5Pointz West: A Hike up Hill 88 in the Marin Headlands

Thanksgiving Eve, my uncle told me he was planning a 6am Thanksgiving hike in the Marin Headlands, located right across from San Francisco in Marin County. 6am is 6am, but family’s family, right? After a quick drive over the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, we continued to Fort Cronkhite, a former World War II military post located right on the coast of the Pacific Ocean.

The views are utterly ridiculous.

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The Golden Gate Bridge on the left and Sutro Tower on the right

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Hi, Mom.

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The City by the Bay.

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Our goal, besides appreciating the raw beauty of the Golden State, was to hike to the top of Hill 88. The hike was only 5.5 miles, total, and the path was easy-going. We passed an old dugout hill battery – Battery Townsley – that during World War II featured a 68 foot-gun that could shoot a 1-ton projectile 25 miles out to sea. According to a placard at the entrance to the battery, the force of the gun firing could rip open soldier’s coat buttons. Nice!

We reached Hill 88 a short while after. The views, here, are also insane.

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 Hill 88 looked like the 30 year old version of a Hollywood post-nuclear neighborhood scene. I’m willing to bet Hollywood doesn’t have graffiti as inventive as the stuff here, however.

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I love this view.

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 We spent about 20 minutes at the top, taking pictures and walking around and then headed down the back of the mountain back to the Fort Cronkhite parking lot. Several runners and bikers passed us on this portion, which was pretty steep in some places, although the trail was totally safe.

When we got back to the parking lot, kids were waxing their surfboards about to take on the Pacific’s best.

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I love California.

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