To reach Land’s End in San Francisco, travel west on Geary Blvd until it meets the Great Highway. The sky opens up and the land lives up to its name – it ends. Here, the Pacific Ocean pummels what is left of the Sutro Bath ruins.
The Sutro Baths were developed by self-made millionaire Adolph Sutro in 1894. He made his fortune in Nevada’s Comstock silver mine, and applied those riches to his dreams of a better San Francisco. First he constructed an ocean pool aquarium, then expanded with a three acre public bathhouse. Sutro tried everything to lure patrons down to the coast: May Day festivals, high dive contests, swimming contests, orchestral performances, dancers, choirs, magicians, tightrope walkers, animal acts, and even a suspension bridge that stretched from the Cliff House to Seal Rocks off the coast.
Even with all that effort, the baths were only somewhat popular in Sutro’s day. Sutro died in 1898, and his family maintained the land for some time. In 1964, speculators planned to demolish the structures and replace them with apartment buildings, but a massive fire in 1966 ended those intentions. The ruins finally became a part of the Golden Gate National Recreational Area in 1973.
The Maze on the Land’s End Trail with Golden Gate Bridge
The Cliff House and Seal Rocks