What we're about

One day if I do go to heaven--I'll look around and say,
'It ain't bad, but it ain't San Francisco."--Herb Caen

The ocean, the bay, and all that's in between. Impressive hills, hidden staircases, picturesque neighborhoods, historic architecture, awe-inspiring views, nature in the city, local history, colorful characters... Let's explore it all together!

This group is about meeting new people, getting a little exercise, and enjoying our beautiful city. All walks are free.

Late cancellations and no-shows are unkind. We take attendance and we enforce our policies. WE WILL REMOVE PEOPLE FOR FLAKING and this could be your only warning. Be sure to check out important information under PAGES in the white menu bar that goes across the screen including:

>>Safety Tips https://www.meetup.com/San-Francisco-City-Steps/pages/Safety_Tips (https://www.meetup.com/San-Francisco-City-Steps/pages/Safety_Tips/)

>>Waiver and Disclaimer of Liability https://www.meetup.com/San-Francisco-City-Steps/pages/Liability_Disclaimer_and_Waiver/

>>Cancellation & No-Show Policy https://www.meetup.com/San-Francisco-City-Steps/pages/Attendance_Policy_%28No-Shows_and_Cancellations%29

>>Guidelines for City Steps Members https://www.meetup.com/San-Francisco-City-Steps/pages/Guidelines_for_City_Steps_Members/

Our guides are volunteers with no special training or qualifications. Think of them as friends showing you around a place that they enjoy. They are not responsible for your safety or actions or anyone else’s. Participating in San Francisco City Steps is entirely voluntary and you are responsible for your own safety. When you RSVP yes for any City Steps walk, you are confirming that you understand and accept the risks, dangers and hazards of any outdoor activity and you are releasing and discharging the City Steps organizer and guides (including assistant organizers and hosts) against any liability that arises from your participation in our group or its activities.

Key search words: Walk, walking, hike, stroll, climb, outdoors, San Francisco, meet new people, friends, dogs, parks, beach, hills

Upcoming events (2)

Parks, Vistas, and the OTHER Mosaic Tile Staircase...Discover Bayview

Heron's Head Park

The neighborhood of Bayview is full of surprises, including a tiled staircase. Designed and installed by the same people who created the stairway on Moraga, it's based on decorative patterns drawn from various cultures, specifically Adinkra cloth from Ghana, Native American painted pottery, woven pattern from Central America and Middle Eastern tile patterns. The tiles were created by local youths at the nearby Boys and Girls Club. It's a real neighborhood treasure.

Bayview is well-named. We'll see views of the East Bay, the site of the former Candlestick, the downtown skyline, Twin Peaks, and beyond. The neighborhood is full of parks and green (ish) spaces. We'll visit four parks and come across all sorts of surprises...a Living Roof, a sundial, a saltwater marsh, a skate park, up to 100 species of shorebirds, public art, hidden pathways, community gardens, an Opera House and more. There's a lot to discover in Bayview.

We'll meet at Heron's Head Park (the restroom may still be under renovation. Plan accordingly). WE START WALKING AT 11:00 AM SHARP! The walk is mostly moderate with a few short, difficult spots. We'll take our time on the tiled stairway to give ourselves a chance to enjoy and appreciate it. We have a few more uphills, and a couple of stairways, but all of the parks are flat. We walk along paved paths, sidewalks, dirt trails, stairways and shoreline. We'll take a short snack and rest break at Hilltop Park (restrooms). The walk should take about 3 hours, plus break time.

Getting there:

Driving: Heron's Head Park is at the corner of Jennings and Cargo Way, a few blocks past the 3rd Street Corridor near Evans Avenue, south of 280. There are about 20 parking spaces in the park. If the lot is full (the park has a popular, enclosed dog run) neighborhood parking is easy and plentiful, although somewhat isolated as it's an industrial area.

By Bus: Muni Bus #19 (Polk) and #44 (O'Shaughnessy) each have stops a long block away at MiddlePoint and Evans or Acacia. In a pinch the closest "T" Line stop is Evans and Third- from there it's about a 10 minute walk along Evans to Jennings. If you're taking BART --from the East Bay, exit at Civic Center station and take a #19 from 8th and Market. From the South Bay, exit at Glen Park Station and take the #44 from Bosworth and Diamond.

Dogs are always welcome on my walks. I'm not sure this one will be much fun for them as there's lots of sidewalks, and none of the parks are off-leash. doggie guest rules here. (https://www.meetup.com/San-Francisco-City-Steps/pages/Doggie_Guest_Rules/)

Dress for the weather (in layers), wear comfortable walking shoes. Bring plenty of water, hand sanitizer, and a snack for the break. Don't forget your camera. As always, bring your sense of adventure, camaraderie, and fun. All City Steppers are required to bring a mask and wear it if appropriate.

ATTENDANCE: We appreciate your respect for our attendance policy. As a reminder: we mark no-shows and keep track of placeholders and late cancels. We may remove members with consistent attendance blemishes. Space is limited and crashers will be turned away.

WEATHER ALERT: We walk in a little mist or sprinkle, but RAIN or HEAVY WINDS will cancel this walk. I'll make that decision by 9:00 AM (or the night before if it's stormy) and send an email. The Meetup page will also be updated.

Milling About Mill Valley's Trails, Paths, and Stairways.

