Bridging across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge is a spectacular experience! And it can also be overwhelming to navigate if you have never been to San Francisco before. At GSNorCal, we’ve been hosting Golden Gate Bridging (aka GGB) for 37 years and it’s really an all-hands-on-deck affair for our staff. With 37 years and over a hundred staff members under our belt, we have a lot of collective experience and knowledge of GGB! In fact, I think it’s pretty safe to say that we’re GGB experts by now.
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To help you get the most out of your Golden Gate Bridging experience, I’ve collected a few helpful tips for locals, out-of-town travelers, and everyone in between:
1. First and foremost, HAVE FUN!
This is your party. If you are making a weekend out of GGB, we recommend enjoying all that the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer. Take a cable car ride, visit Muir Woods, go to the California Academy of Sciences, enjoy a cup of hot cocoa from the famed Ghirardelli Square, or check out the historic Alcatraz.
Pro Tip: To learn more about what else you can do during your time in San Francisco, you can check out 37 Reasons Why You Should Attend Golden Gate Bridging, SF Travel, or the SF Visitors Guide.
2. Dress for GGB success
People often underestimate the weather in San Francisco, particularly during the spring and summer months. The weather changes quickly throughout the day—the city can be surprisingly cold or unusually warm, so dress in layers! Don’t forget to pack a light rain jacket or hooded windbreaker too, because you never know when it may also rain or be fairly windy on the Golden Gate Bridge. Umbrellas can get in the way and be something extra to carry, so we recommend forgoing the umbrella and sticking with the jacket.
3. Prepare for a day filled with lots of walking
The overall route is between 4.5 to 5 miles and the last part of your walk, from Crissy Field back to Main Post, can be a challenge for some, especially when you’re tired after a long day of walking. Start early (between 8AM and 11:30AM), pace yourself, stay hydrated, and wear comfortable shoes.
4. Finally, take care and feed yourself!
Start your day with a healthy breakfast, bring a full reusable water bottle, bring a snack bar or trail mix to keep you nourished between meals, and bring a sack lunch or pre-order a lunch from our Panera group order. We do recommend pre-ordering lunch from Panera when you register for GGB, as it will be one less item to carry during your walk.
Pro Tip: If you have already registered for GGB, but missed out on pre-ordering lunch, don’t fret! Contact Member Services today at firstname.lastname@example.org to add lunch to your order. Please note that you must pre-order your Panera lunch. There will not be food for sale at the event.
Other helpful reminders:
- If you haven’t already, check out the Golden Gate Bridging Facebook page to stay up-to-date on all things GGB.
- To make sure your day starts well, we recommend you do an early check-in to avoid the long lines day-of.
- Plan for traffic and be patient. San Francisco is a busy metropolitan city. You must also take into account that 7,000 attendees are expected.
What to do next:
- Be prepared, and check out our list of what to pack for GGB.
- Make sure you check out and order Golden Gate Bridging swag at the online retail store!
- If you still need a place to stay, Camp Bothin still has a few spaces left, so register today.
Elizabeth Schrey—A native Bay Area resident, Elizabeth Schrey is the Special Events Manager with the Girl Scouts of Northern California where she tackles logistics for large-scale events like Golden Gate Bridging as well as small-scale unique events like Exec Connect. Elizabeth is a graduate of Southern Oregon University (B.S. Theatre Arts; ’04) in Ashland, OR and volunteers her time for several film festivals as a film reviewer, loves baking and is an amateur photographer. As a Girl Scout who had many doors unlocked through her involvement in scouting, Elizabeth’s favorite thing about Girl Scouts is the diversity in programming that allow girls limitless amounts of fun, learning, engagement and confidence building. There really is something in it for everyone.