Visiting the Land’s End Labyrinth in San Francisco

I love to be a tourist in my own area. Although San Francisco is barely an hour from my home, there are infinite experiences to be had in the City by the Bay, and I find it to be a uniquely spiritual location as well. I had seen photos of the Land’s End Labyrinth recently and was shocked to learn that it is, in fact, located just down the hill from the Legion of Honor, a museum I have visited several times a year for many years. I had no idea the labyrinth was there and decided it was high time to visit it for myself. Labyrinths have a uniquely spiritual context as walking one gives us a moment’s pause to think, reflect and turn inward as we wind our way to the center. 

Visiting the Land's End Labyrinth in San Francisco, CA | The Witch of Lupine Hollow

A friend and I drove down to the city one breezy, late summer day and set about finding the labyrinth. It’s well-marked on Google Maps, so if you are trying to find it yourself, I recommend using the trail map on your phone. The labyrinth was built by artist, Eduardo Aguilera, at least 15 years ago and is modeled on the classic Chartres labyrinth. [Source] 

To get to the labyrinth, we followed the trail down from the museum, through the nearby golf course. The initial trail is paved and fairly steep, but when you begin the real descent to the beach, it becomes a series of sandy, wooden staircases. The stairs are steep and uneven, but seem to be well-maintained.

Visiting the Land's End Labyrinth in San Francisco, CA | The Witch of Lupine Hollow

There are no signs directing you to the labyrinth, as it is apparently not sanctioned by the Park Service, though they leave the monument in peace. We took a chance and went up instead of going straight down to the beach, and stumbled right onto the labyrinth.

Constructed high on a rocky hilltop with a spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Land’s End Labyrinth was even better than I anticipated. For some reason, I had pictured it down on the beach but it’s position up high gives it an incredible vantage point of both the manmade constructions to the east and the vast Pacific Ocean to the west. 

Visiting the Land's End Labyrinth in San Francisco, CA | The Witch of Lupine Hollow
Visiting the Land's End Labyrinth in San Francisco, CA | The Witch of Lupine Hollow
Visiting the Land's End Labyrinth in San Francisco, CA | The Witch of Lupine Hollow

My only complaint is that it was pretty crowded when we were there – I imagine in less desirable seasons and weather, it would be quieter, but you also might not want to be on a rocky outcropping over the Pacific Ocean in the middle of winter! With so many people, it wasn’t as serene as I had pictured, but if you had some soothing music on your earbuds, you could probably tune them out.  There was definitely a communal spiritual sense about the place, though, in watching others walk the labyrinth and experiencing it together.

I think the mild hike is well worth it for the view alone, and the actual experience of walking the labyrinth is a bonus. If you are ever in the San Francisco Bay Area, this is a must do!

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