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The hillside neighborhoods West of Twin Peaks

  • Jun 14, 2014 · 10:00 AM
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The neighborhoods west of Twin Peaks are known for their terraced an landscaped walkways, stairways, and gardens.  On this walk, we'll visit two forests and a wood- the neighborhoods of Forest Hills, Sherwood Forest and St Francis Wood.  Each of them has a Homeowners Association or neighborhood group dedicated to creating  beautiful, natural surroundings.

We meet at the steps of the West Portal Library at Ulloa and Lenox.  It is immediately to the right of West Portal Station as you exit.  West Portal station is easily accessible by public transportation.  Lines K, L, & M stop at the station, lines 17 (Park Merced), and #48 (Quintara) stop directly in front (if you've never taken the #48, you should give it a try.  The switchbacks and views  on Grandview are pretty amazing). West Portal Avenue has metered spots, plus two paid lots. Residential side streets offer free parking, but tend to fill up.

We meet at 10:00 AM, and after checking in, begin walking at 10:10.  This walk goes up mostly moderate to steep hills and pathways, and has several up and down stairways.  We go down the Grand Staircase on Pacheco.  Along the way we'll visit a variety of tree-lined and well maintained streets lined with single family homes, fountains,  a Maybeck-designed clubhouse and garden, the Bengal Alley Street Park, and  private,  members-only parks.

We will be walking through hilly neighborhoods known for their winding streets, passageways and stairs.  The walk veers towards the strenuous side, but we walk at a steady, moderate pace, taking breaks as needed.  I always think these walks will take about 2- 1/2 hours, but they tend to run a bit longer.  We start and end on West Portal Avenue, which is a hub for the entire area and has an assortment of cafes and restaurants.  I don't think there are any bathrooms on the route, so plan accordingly.   This is the foggy side of town.  You know what San Franciscans always say -- dress in layers!

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No showing and late cancelling (considered the same as a no show) prevents people on the waiting list from joining us. Don't do it. City Steppers who no-show will be removed from the group without warning. Review our attendance policy here.


Well-behaved dogs are welcome on this walk. See our doggie guest rules here.


You are responsible for your own safety on all City Steps walks. Your yes RSVP confirms that you have read and agree to our Liability Waiver Here and have reviewed our Safety Tips Here.

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  • Sue S.

    Another beautiful day with perfect weather. Thanks Elizabeth.

    June 15, 2014

  • Kristine C.

    I was fascinated by the architecture and neighborhood history.

    June 14, 2014

  • Debi L

    Excellent walk, but no bathrooms along the way. My Fitbit shows that we did 119 staircases and 7.8 miles, so good job everyone!

    June 14, 2014

  • Joan S

    Thanks for showing us some great hidden steps!

    June 14, 2014

  • Elizabeth

    Thanks, everyone, for joining us on this warmer-than-expected day. I had a great time, and I hope you enjoyed discovering the back side of some of San Francisco's hillside neighborhoods.

    June 14, 2014

  • Yang

    I'm running late. How to reach to you guys afterward?

    June 14, 2014

    • Elizabeth

      I'm sorry we missed you. I can't check the Meetup site once we're underway.

      June 14, 2014

  • Yolanda

    Meeting time's 10 AM, right?

    June 4, 2014

    • Elizabeth

      Yes. Just caught that, too. Thanks.

      June 4, 2014

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