The twice-a-year phenomenon known as “California Henge,” when the rising sun ascends perfectly above the Bay Bridge on California Street, framed by city buildings, took place Saturday morning.
A crowd of about 40 people began to form around 6:15 a.m., on the intersection of Gough and California streets, while it was still dark. Photographers began to set up tripods, and those with phones staked out their spot on the corner to get a view.
By 6:40, around 100 people gathered in the middle of the intersection and along the street, completely blocking through traffic. Several people sat down on the hilly street, watching as the sky lightened. Murmurs of “excuse me” were common as latecomers jostled through the throng to get a good angle.
Neighbors climbed onto fire escapes, and a handful of drones buzzed in the sky above. Despite a few honks from cars, most unlucky drivers that neared the cluster of people just turned around.
While the sunrise was rather cloudy and the sun itself was ever-so-slightly to the right of the Bay Bridge, by 6:45 a.m., orange rays of light shone down the street.
And it looks like some photographers got some pretty good shots.
"California Henge" but the sun never quite appeared directly behind the bridge due to clouds. Beautiful morning nonetheless.@zimpix @hknightsf @peterhartlaub @RobMayeda @SFGate #totalsf #CAwx @Underscore_SF pic.twitter.com/ck3AbTb2Lu— Stuart Berman (@QuakesFanStu) April 8, 2023
The Chronicle reported that one photographer said, “I can’t believe we blocked the street. That’s nuts. And they let us!”
On Saturday morning, dozens gathered to capture the moment the sunrise lines up with California Street, shining between San Francisco’s buildings and over the Bay Bridge, a biannual phenomenon known as California Henge.— San Francisco Chronicle (@sfchronicle) April 8, 2023
Read more: https://t.co/1tBKnE3Wni
📷: @GabrielleLurie pic.twitter.com/gA035nDp4b
"I've never seen so many people for something like this," Marc Donahue, from Permagrin Films, told KTVU.
KTVU reported that the "henge" will likely be able to be seen on Sunday and Monday, as well, and again in September.
Feature image by Holly Secon.