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.

Bike: The Presidio is ideal for exploring on a bike, but be ready for exercise with elevation changes of some 200 feet. And bring a road map to avoid getting lost in a network of lesser streets and alleys. For a specific route, try the Fort Scott loop, as described in the hiking section above.

For a 6-mile Presidio loop, begin at the Parade Ground. Head toward the bay on Montgomery Street and turn right on Lincoln Avenue. At Halleck Street you join Bike Route 55. Stay on route 55 as Lincoln blends with Presidio Boulevard be mindful of traffic in this area. After about .5-mile on Presidio Boulevard, turn right on West Pacific Avenue, following a wide-curb bike lane and passing the Arguello Gate. Just past the gate, continue on a bike path, which takes you to Mountain Lake Park. The path loops around the lake to the north, goes under Highway 1, and then turns south before hitting 15th Avenue near the hospital. From here, follow Bike Route 69 north along Battery Caufield until you come to Washington Boulevard. Go left on Bike Route 65 passing a spectacular vista point looking out to sea until you come to Lincoln Avenue. You can follow Lincoln around, under the bridge approach, and back to the visitors center; or, to avoid traffic, turn right on Storey Avenue and make your way across the Presidio to hit Lincoln much closer to the center.

What’s Best: For a more than a hundred years “The Rock” was a fortress and prison, but since 1972 its tide pools, historic buildings and bird colonies have attracted millions of visitors now with round-trip tickets.

Parking: Trips to Alcatraz are with Blue & Gold Fleet Ferry service from Pier 41 in San Francisco, which is on The Embarcadero at Powell Street near Fishermans Wharf. Reserve ahead on summer weekends and holidays. Ticket price includes a first-class audio tape for a walking tour.

The Blue & Gold Ferries serve Fishermans Wharf from Sausalito, Tiburon, Vallejo and Richmond. Trolley and bus service to the wharf is available in front of Ferry Building at Market Street. Cable cars run from downtown on Powell Street to Fishermans Wharf. Agency: Golden Gate National Recreation Area

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