Golden Gate Bridge Weather and What to Wear
When you walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, you’re 220 feet above the surface of the Pacific Ocean, right in the middle of a narrow opening in the mountainous Coast Range, the only opening that leads to hundreds of square miles of bay, delta and valleys. That means that there usually will be wind, and often there will be a lot of it.
The Golden Gate Bridge weather patterns are unique, and will often be different from conditions at sea level below the Bridge or the Sausalito and San Francisco weather conditions on either side.
We have many bright, beautiful and sunny days on the Bridge. We also have many foggy and windy days. In fact, very often all those conditions are part of the Golden Gate Bridge weather pattern on the same day! Having dramatic changes as you walk across the Bridge or as you bike from San Francisco to Sausalito is normal for Golden Gate Bridge weather, which is why it’s essential to dress in layers.
Always assume that your walk or ride will turn cold and windy, especially in summer. Yes, you read that right: you’re much more likely to encounter fog on the Golden Gate Bridge in Summer.
Bring a hat and sunscreen. Even if it’s cold and cloudy, being outdoors too long in Northern California can produce sunburns. Two of your OurSausalito.com editors speak from the experience of painful blisters as kids, back before we became your all-wise and all-knowing guides to Sausalito.
Sunny in Muir Woods, downtown San Francisco or Fisherman’s Wharf? It could still be foggy and cold out on the Bridge. Bring layers of clothing you can comfortably add or remove based on the fast-changing temperatures and winds.
In summer??? Mark Twain is wrongly quoted as having said, “I never spent a winter as cold as last summer in San Francisco!” Twain quote or not, the Summer can produce some of the foggiest and coldest days on the Golden Gate Bridge weather charts. Much of this is from the wind chill effect as the wind races in from the ocean in the late afternoon.
Visiting in early afternoon gives you the best chance of seeing some blue skies on a foggy day, but the micro-climate is so complex that it’s always hard to predict.
The warmest months on the Bridge, on average? September and October, as the summer fog abates in autumn. But they’re also the months in which we are most likely to get our first rains. So bring those layers!
Rainy Days and Winter
If you visit in the rain, the Bridge remains open and you can wear your rain suit and walk across, but be careful with your umbrella. Rainy days on the Bridge usually have enough wind to turn an umbrella into the shape of an oversized letter Y!