Getting Oriented

Biking in Sausalito: A Complete Guide

As you plan your trip to Sausalito, you’ve undoubtedly been tempted: is there any more iconic way to reach this city north of San Francisco than by riding a bike across the Golden Gate Bridge?

While the ferry is a good alternative, many people visit Sausalito by bike each year – and that means understanding not just how to ride across the Bridge but also the basics of biking in Sausalito. For example, you need to know about bike lanes and road rules, as well as where to park your bike while you visit my amazing town.

Biking in Sausalito Hero

In this post, I’m covering everything you need to know about biking in Sausalito – a recap of how to get here, where to ride, essential safety rules, and even other riding routes in Sausalito and the surrounding area. Whether you’re an amateur on the bike just wanting the experience or an expert cyclist looking for a good workout during your visit, you’ve come to the right place!

Sausalito is the traditional lands of the Graton Rancheria, Miwok, and Me-Wuk (Coast Miwok) peoples. With respect, I make a formal land acknowledgment, extending my appreciation to the past and present stewards of these lands. To learn more, I invite you to explore Native Land.

Biking to Sausalito

Biking in Sausalito is a super popular activity. But you know what’s also extremely popular? Biking to Sausalito from San Francisco. This is one of the most popular bike routes among locals and tourists alike. Some people have it as a must-do when they visit the Bay Area! 

The journey takes you across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, and it’s a pleasant ride mainly because so much of it is off city streets. In fact, there is a pedestrian and bike route across the bridge where everyone can travel safely since 2014. The bike ride to Sausalito is 8.5 miles long and most people take around three hours to complete it – there are so many wonderful photo ops that you’ll want to stop practically every foot for another snap!

While cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge is a popular plan, there are a few things you should know beforehand, like the opening hours for each sidewalk. If you’re traveling from SF, make sure you read our Sausalito biking guide so you know everything, from the rental shops to the exact directions you have to follow. 

Bike Lanes for Biking in Sausalito

How to Bike from SF to Sausalito

The city has put great efforts into building a bike-friendly infrastructure to make biking in Sausalito a safe activity. It’s still a bit confusing, though. The main bike lane you’ll find in Sausalito is along Bridgeway – the town’s main drag. Bear in mind that the Bridgeway Pathway is not a fully dedicated bike lane, instead, it has different sections. 

Class I: multi-use paths paved right-of-way for exclusive use by bicyclists, pedestrians, and those using non-motorized modes of travel. (the northern end)

  • From Johnson St. to Locust St
  • From Litho St. to Napa St. 
  • From Napa St. to Liberty Ship Way

Class II: paths defined by pavement striping and signage used to allocate a portion of a roadway for exclusive or preferential bicycle travel.

  • From Princess St. to Donahue St. (along the waterfront)

Class III: routes that are shared facilities with pedestrian or motor vehicle traffic.

  • From Princess St. to Richardson St. (the southern end)

Note: It is important to recognize that, by law, bicyclists are allowed on all streets and roads in California except where specifically prohibited regardless of whether they are a part of the bikeway system. Basically, you have the right to ride on any road, but you should always be aware of vehicles and pedestrians you might be sharing the road with.

Sausalito Bike Shops & Rentals

Some of the people that plan to go biking in Sausalito already have their bikes. But, this isn’t always the case. If you don’t have your own bike, don’t worry. Sausalito has a few bike rental shops where you can rent a bike for the day or even longer. Check out Sausalito Bike Rentals & Tours, The Sausalito Bicycle Company, or New Old School E-Bikes.

Bike Parking in Sausalito

Sausalito Day Trip - Bikes

Parking your bike in Sausalito is a lot easier now than it was a few years ago, thanks to the town’s bike-friendly infrastructure. Most businesses and public areas have bike racks where you can securely park your bike while you explore the town.

Here’s a detail of all the areas Sausalito offers for parking your bike:

Downtown Bicycle Parking Area

  • During peak months, Tracy Way is closed to motor vehicle traffic, and a dedicated parking area for bikes is created on Tracy Way to help keep bicycles off of Sausalito’s crowded sidewalks
  • Parking in the downtown parking area costs $3 per bicycle and makes it simpler for tourists to patronize Sausalito merchants while they wait for the ferry
  • Bicycle parking in the Tracy Way lot is free for all children 12 and under
  • Bicycle parking in the Tracy Way lot is free for Sausalito and Marin County residents with ID

Free Bicycle Parking Areas

  • For tourists, free bicycle parking is available in unattended parking areas adjacent to downtown, like the bike parking area at the north end of Public Parking Lot #3
  • For residents of Sausalito and Marin County with ID, free bicycle parking is also available in the Tracy Way lot in downtown Sausalito

Popular Bike Routes in Sausalito (& Nearby)

Sausalito and its surrounding areas offer a variety of bike routes that cater to all levels of experience. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, there’s a route for you. As I said before, a popular route is the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito route, which takes you across the iconic bridge and into the charming town of Sausalito.

But below you’ll find other Sausalito (area) bike routes you can explore. 

DifficultyDistanceEst. TimeNotes
Bridgeway End-to-EndEasy9 miles45-60 minutesIf you’re short on time, this route is perfect for you. You can enjoy some of the top sights in town: the iconic sea lion sculpture, the houseboats, and Viña del Mar park are some of them. 
Mill Valley-Sausalito Path (Pickleweed Inlet Crossing)Easy11 miles1+ hoursThis is another great ride if you don’t have much time until your ferry leaves the town. You can get it done in under an hour if you have a good fitness level.
Mill Valley-Sausalito Path (Bothin Marsh Preserve)Easy13 miles1+ hoursThe Mill Valley-Sausalito Path is suitable for all fitness levels. The route is pretty similar to the one above, except you’ll start your journey at the Bothin Marsh Preserve.
Lime Point-Hawk Hill Golden Gate Vista LoopIntermediate11 miles60-90 minutesIf you’re coming to Sausalito on the ferry and already have a bike with you, this route is for you as it starts right at the Sausalito ferry terminal! It’s a good fit for those with a solid fitness level… or anyone who wants a bit of a challenge mainly because it goes uphill (1,100 ft). 
Mill Valley-Sausalito Path (Mount Tamalpais East Peak Loop)Expert33 miles3+ hoursThe Mill Valley-Sausalito Path isn’t for the faint of heart. It takes no less than three hours to complete. This route takes you through some of Sausalito’s iconic spots, such as the houseboat community and the Bothin Marsh Preserve. The highlight of this route is the views as you’ll reach the summit of Mount Tamalpais.
Headlands Lookout (Hawk Hill)Expert36 miles3.5+ hoursThe Headlands Lookout route is another alternative for advanced cyclists. The route extends for almost 36 miles and takes approximately 5 hours to complete.

And with that, you know everything you need – and more – about biking in Sausalito. Have any remaining questions about biking to or in Sausalito? Let me know in the comments below!

Avatar photo

Valerie fell in love with Sausalito after her very first visit; she and her husband then moved there in 2019. It's one of her favorite places in the Bay Area and she's excited to show you the best parts of her city.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *