San Francisco, California, located on the coast, boasts many different attractions and can be somewhat difficult to navigate, especially for an archer.
While most famous for its food and landmarks, San Francisco also offers a wide variety of different places for the archer to go shoot. Whether you’re from San Francisco or from out of town, you’re guaranteed to enjoy the large variety of ranges while taking in the beautiful Northern California coast. This article provides some of the top archery ranges in the San Francisco area, so as to guide the archer who’s itching to shoot.
Among the numerous ranges offered in San Francisco, I’ve narrowed down some of the top ranges to a list of five of the best.
There are a lot to choose from, and these ranges have all been ranked as great places to do archery while you’re down in the San Francisco Bay Area. But rather than looking at the hundreds of reviews on Yelp and still being lost on which range you’d like to go to, this list will provide a condensed, specific description of these ranges that will make it easier to decide which range is going to be the one for you during your time in San Francisco.
1. Golden Gate Park Archery Field
Golden Gate Park is very large and there is a large archery field as well. Golden Gate Park’s Archery Field is located on Fulton Street, between 45th and 46th Street, located in Golden Gate Park, but with a slightly tucked away feel to the range.
The range is free and open to the public, and for those who are in need of renting archery equipment, the SF Archery Shop is not too far away. All the necessary equipment needed rounds up to about $30.
For those who are interested in learning archery, beginner and intermediate archery classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays. These classes are provided through the City College of San Francisco, with a licensed instructor also present.
There are about ten targets available, which can sometimes make it a bit of a wait to be able to use one, and a bit crowded. And unfortunately due to wear, the bales are not in their best shape, but they are still considered usable.
There is also a lot of shrubbery around, and it is a public area with lots of other people using the range, so be careful where you shoot. However, the range is completely free and there’s no need for a reservation!
The Golden Gate Park is located right across from the ocean and can make a very beautiful view for those who would like to experience the coastal air and scenery while enjoying archery in Golden Gate Park. So while you’re perusing around the other attractions in Golden Gate Park, why not stop by the Archery Field as well?
2. San Francisco Archers Range
The San Francisco Archers is a non-profit organization that supports and offers many different services for archers in the San Francisco area. They offer several different ranges for people of all ages and levels of experience with archery. The ranges are located towards the Pacifica area and may be a little tricky to find, so directions are listed specifically sfarchers.org
You can become a member of the San Francisco Archers and use the ranges for free, or for the general public, there is a $5 fee for adults, while children under 13 are free of charge. There are five ranges, one for practice, one for children, and another three based on different levels of archery skill to select from.
Red is the most difficult field range, including many types of obstacles and placed on a hill, it is not recommended to those who have trouble getting around.
The White field range is an easier level range, so those who would like to try their hand at field range shooting are recommended to try this range first off.
The Blue field range is a target range, specifically made to practice target shooting at a long distance.
Free classes are offered on the 1st and 3rd Sundays of every month, in addition to specialized classes for kids and adults that are held every Saturday, with about a $10 to $15 fee for each specialized class. Equipment is available for rent.
This range is family-friendly, and an ideal spot for those who are looking for a little more variety and uniquely detailed range than your normal archery spot.
3. The Redwood Bowmen Range
The Redwood Bowmen Range is a club of archery members that owns a large, spacious archery range also available to the public. The range is located near Oakland, which can about a 30 to 45-minute drive depending upon the traffic, but is still worth it! The range and clubhouse have a nice rustic flavor to it, and the three ranges offered have plenty of space and plenty of targets.
The ranges have many obstacles and the club members offer beginner classes for those who are interested in trying their hand at archery. For the general public, the admissions is $5, and unfortunately, equipment is not for rent.
The Redwood Bowmen Range also offers many events and shoot-offs that the arching community can join in, and are said to be a hit! In addition, for those that are hard-core archers, if you become a member, there are many activities like “Target Talk,” or various board meetings including a “home-cooked meal.”
If you’re looking for a nearby arching community with a passion for arching like yours, look no further!
Because the range is out in the Oakland hills, however, many people say that the range is very beautiful, with many trees and hills. For those looking to enjoy the beautiful California scenery while you’re shooting, this range would be a great option for you to stop by.
