Lands End Labyrinth
Easily the most famous labyrinth in San Francisco, Lands End has become popular in recent years as an escape for locals. Tucked into the edge of the Sea Cliff neighborhood, it is reached by hiking through the woods along the winding Lands End Trail. Once you arrive at this seaside oasis, you’ll be rewarded with the chance to walk a labyrinth surrounded by gorgeous views of the bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. To learn more, watch our interview with Eduardo Aguilera, the labyrinth’s creator, and Colleen Yerge, the labyrinth’s unofficial keeper.
Take a quick trip over to the East Bay to see the labyrinths in Oakland’s Sibley Volcanic Regional Preserve. A walk along Round Top Loop Trail will take you past both of the park’s labyrinths. Hike to the top of what was once Round Top Volcano to see the larger of the two, the Mazzariello Labyrinth, created in 1989 by Helena Mazzariello. Take the Volcanic Trail to find the second labyrinth, smaller and heart-shaped, the origin of which is still a mystery.
Scott Street Labyrinth
Located in Duboce Park, the Scott Street Labyrinth is 23 feet in diameter and surrounded by mosaic tiles. It is located on the site of what used to be a play structure in the shape of a pirate ship, which is now commemorated in mosaic tiles next to the labyrinth. Friends of Duboce Park began planning the labyrinth project in 1997, and the labyrinth was finally opened in April 2007. The opening did not last long, thanks to the incorrect application of anti-graffiti coating, and the labyrinth was closed to the public for restoration for seven months. Today, the labyrinth is once again open and thriving.
Grace Cathedral Labyrinths
Grace Cathedral is home to two labyrinths, one indoor and one outdoor. The labyrinths are open to the public daily, and every Friday a trained labyrinth facilitator hosts an indoor labyrinth peace walk from 12:30 to 2pm. A monthly candlelight labyrinth walk is also offered. These are generally held on the second Friday of the month from 6 to 8 p.m., but check the cathedral calendar for exact times. Instructions for how to walk a labyrinth on your own are provided by the cathedral and can be found here. Additionally, Grace offers visitors the chance to practice yoga on the labyrinth every Tuesday evening.
Bernal Heights Park Labyrinth
In the southwest corner of Bernal Hill sits a stone labyrinth, one of the main attractions of Bernal Heights Park. The labyrinth was created by Cesar Lopez in the name of unrequited love. Lopez allegedly stalked the woman who inspired the project for ten years before being dragged into court in February 2013. The labyrinth is unofficially maintained by members of the community, causing it to shift and change shapes frequently. Hike up Bernal Hill to walk the labyrinth and enjoy gorgeous views of the city.
The Stanford University campus is home to two labyrinths. The first is a roll-out labyrinth located inside the Stanford Memorial Church, a gorgeous architectural icon in the center of campus. This labyrinth is open every Friday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and some evenings, trained labyrinth facilitators host candle-lit labyrinth walks. The second is an outdoor labyrinth made of stone and modeled after that of the Chartres Cathedral in France. It is located adjacent to the Windhover building and is open to all Stanford visitors at any time of day.
McLaren Park Labyrinth
McLaren Park is the second largest park in San Francisco, behind only the enormous Golden Gate Park. Open and untamed, the space features lots of grassland and even a lake. Atop Philosopher’s Hill sits a guerrilla labyrinth, located at the highest point in the park. The labyrinth’s origin is unknown, adding an element of mystery to the meditative experience of walking it. Hike up the hill to walk the labyrinth and enjoy 360-degree views of the city, the ocean, as well as Mt. Diablo and San Bruno Mountain.