Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge on Foot.

I’ve spent lots of time in San Francisco over the years, but one thing I had never done was walk or run on the Golden Gate Bridge. This summer, I changed that, crossing something off my travel bucket list in the process.

I parked at the Vista Point just north of the Golden Gate in the evening and had this view of the bridge as I got out of my car. The well-acclaimed fog made its presence known on this evening.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

It was time to set out on the open bridge. The bridge was packed with cyclists, runners and tourists earlier in the day, but being close to sunset there would be long gaps of alone time.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

The Golden Gate Bridge recently celebrated its 75th birthday, opening for traffic on May 27, 1937. It connects the affluent Marin County and points northward with the San Francisco peninsula and city. It crosses over San Francisco Bay near where it meets the Pacific Ocean.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

I split time between walking and running, capturing photos as I moved along.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Turned around often to see how far along I was. Off in the distance on the walkway you can see the security cart that goes back-and-forth.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

I could definitely make out the San Francisco skyline across the way, despite the fog.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

I loved capturing scenic shots with the International Orange in view.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

After reaching the southern end, I made sure to checkout the bridge itself too.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Checkout the tourist and information center that sits here around the bridge plaza. I didn’t have a chance as everything was closed. Right in front of me were bike paths leading up to the bridge and underneath to the other side.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Some close up shots of the bridge. The bridge was painted the aforementioned International Orange to increase visibility of those passing underneath and to fit in with the natural beauty around it. The cold ocean waters in contrast with the warmly colored bridge, beautiful!

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

My love of travel signs definitely showed during this journey as I captured the different forms of signage on and around the bridge. The Golden Gate Bridge is part of U.S. Route 101 and California Highway 1 (the Pacific Coast Highway).

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

The previously mentioned bridge plaza was for those driving the bridge southbound into San Francisco. You’ll see plenty of signage as you approach. The toll is currently $6 for a standard vehicle. Northbound is free of charge. It’s 7:19 p.m. right now, check.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

You’ll find signage giving some interesting facts about the bridge. The length of one International Orange painted cable is well over a mile long!

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

You’ll get the standard speed limit postings for motorists and…

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

…for cyclists as well! I set it off with my running, but could not get the picture in time. 🙂

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

The bridges walkway is split half for bikers, half for those on foot.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Here’s a big sign detailing other rules for pedestrians and cyclists. Watch out for those high winds! Also be prepared with warm clothes as it’s frequently windy and cool, as it was on this evening. If on a bike, make sure the cyclist speed sign doesn’t flash higher than 15. I definitely wasn’t running that fast haha. 🙂

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

I came across this rule and alert board immediately as I entered on the north end of the bridge. The bridge closes for foot and cyclist traffic at 9:00 p.m.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Really? Someone will make a U-turn? People must have for them to put up a sign. The bridge has six reversible lanes being adjusted as needed throughout the day. It wouldn’t be impossible to do a U-turn because north and southbound traffic are divided by small, manually placed lane markers.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

I completed the back-and-forth journey in about two hours.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

I was back where I started at the parking lot of the north end Vista Point. Parking is at a premium on both sides of the bridge, especially the south end, so get there early or late in the day to grab a spot quickly.

All the motorists have their lights on now and I was about to join them and head southbound back into the city. $6 check.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Marin County, California

It was a great time walking and running across and back on the Golden Gate Bridge. I can check something else off the travel bucket list. 🙂 When you’re in San Francisco, make sure to set some time aside to walk or bike the bridge. The scenery is unreal fog or not and it will be an experience you’ll never forget.

What other bridges have you crossed on foot or by bike in your travels?

16 responses to “Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge on Foot.

  1. I do love bridges, and I write about them a lot…so I especially love this story! We crossed the Roebling Bridge on foot over the Ohio River between Cincinnati, Ohio and Covington, Kentucky. It’s a great 1860s bridge that served as a bit of a prototype for the Brooklyn Bridge.

    • Great choice, seen that bridge up close on both sides, but haven’t walked across. Photo friendly and historic. Have walked the The Purple People Bridge there from Newport to Cincinnati. 🙂

  2. I really like the photos! Awesome. And I like the idea of going off-peak to really soak it all in. Funny abt the patrol cart, I guess they are looking out for jumpers… And, good Lord, we Americans are so controlling – all those rules!! 🙂 Nice post, Aaron!

    • Thanks Raul! The experience of a lifetime. It was great just starring out into the bay and seeing the city, with not many people walking or biking by. Didn’t really notice the heavy traffic on the bridge, other than when capturing shots of it. Sadly, there were signs and telephones in a lot of places on the bridge too, in case someone was thinking of jumping and wanted to talk about it. 😦

  3. Great stuff man…obviously I have a soft spot for the Golden Gate of late. Were they still painting some of it? I noticed the call box and sign about jumping too…sort of a bummer…

    • Thanks! I heard they were, but it was cool, late and windy when I was there, so that’s probably why I didn’t see anyone then. I’d like to get myself some of that International Orange paint haha. 🙂

  4. Great pictures, Aaron. This was on my bucket list and I did it a few years ago. I was shocked at how windy and cold it was. Very cool that you did it…really a fun experience.

    • Thanks Leah! In a way I was glad there was fog, cold and wind. It made for a real experience, since it’s that way a lot of the time there. 🙂 So happy I was finally able to do it.

  5. You know how much I love San Francisco… Seeing the bridge “live” always makes me pinch myself and I could never tire of the view. Your photos are spectacular. What an experience! I have driven through the bridge, walked half of it, and finally have to walk its whole length.

    • I do. Thank you Pola! 🙂 Could never get tired of these kinds of views either. Couldn’t stop looking at the International Orange paint either. The only tough part after walking the bridge was that I had to walk across it a second time to get back to my vehicle, not!!!

  6. eriksmithdotcom

    Great post. The bridge is iconic all by itself. I didn’t walk across it, but I will someday.

    • Thanks Erik! Definitely. Hope you do make it there. Loved it so much more than just driving back and forth across it. Can’t wait to go back. 🙂

  7. one of my favorite things to do in SF when I play tourist. Glad that you got to experience it!

    • Going back-and-forth by car across it has always been great, but I’m so glad I finally got to experience it on foot, unreal! Gotta bike across it next. 🙂

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