How Sunrise is Done, Birthday Edition! ; Slacker Hill

We are strolling down memory lane with this post and reliving a moment from Fall 2014:

It was the wee hours of the morning of my 25th birthday. I had mentioned to a few friends (many of which are photographers) that I was hoping to catch the morning sunrise over the bay at "Slacker Hill," immediately beyond the Golden Gate Bridge in the Marin Headlands. I had only every seen photographs of the nearby landscape and figured it the perfect place to hover above the city, and ring in my new year. They lovingly agreed despite the early alarm!

It was just after 6 AM. I was rushing to get dressed, grab a few dozen doughnuts, and make my way across the Golden Gate to make sure I caught a 6:44am sunrise. It was a particularly fogging morning. I couldn't see street lights or stop signs until I almost passed them. Carefully, and with hope still, I head for Slacker Hill. Approaching the bridge, I was haunted. Deep, dense fog was glowing an amber hue from the lights adorning the icon. Fog horns sounding as Cargo Ships slid unnoticed under its mass. Were we completely fogged in? It seemed hopeless from the middle of the suspended giant, but I had to be sure. Just passed the threshold, we turned off onto the first exit and head UP. 

We were ascending into the headlands, past Battery Spencer and just before Hawk Hill we parked  near a round-about. Free and Clear. The higher we climbed, the more the fog settled. Now that the fog was no longer a concern, I had to remember the clock. Myself and 20 others friends made our way from the parking lot up the 1.1 mile trail to the top. Now, it was no (birthday) cake walk. It felt like a total chore at the time, but BOY, was I gifted with the best possible outcome at the top......

Me, above the clouds on my 25th birthday // Slacker Hill; Sausalito, CA - Photo by: Sam hylton

We made it within minutes. As the first sliver of copper shown over the horizon we were in awe. With many hugs, the unfolding of blankets, clicks of the shutter and hands reaching for doughnuts, it was the official start of what was one of the best years of my life. I like to think that morning; the warmth, the freshness, the effort, the accomplishment, the joy trickled its love throughout the remainder of the year. 

I haven't ever seen another sunrise like this. I truly believe it was such a special morning. If you would like to achieve some of the same views and moments, here is......



From the City

  1. Head North on US 101 over the Gold Gate Bridge.
  2. Take Exit 442, Alexander Ave.
  3. Stay left towards Conzelman Rd.
  4. Take Conzelman Rd. left thru the tunnel & bearing right up into the headlands. (Otherwise you are headed back Southbound onto the bridge!)
  5. Park at the Slacker Hill trail and Enjoy!  

Portraits of Sara // Photos by: Emma Fineman

Kate and sara // Photo by: John thatcher



Sara De.