4. Ohlone Archery
There are various archery clubs for people looking to improve their archery skills and have a more exclusive atmosphere to practice their archery. Ohlone Archery is a private, adult archery club that is exclusive to it’s members.
It was named as a tribute for the Ohlone Indians who once lived in the Central California Coast and were famous for their abilities in archery. The range is located in the San Leandro area, about a 45-minute drive from the central San Francisco area.
Ohlone is only open for members, so in order to join the membership, you must take a beginner lesson for $35, and from there, membership is $55 per month. Equipment can be bought through a brand called “On Target,” available for purchase at their range.
They have an exclusively owned indoor range as well as continued lessons for members, both a youth and an adult program. They hold specialized, specific lessons and even have competitions. Joining Ohlone’s membership is a private, exclusive experience that can fulfill your desires to become a more professional, specially trained archer.
5. Pacifica Archery
Pacifica Archery is an archery pro shop located in Daly City, which is only a 20-minute drive from main San Francisco. They offer a wide selection of services as well as equipment, including buying and renting equipment, an indoor range, and an assortment of classes!
Among their services, they offer full in-store repair for bows and other equipment. They also offer a custom arrow and string service and are available for group parties and other events that want to host archery as an event.
For a beginner’s lesson, the pricing is $50 per hour for adults and $25 for a youth archery program. The fee to just use the shooting lanes is $15 per hour, and some parties and events are charged $500 up to ten shooters. Equipment rental is $10.
In addition to lessons, for those who are interested in competitive archery, there are several shooting leagues offered that you can be a part of all year round. They also have an archery seminar if you would like to expand your knowledge and skills in archery!
Pacifica Archery offers a large assortment of archery supplies and services, so if you’re in the need of something related to archery, Pacifica is the place for you!
And these five don’t even cover HALF of the number of archery ranges there are in the San Francisco Bay Area! However, they are some of the best, and they address the needs of every type of archer, be they beginner or pro, an outdoorsy type or an indoor type.
San Francisco has the ranges that you and your friends or family will love shooting at! So put it on your list of places to go the next time you visit San Francisco and happy shooting!
If you want to find more of the best archery ranges in the country check out my full list.
What Makes a High-Quality Archery Range?
The country has many archery ranges, some being better than others. A quality range offers features and qualities that cater to the needs of their visitors to provide a fun and safe shooting experience. Some important things to look for in a quality archery range are as follows.
Safety: The safety of their visitors should be the top priority in any archery range you visit. A range that values safety will have safety protocols and rules clearly posted for all to see. These will include designated shooting lanes and proper signs along with trained staff to monitor and enforce their rules and regulations. Safety measures such as backstops, barriers, and adequate ventilation systems should be in place to prevent accidents and ensure the well-being of participants.
Range Layout and Design: An effective range layout is crucial for archers to practice their skills comfortably. The range should have well-defined shooting lanes with sufficient space between shooters, allowing for safe and unobstructed shooting. Distances for various shooting distances should be marked, and targets should be properly positioned for easy visibility and retrieval.
Target Variety and Quality: A great archery range offers a variety of target options to cater to different archery disciplines and skill levels. This can include traditional bullseye targets, 3D animal targets, and specialty targets for specific archery styles. Targets should be well-maintained, regularly replaced or repaired, and appropriately sized and positioned to provide a fair and challenging shooting experience.
Equipment and Amenities: High-quality archery ranges provide individuals with access to quality archery equipment and amenities, including bows and arrows, shooting stands or benches, and storage areas for personal gear.
Related Reading: 11 Best Compound Bows for Beginners
Instruction and Coaching: A great archery range may offer instructional classes or coaching services for people of any skill level. Qualified instructors or teachers should provide training and tips to help archers improve their form, accuracy, and technique. Their main goal is to contribute to the growth and development of archers at any skill level.
Community and Atmosphere: A positive and welcoming atmosphere can greatly enhance the overall experience at an archery range. A great range fosters community, encouraging archers to connect, share knowledge, and support each other’s progress. Organized events, competitions, or social gatherings can help build this community spirit and create a vibrant archery culture.
Accessibility and Convenience: Convenient location, sufficient parking, and low range fees contribute to the accessibility and attractiveness of an archery range. Range hours that accommodate various schedules, including evenings and weekends, can cater to a wider range of archers.