Garden Staircase Streets Urban Explorations Castro Home

• Views over the city
• Views of ocean, Presidio
• Gardens and quaint streets

Somewhat difficult with many hills and stairs
2 hours
The urban grid imposed on San Francisco’s hills has helped create one of the city’s best charms: streets transformed into staircases and gardens. A large concentration of these dot the hills surrounding the Castro. This walk takes in some of the more scenic streets and panoramas of the city.

Printable Map (pdf file)

Updated 11/7/01


• Start at intersection of Market and Castro Streets at MUNI subway entrance.
• Cross Market Street and make immediate left in front of gas station onto 17th Street.
• Right on Ord Street.
• Go 1/2 block and climb Saturn Steps to your left.

Saturn Steps
The block-long steps and landings on this hillside pass gardens and homes.

• At top of steps, continue 1 block on sidewalk built into hillside with small sets of steps.
• Look for steps to your right and climb them to Lower Terrace Street.
• Continue directly ahead about 1 block on Lower Terrace as street curves around to Levant Street.
• Right on Levant Street.
• Go 1/2 block and walk down Vulcan Steps on your right.

Vulcan Steps
This beautiful block of gently cascading steps passes through gardens with paths leading to cottages on either side.

• At bottom of Vulcan Steps, turn right on Ord Street.
• Right on 17th Street and continue up hill.
• At traffic light, turn left on Twin Peaks Boulevard.
• Go about 4 blocks on curving Twin Peaks Boulevard and turn left on Crown Terrace Street.
• When you reach Crown Terrace Street, (to the left), climb stairs to your right up to hilltop park for magnificent views of the city and Presidio.
• Descend from park back to Twin Peaks Boulevard and cross street onto Crown Terrace Street.
• Go 1/2 block and turn left to descend Pembertop Steps.

Pemberton Steps
These garden steps are 3 blocks long, crossing 2 streets, with houses on either side.

• At bottom of steps, turn right on Corbett Street.
• Descend the stairs to your left which are across the street from Iron Street (small street on right).

Iron Street Steps
These wooden stairs descend one block steeply down the hillside, with houses on either side.

• At bottom of steps, turn right on Clayton Street, which merges onto Market Street.
• Continue on sidewalk, which rises above the street level then rejoins street level.
• Sidewalk rises above street level again and intersects Romain Street.
• Turn left and cross pedestrian overpass.
• Continue down Romain Street.
• Left where street ends at Douglas Street and walk 1 block.
• Where Douglas intersects Corbin Street, descend steps and cross street.
• Descend the Douglas Steps.

Douglas Steps
Houses stagger the hillside on your right with a garden on your left.
---if you can' handle any more hills, continue on Douglas 3 blocks, turn right on Market Street, and proceed 4 blocks back to your starting point.

To continue:
• At bottom of steps turn right on 20th Street.
• Pass by Collingwood Street with stairs cut into the sidewalk to your right.
• Where 20th Street stops at Noe Street, cross street and climb 20th Street Steps.

20th Street Steps
The steps and landings are lined with houses on your left.

• Continue 1 block on 20th Street.
• At end of street, descend stairs.
• At bottom of stairs, turn right on Sanchez Street and walk 1 block.
• Right on Liberty Street and walk 1 block.
• At end of street, descend Liberty Street Steps.

Liberty Street Steps
The hillside is landscaped and walkways go off on either side to Art Deco condos.

• At bottom of steps, turn right on Noe Street and walk 3 blocks.
• Left on 17th Street and walk 1 block back to your starting point.