Posted in North America, Travels, United States

Kirby Cove

While on your visit to Battery Spencer, how about also embarking on a 2-ish mile walk to Kirby Cove?

Kirby Cove is also another site to view the Golden Gate Bridge, but one that I didn’t include on my list of best places to view the bridge (seen here). Why? Because I felt that this view was more distant than the others. But that’s not really the point of this post.

Read on. TLDR at the bottom if you’re not a reader.


So Kirby Cove is this tiny beach that presents a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s kind of below and to the side of the bridge, and can be reached by a trail not far from Battery Spencer. HISTORY TIME: I couldn’t find much on the history of Kirby Cove, but per Wikipedia, it was once a military outpost with artillery units, but was decommissioned during World War II, and its weapons sent to a base in the Philippines. But it’s also Wikipedia, so I’m not exactly sure how accurate the information is.

The way to get to Kirby Cove is to walk to Battery Spencer, face the entrance to the battery, then turn right and look for a path next to a traffic gate.

I walked this path with the Mother and the Sibling, and in my distraction forgot to snap photos of the entrance for better direction.

The walk to Kirby Cove is the easiest part. It’s a little over a mile down the road, and it is used by traffic, so be aware of your surroundings when you’re walking. Some of the path is dirt, so also be wary of your footing, as it is easy to slide on the way down in some of the steeper areas.

It take a long time to walk a mile, so bring some good company or some music.


The walk down is actually quite beautiful, and it wasn’t long before we reached the campground. Yes, you can camp at Kirby Cove, and besides the fact it’s dusty, I bet it would be a nice, quiet place for camping.


Once at the campground, follow the sound of the water until you get to the beach. The beach is small with dark sand and no lifeguard. I’m sure you can swim here, but there’s no one to really save you if the tide takes you out. On a lighter note, the sound of the water is incredibly soothing, and the view isn’t bad either.

One of the more popular things about Kirby Cove is the swing. Typically, there are lines on the beach of people waiting to use the swing and take that iconic picture. I thought by coming early in the morning would allow me to bypass this.


The swing is broken. As were my dreams. No cliché Instagram photo for me. A bit of Googling told me that someone recently had an injury while on the swing, causing it to be cut down. No word on whether it will be replaced, but since it’s been a few months already, it’s not looking good.

In the end, we sat on the beach as a family (sans the Pops, who didn’t want to walk 2 miles up and down the hill), then readied ourselves for the walk uphill. Still a beautiful walk, calming rest at the beach, and a nice way to bond with the family.

TLDR: 2+ mile walk roundtrip from Battery Spencer to Kirby Cove, beautiful scenery, and flipping swing is broken.


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