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Golden Gate Park Nature Walk

Starts at:

John F Kennedy & Conservatory Drive West, Golden Gate Park


60 minutes

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As you walk through Golden Gate Park, a mysterious spirit introduces you to his many friends: the plants of the park. The plants are alive, full of fascinating scientific tidbits, and sometimes unusual character flaws.

As you explore the park’s ecosystem, you'll meet psychotropic cacti, touch leaves that feel like sandpaper, smell the citrusy and piney aromas of crushed needles, munch on edible plants, and discover trees that depend on tiny strands of fungi to feed their babies. If you listen closely, you’ll hear the music of the plants, which spans many genres—from gregorian chanting to “trunk” rap—each of them intoxicating in their own way. You’ll contemplate man’s role in nature—is it really man versus nature, or do they work in harmony? And you’ll wonder, exactly who is our guide? And maybe if you are clever enough, you will find out.

For children 11-22 and adults 24-116.

Tips & Hours

  • Begin this Detour anytime during daylight hours.

  • This is a great Detour for kids.

  • If it were a movie it'd probably be rated PG or PG-13. This Detour instructs on plant reproduction using mild innuendo and acknowledges the psychedelic usage of some of the park's plants.

  • In the final Oak Woodlands section, be cognizant of any potential woods dwellers.