Four Urban Hikes in SF
If there is anything I learned over the last two weeks, it is that I can’t take blue skies for granted. We are so spoiled in San Francisco. Rarely, as a friend pointed out, are we restricted by weather conditions. It’s usually not too warm or too cold to be outside. It hardly rains and while fog may not always be ideal, it doesn’t confine you inside (typically). The smoke from the Camp Fire in Paradise and poor air quality that has lingered over the city made me realize how much I appreciate the perfect weather we have almost year round. We’ve all been going a little stir crazy.
Whether you’re in San Francisco already or planning a trip, here are a few favorite “Urban Hikes” to get you outside now that the smoke has cleared!
Buena Vista Park: We typically start this hike at the corner of Haight Street and Buena Vista Ave. A set of steps heads up into the park. Stay to the left, walking along the tennis courts and then cut back right into the park to climb up to the lookout point. At the top you’ll find a low stone wall to stop at and take in the view! On a clear day you’ll be able to see the Golden Gate Bridge and the north edge of the city.
Corona Heights Park: We’ll often combine the Buena Vista Park hike with Corona Heights. If you continue walking south down from the top of Buena Vista, you’ll reach the intersection of Buena Vista Ave and Upper Terrace. Take Upper Terrace a block south to Masonic Ave, turn left on to Masonic Ave until it turns into Roosevelt Way. Roosevelt Way will bring you to the Corona Heights trailhead. The hike is short but steep. At the top of the rocks you’re rewarded with sweeping views of the city. The photos below are from Corona Heights.
Stow Lake and Strawberry Hill: Nestled in the middle of Golden Gate Park is Stow Lake and Strawberry Hill. The lake surrounds the hill like a moat. There are two bridges on the north and south end that lead you across the lake onto the hill. You can walk the entire permitter of the lake and then cross one of the bridges to hike up to the top of the hill. At the East side of the hill are beautiful waterfalls worth stopping to see. The Lake is a popular tourist attraction so I recommend going earlier or later in the day to avoid crowds! You can also rent paddle boats to take out into the lake.
Lands End Lookout: The Lands End parking lot is a launching spot for multiple great hikes. If you take the Lands End trail at the north of the parking lot, it hooks back into the Costal Trail. Walking along the Costal Trail (headed north-east) there are multiple lookout spots for postcard views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Often I’ll hike to Eagles Point and turn around there. Once you’re on the trail the city noise all but completely disappears and you almost forget that you’re in an urban setting!
What are your favorite hikes? I’m always looking for recommendations. Send me a message or comment below! -Rebecca