Who says you need a car to go on camping trip!? After work on Friday, we jumped on the Golden Gate 80 from Civic Center to Sausalito. Careful, this bus sometimes bypasses Saualito and stops at the Spencer Bus Pad en route to Marin City, but at night runs on an alternate route, stopping in downtown Sausalito instead. This ended up being a blessing because we discovered the Excelsior and Cooper staircase, thanks Weekend Sherpa! This staircase begins at the corner of Excelsior and Bridgeway and ends at Spencer Avenue. Apparently in the old days it was a secret access point to the many Sausalito brothels. Although the stairs are steep, it was a fun way to explore the Sausalito neighborhoods. The stairs end at Spencer Ave, at which point you need to walk along the road. This felt a bit dangerous, especially at night, just be aware of cars. We eventually ended at the Spencer Bus Pad and walked under Highway 101 to the Morning Sun trailhead. The trail is initially quite steep, but eventually levels out. It’s about a two mile hike from the trailhead to Hawk Camp. Make sure to call ahead to reserve a spot (415) 331-1540, campsites are free so they fill up, especially in the warmer months. After arriving at our spot, we pitched our tent, ate our Papalote burritos, then warmed up in our sleeping bags for the night. As we drifted off to sleep, we were serenaded by a pack of coyotes.
In the morning we were treated to a gorgeous sunrise, with city and ocean views. We had a quick breakfast, packed up camp, and headed out for our hike back. We took advantage of having the headlands to ourselves and headed down toward Rodeo Beach. By late morning we headed back towards Sausalito. To add a bit of variety to our trip, we decided to take the ferry back into San Francisco. With a Clipper card the ferry costs less than $5, and is such a picturesque way to end the trip. After getting off the ferry, which docked at the ferry building, it is only a short walk Muni and BART.