Did You Know About *This Other* Bay Area Rock Labyrinth?

While the mesmeric collection of rocks at San Francisco’s Lands End gets a lot of hype, the Tennessee Point Labrying is just as hype-able.

When vandals decided to be terrible human beings and obliterated the famous circular rock maze at Lands End in 2021, there was a communal wailing as people mourned its loss. Since it was created in 2004, the rock labyrinth at the lookout point of Lands End had grown into an unofficial San Francisco landmark until its abrupt destruction. A group of do-gooders did recreate a heart-shaped rock installation there soon afterward, which became a viral sensation and doubled as a background for engaging photos, much like the original one.

Fast forward to the present moment, an iteration of the original rock maze appears back; recent Instagram posts show the familiar shape overlooking the Pacific Ocean. [Rock formations] find a way, after all… albeit with the help of generous human hands.

But, the aforementioned rock maze aside, did you know that the Bay Area is home to another equally prepossessing rock labyrinth? Because there is one — and it’s just an eleven-mile drive outside of San Francisco.

Tennessee Point in Mills Valley overlooks Rodeo Beach in uninterrupted vistas. As Urban Hiker SF pointed out on Twitter earlier this year, hiking there from Rodeo Valley via the Tennse Point Trail is easy and, at just a little over two miles roundtrip, can be done in less than an hour. Wide ocean views, peeks into nearby coves, and usable picnic areas all exist along the trail.

And then there’s of course the Tennessee Point Labyrinth — a massive rock maze that affords a nearly 360-degree view of the clay outcrops that wrap it, all of which are gorgeously juxtaposed by the verdant flora rooted along the nearby hillsides. In the middle of the labyrinth, visitors will often place flowers, tree branches, and other organic materials to liven up the otherwise beige construction.

But just keep in mind that the surrounding cliffsides near the labyrinth are incredibly steep, so practice an abundance of caution when walking around them. There’s a reason why emergency crews are called to the area a few times a year to this very location.

As always, practice the principles of Leave No Trace when hiking to and from Tennessee Point. But should you see a rock misplaced along the maze, do feel free to put it back from where it was dislodged — because kindness is key, especially in this economy amid a looming recession and another dot-com bubble burst.

Feature image: Courtesy of Urban Hiker SF

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