I have been to San Fran many many times, but had made a point of wanting to do this on our coastal trip from Oregon. I had it all planned out and we arrived early and waited by the tunnel entrance gate. It wasn't until 10 minutes after it was supposed to open that I called the visitor center and found out they didn't have enough staff to open for the day. They didn't put the signs up until after we had descended the hill and no one bothered to come down the hill to advise the 40 or so people waiting there until AFTER they received several phone calls questioning the opening. I was super bummed to not be able to see the lighthouse and disgruntled that they weren't able to notify the people waiting in a timely fashion. So my advice is to make sure they're going to open that day before you wait around at the bottom of the hill!
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