North America

San Francisco, CA

One of the world’s most beautiful cities, San Francisco has it all for runners. Views. Ocean. Hills. Paths. Trails. Good Weather. Variety. Accessibility. For the runner who wants to experience some of the greatest urban running and incredible trails within a stone’s throw of the city, our guide to running in San Francisco should be on your running bucket list.

The highlight of San Francisco running is the trail from the Embarcadero, over Fort Mason, along Crissy Field and toward the Golden Gate Bridge. Running across the Golden Gate bridge and out to some of the view points is another must-do. Other spectacular runs include Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach, and some fun urban hill running. Trail runners and those seeking a running adventure should experience the Marin Headlands adjacent to the Golden Gate Bridge. And for those who like hills, well…

Note that San Francisco weather can be cool and changeable. A fog can roll in at any time. Bring layers–even in summer! Note that San Francisco is part of the ‘Bay Area’. We have developed comprehensive guides for running in Silicon Valley, between San Francisco Airport and San Jose, for San Jose, and for the East Bay – Oakland, Berkeley, and area.

Running in Silicon Valley   Running in the East Bay   East Bay (Oakland-Berkeley)
  • All Routes
  • Iconic Routes
  • Where To Stay
  • Stores & Group Runs
  • Events

Crissy Field to Fort Point

San Francisco, CA

The run along Chrissy Field from Fort Mason to Fort Point is one of the great urban runs of the world. Water views the whole way. Heading north, views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands, and south, the SF skyline.
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The Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco, CA

Running across the Bridge is not only encouraged…it’s a tourist attraction. There is a dedicated path for runners/walkers. It's 1.7 miles across the bridge. Spectacular views. Lots of add-on potential.
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Marin Headlands

San Francisco, CA

One of the most spectacular areas for running close to a city. Fantastic views of the GG Bridge, Bay, city. Run the 5 miles to Rodeo Beach or do loop options involving Bunker Rd. in the valley. Great trail running options.
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The Presidio

San Francisco, CA

A former military installation, now a gorgeous park with miles of trails for walking and running. There are hills, wooded trails, and scenic vistas out to the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean. Also some great loop options involving Crissy Field.
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Ocean Beach

San Francisco, CA

On the west side of the Golden Gate Bridge is the Sunset/Ocean Beach area. It is very different in look, feel, and even climate than the Marina/Golden Gate area.
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Angel Island

San Francisco, CA

A unique, traffic-free run with views and hills. Angel Island is in the middle of the Bay, accessible by ferry only. There's a 5 mile loop around the island, or a longer run can include the hill to the top. Other trail options too.
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Crissy Field to Fort Point

San Francisco, CA

The run along Chrissy Field from Fort Mason to Fort Point is one of the great urban runs of the world. Water views the whole way. Heading north, views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands, and south, the SF skyline.
Explore

The Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco, CA

Running across the Bridge is not only encouraged…it’s a tourist attraction. There is a dedicated path for runners/walkers. It's 1.7 miles across the bridge. Spectacular views. Lots of add-on potential.
Explore

San Francisco definitely has its distinct areas/neighborhoods. It’s a bit of a challenge finding nicer hotels really near the best running areas. If you really want to be near one of the iconic routes, you might have to stay in a slightly less fancy hotel, a couple of miles away from where your meetings are going to be.

If you want to access the Chrissy field to Fort Point trails, try to stay in the Marina district inside Lombard St., or in the Fisherman’s Wharf area. There’s a cluster of ‘budget’ hotels along Lombard St. bordering the Marina and Pacific Heights, with good access to the Presidio

The North Beach and Financial district areas provide good access to the Embarcadero area for running. Try to avoid staying deep in Union Square area, because even though it is a popular destination for business travelers and shoppers, it is further from good running spots. A compromise area might be along Market St. close to the Embarcadero. It is a little over 1 mile from Union Sq. to Ferry Plaza at the Embarcadero

There are not very many hotels in the Ocean Beach area, or west of Golden Gate Park, and if you’re in SF for business, you’re fairly far from the central business area.sf-hotel-map-2

There are surprisingly few local running stores in the heart of San Francisco compared to other cities. Some best bets:

Marina/Crissy Field Area

Fleet Feet. Great local running store. Numerous events including “Wine Not Wednesdays” runs at 6:30om and Saturday morning 8:30 am along Marina Green and the Presidio. Also a location South of Market (SOMA).

Nike Store. Numerous events, some free others fee. Also a location in Union Sq.

Sports Basement. In the Crissy Field area. Not a running specific store but an incredible one of a kind sports store and worth a visit.

Union Square Area

Foot Race. On Polk & Sutter.

Finish Line in Macy’s

Presidio & Mission districts

A Runner’s Mind Local running store, with group runs Tuesday 7pm hill repeats, Thursday 7pm 3–6 miler, and Saturday 9am (long runs).

See Jane Run. Women’s focused running store in the Mission area. Fabulous store and folks. Tuesday evening and Saturday morning run clubs. Calendar.


Community

Group runs to join when in San Francisco:

The two largest and most established run clubs in San Francisco are the Dolphin Run Club, which has numerous events throughout the week, and a Saturday morning group run in Golden Gate Park and the San Francisco Road Runners Club. Large organization, with many events. Also the Golden Gate Run Club.

A comprehensive calendar of events: Bay Area Running Events

San Francisco has a huge running community and there are events almost every weekend. DSE Runners host very cheap races every Sunday.

Signature San Francisco running events include:

Bay to Breakers. May. The oldest continually run footrace in the world. 12k from the Embarcadero to Ocean Beach. Huge event running from Crissy Field to the ocean. Part race, part fancy-dress parade. A good opportunity to run naked in public.

San Francisco Marathon. June or July. Includes 2 half marathons (1st half, 2nd half).

Oakland Marathon – March. The city that SF loves to hate throws a mean marathon! Called the ‘Oakland Running Festival’.

The Giant Race – August. 5k,10k or Half , ending on the field at AT&T Park.

Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon. February. Flat and fast! It’s PR territory. Golden Gate Park.