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These urban hikes, ranging from easy to strenuous, lead through some of the most scenic and interesting areas of San Francisco


Garden Staircase Streets

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. This walk takes in a large concentration of such scenic streets and panoramas of the city. Lots of hills and stairs.


Ruins of the Sutro Baths and Land's End

Situated at the base of the Cliff House, the ruins are fun to explore for kids and adults alike, and they're FREE. From here you can take cliffside trails through cypress forests that will make you feel miles from the urban landscape. Relatively easy.


Mission Murals

These colorful, free outdoor museums are scattered throughout San Francisco but are concentrated in the Mission. Some are enormous and quite spectacular in person. Easy walk.
Castro Murals — Easy walk to view 7 large murals.


Unusual Streets of Telegraph Hill

This walk takes in some of San Francisco's more unusual streets, such as the beautifully landscaped Filbert Steps. A great urban hike for the fit, with panoramas of the Bay and city. Lots of hills and stairs.


Unusual Streets of Russian Hill

This walk takes in some of San Francisco's more unusual streets, such as Macondray Lane (Armistad Maupin's "Tales of the City") and curvaceous Lombard Street. A great urban hike for the fit, with lots of hills and stairs.


Marina and Presidio Marsh Walk

This easy walk starts at Fort Mason, proceeding along the Marina Green past kite flyers and vollyeball players, then into the Presidio past a marsh, sandy beaches, wind surfers and joggers. All level ground, and length can be tailored to time and ability.


Garden Streets of Bernal Heights

Bernal Heights rises at the southern end of the Mission with an undeveloped park at its summit. The charming, low-key neighborhood is dotted with neighborhood gardens. Its warren of narrow streets zig-zag around the hill, sometimes seeming almost rustic and recalling a San Francisco from long ago.


Earthquake Walk

Experience the 1865 and 1906 earthquakes, retracing the steps of historical personalities and other eyewitness accounts. The self-guided walk visits historical sites and structures in the South of Market district, an easy walk covering flat ground.

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City Guides
These guided walking tours cover various parts of the city and offer fascinating historical, architectural and contemporary information. Of particular note are Victorian San Francisco, Mission Dolores neighborhood, Mission Murals and Gold Rush San Francisco. Reservations are not required except for parties over 8. A small donation for the volunteer guide is requested. For a full schedule of tours and times, pick up a brochure at anyof the city's libraries, call (415) 557-4266, or check the website: www.sfcityguides.org.

Stairway Walks in San Francisco
Excellent book that details all of the city's stairways and maps out a multitude of interesting walks in various neighborhoods. Written by Adah Bakalinsky, "queen of San Francisco's majestic, exotic, quirky, and quotidian stairways." Available from Amazon.com

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Updated 9/12/04