Mill Valley Depot

Nested in the shadow of Mt Tam and surrounded by beautiful wooded canyons, Mill Valley has the charm of a small European town and all the amenities of an urban city. True to its roots as a former logging center, the hillsides around the town are circled with redwood and cypress filled trails, paths, and stairways.

We'll meet at the commercial center of Mill Valley- at the corner of Miller & Sunnyside (restroom across from the bank). WE LEAVE AT 11:15 ON THE DOT. This little plaza beside the former train depot (and now coffeeshop/bookstore) has one of Mill Valley's famous gravity cars which took holidayers up and down Mt Tam. As we leave the village square, the neighborhoods become more residential and we'll see some of downtown's most charming l architecture.

The city has an abundance of parks and trails. We'll start by visiting the THREE WELLS TRAIL, a marvelous formation of three circular cascading pools formed in rocks along the creek. At the trail end, we enter the pathway to CASCADE CANYON FALLS. I think the waterfall will be in full force. We leave Cascade Falls and head back towards the TENDERFOOT TRAIL. This old logging road is the longest section of our hike- the 1.5 mile trail crosses multiple creeks, mostly on small bridges, along the canyon. Though the ridge is steep, the path meanders along its contour, providing a pleasant easy-walking grade. The forest is thick native trees. The trail lets out on the road to the PANORAMIC HIGHWAY, which lives up to its name- the views are breathtaking. It's here that we'll take a short "restroom and rest" break. We go back down to town via the PIPLEINE TRAIL which weaves around a deep ravine (and has remnants of the old piping system throughout). The trail lets out to a county road, which we follow to the DIPSEA TRAIL and go down the famous DIPSEA STEPS. These 600+ steps in three sections are comprised of stone, pavement, railway ties, wood, and sand. World class runners from all over come to "run the Dipsea' on these beautiful stairways (the elite runers go up- we'll be going down). At last, the trail takes us to Old Mill Park and we return to our starting point in downtown Mill Valley.

I AM RATING THIS AS A "MODERATE" WALK more for terrain than for elevation. There are a few steep sections, but they're short and easily navigated. Most of the walk will be on unpaved trails. These trails are covered with exposed roots, rocks, stones, and redwood tree needles and twigs. They are not smooth fire lanes, but often narrow, and may be slippery if we go past mud. We will walk at a moderate pace, being extra careful in the tricky sections, but it is very important that you be able to navigate these uphill, unsteady, and uneven trails if you sign up for the walk.

I expect it will take about 4 hours depending on break time. There is no easy "turn-back" spot. There will be a quick restroom stop near the beginning, then one more about 2 1/2 hours in to the walk.

Lunch or snack for the break
A towel or blanket to sit on at the break
Walking poles if you use them
Hand sanitizer
Dress for the weather and wear sturdy shoes.

GETTING THERE: Mill Valley is a 20-30 minute drive from downtown San Francisco. Follow Highway 1 North over the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin. Take the Sausaito/Mill Valley exit and follow the signs to Throckmorton/Miller Streets.

PARKING- unlimited, free parking can be found on the hillside streets above the square. You should be able to find something a few blocks away from our starting point. Next to the square is a paid parking lot with an attendant. The rate is $15 all day with in-and-out privileges. DO NOT PARK IN THE METERED SPACES IMMEDIATELY ADJACENT TO THE SQUARE. They have a 2 hour limit and you will be ticketed.

CARPOOL- Between parking, gas, and the bridge toll, it makes sense to carpool. But be careful and consider only taking someone you already know. If feel comfortable offering someone a ride, please fo so.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION- it's possible, but it takes a while. Golden Gate Transit Bus #70 (Novato/north) leaves the SalesforceTerminal at 9:41 AM (with stops through the Civic Center and along Van Ness and Lombard. Check GOOGLE MAPS PLANNER for your closest stop). It arrives in Marin City/Donahue and Terners at 10:26 AM. From there you transfer to Marin Transit bus #17 (San Rafael/north) at 10.39 AM. It arrives at Sunnyside and Miller at 10:58. It obviously takes a lot longer to get there on the bus, but GGT buses are pretty nice and they have wi-fi.

ATTENDANCE: This group takes its attendance policy seriously. Please only RSVP if you intend to attend, and update your RSVP if you have a change of plans. We try to keep our walks to a comfortable number of people, and to do so we need cooperation from the membership. I have to keep the numbers low for this walk- there will be times we walk single file along a narrow path.

Dogs: Dogs are always welcome on my walks. This one is along a combination of streets and trails, and it's a long walk, so please make sure your dog is up for it. The Tenderfoot Trail is on-leash and I understand that they do ticket because of the off-road bicycle use. 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 (https://www.meetup.com/San-Francisco-City-Steps/pages/Liability_Disclaimer_and_Waiver/) and have reviewed our Safety Tips Here (https://www.meetup.com/San-Francisco-City-Steps/pages/Safety_Tips/).

AFTER THE WALK- The village of Mill Valley is charming and filled with a wide variety of restaurants, shops, cafes and stores. It's a lovely spot for a late lunch, early dinner, or picnic in the park.

We walk in a mist or drizzle, but rain cancels.

Past events (549)

The hillside neighborhoods West of Twin Peaks

West Portal Branch Library

Photos (14,252)