Golden Gate Park is known for its array of interesting attractions, and the Prayerbook Cross is one that is not only intriguing, but also somewhat controversial. This religious-related landmark situated on one of the highest points in the park was a tribute to the first English language sermon and use of the Book of Common Prayer in California. The cross is one of the tallest in the city, measuring nearly 60 feet tall. Erected in 1894, millions of people have come to see this gift from the Church of England – located near Cross Over Drive – right between John F. Kennedy Drive and Park Presidio Drive.

Things to Do

Originally, the sandstone landmark was intended to catch the eye as you visited the ocean, but has since become relatively hidden by park trees. The base of the Celtic-style cross has seen better days, but is still a magical place to visit. Take a look at the delightful design of the imposing cross. The detail includes scripture prayers and other writing that has stood the test of time.

As you follow the walkway to reach Prayerbook Cross, explore the smaller dirt paths that take you to the left or right, where you’ll find a handful of pleasant features. Here, take in the surrounding foliage, clear your head, relax, or contemplate your next great move. This part of the park also offers minimized road racket. To enjoy an even quieter atmosphere, visit on Sundays when traffic is closed to cars.


To find the Prayerbook Cross, you will need to pay a visit to Rainbow Falls first. This manmade water structure flows down a spacious hillside located along John F Kennedy Drive – just east of Cross Over Drive. The Cross is located atop the hill, right behind the Falls. Located at the base of a steep paved path heading up the hill behind Rainbow Falls, you will encounter a sign for Prayerbook Cross about 100 yards east of Rainbow Falls – along John F Kennedy Drive.