On May 12, 1848 Samuel Brannan rode through the streets of San Francisco waving a bottle of gold and yelling, "Gold! Gold! Gold from the American River!" Struck with gold fever, almost every resident headed for the foothills, beginning the greatest migration in American history, the world famous Gold Rush. In 1849 settlers and immigrants from around the world descended on the shores of Yerba Buena Cove. Within a year San Francisco had been transformed from a pastoral village into a bustling port city. The Barbary Coast Trail is a project of the
To fully appreciate San Francisco's role as magnet of the West, it's helpful to journey back in time when daring exploits and earthshaking events forged a city on sand dunes. The Barbary Coast Trail is a 3.8 mile walk and 20 minute cable car ride marked by a series of bronze medallions and arrows. From the Gold Rush to the Earthquake and Fire of 1906 to the present, the trail traces the city's history and honors those individuals whose courage and creativity shaped San Francisco into a culturally rich and uniquely dynamic metropolis.
The southern end of the trail begins at the Old U.S. Mint at Fifth and Mission Streets and extends to Aquatic Park near Fisherman's Wharf. Each end of the trail is connected by they Hyde-Powell cable car line. There is also a six-block loop on Nob Hill and a satellite site at Mission Dolores.
The Barbary Coast Trail connects twenty historic sites, including the original shoreline of Yerba Buena Cove, the birthplace of the Gold Rush, Jackson Square Historic District, the Pony Express, the oldest cathedral west of the Rockies, the first Asian neighborhood in America, the largest collection of historic ships in the U.S., and several local museums.
Down Gold Rush-era streets and Chinatown alleys, past Bonanza King mansions and Barbary Coast saloons, the trail follows the streets of old San Francisco to a city built on golden dreams, the City by the Bay...
San Francisco Historical Society