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 (4)

THE PRESIDIO: The Search for Goldsworthy's (with a Blue Angels picnic)

October 9th is the Sunday of Fleet Week, and the last chance to see the air show featuring the United States Navy Blue Angels, the Air Force’s F-16, and Wingsuit Divers, and the Navy Parachute Team. City Steppers looking for a full day of fun can combine these events with one of my favorite San Francisco walks.

The Presidio is a wonderful national park, smack dab in the middle of the city. The artist Andrew Goldsworthy, who also created the sculpture outside the De Young museum, has created four site-specific pieces for the Presidio. They're tough to find these days, as some are inside closed buildings.

WE START WALKING AT 9:45 AM SHARP. We'll meet at the TRANSIT CENTER (restrooms) near the Main Post. Please arrive a few minutes early to check in and use the facilities.

Our route will take us past the installation TREE FALL. It's been closed for the duration, but if there's a docent there, they will let us take a peek (no promises). From there it's The Officers' Club to see the latest piece, EARTH WALL. A half-sphere of tree branches on the exterior wall covered by a rammed earth and then chiseled to reveal the sphere. We may have t peek through a window for this one.

Taking a detour from The Goldsworthy's we'll pass the lovely Inn at The Presidio, and follow a series of small paths up towards El Polin Spring, home to many birds and butterflies. From there it's a slight detour past the new Paul Goode Field to the Broadway entry where we'll experience the latest vista point, still being developed. Then we'll cross over to meet up with the WOOD LINE piece. This installation is completely interactive, and by walking along it we become part of the artwork.

The next part of our walk takes us along Lovers' Lane, to West Pacific, and up to West Pacific Playground (restrooms).

We'll cross The Bay Trail and head over to SPIRE, the first installation created in the park, using 38 Cypress trunks and reaching over 90 feet tall. Vandals attacked this installation, so we'll see the still-standing burned out shell of Goldsworthy's vision.

After we finish at Spire, we'll stop for a moment at Inspiration Point. It lives up to its name. Then we'll head along the extremely beautiful and peaceful Ecology Trail. This path of pristine wilderness will take us back to the Main Post.

This is an easy to moderate walk, with a few small uphills and staircases. Most of the walk is along paths, but we go through some dirt sections and one short make-your-own-path hillside. The walk should take about 2 1/2 hours, depending on how much we dilly-dally. Dogs are always welcome on these walks. Presidio rules require they be on leash.

After the walk we end up back at the Main Post just as the airshow begins. Bring a blanket or chair to sit on, and join the festivities. Just in time for lunch! There will be a separate announcement with info about this event. We can drop off our chairs and picnics with ASH Who will keep an eye on them, so we will be able to enjoy our hike unencumbered.

The air show starts at 12:00 Noon, with the Blue Angels flying between 3:00-4:00PM. We should be able to see most of the show from the Main Post Parade Grounds. There's always plenty to do before the big show.


GETTING THERE: MUNI Line #43 (Masonic) stops at the Transit Center. The next closest bus is Muni Line #45 (Union) which stops just outside the Presidio at Union and Lyon. Bus #28 (19th Avenue) takes you to Richardson/Lombard, and bus #30 (Stockton) goes to Chestnut and Divisadero just a few blocks from the Lombard Gate. Parking is plentiful, and although free parking can be difficult to find, we'll be early enough that you should be able to get parking at the Main Post for a reasonable fee (all-day maxes at $11.50). Even arriving early, this event will fill up fast. Give yourself plenty of time.
The FREE Presidigo Downtown Shuttle arrives at the Main Post around 9:55 AM. You should be able to see us still walking towards Tree Fall, but you'll have to hustle. This is probably the best option for BART users. EXPECT THIS SHUTTLE TO BE VERY BUSY, ESPECIALLY FOR THE RIDE BACK


This group does not accommodate no-shows or crashers. Don't do it. City Steppers who no-show or late cancel can be removed from the group without warning.


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 Walking with a group during a pandemic brings additional risks.

Dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes.
Water- there are a couple of places you can refill along the route
A picnic lunch and a blanket or lawn chair of you have one
Your camera for the views and binoculars for the show.

BLUE ANGELS PICNIC at the Presidio Parade Grounds

Needs a location

Come enjoy the airshow and the Blue Angels with other City Steppers on the Sunday of Fleet Week.

We have a hike scheduled for the morning, and we limit the number of people for that, but not for the picnic that follows. Everyone in the group is welcome to join us as we watch Fat Albert, a C-17, The Navy LeapFrogs and many others, including the fabulous Blue Angels finale.

NO NEED TO RSVP FOR THIS EVENT. DROP IN ANYIME AFTER 12:30 . LOOK FOR OUR BANNER AND A LIGHT BLUE POP UP TENT. I've opened up RSVPS because under Meetup's new system, it's the only way to leave a comment or "Chat" (you have to be registered for the event to see chat).

If you arrive a bit early, just look for our spot and drop off your picnic items- chairs, bags, coolers--whatever you bring, with ASH who will be holding our spot. WE WILL SET UP NEAR THE FRONT of the Parade Grounds, by the Walt Disney Museum and the Visitor Center.

In the past, there have been a few food trucks at the Main Post, but I'm not sure about this year. It's more likely they'll be at Tunnel Tops and will be extremely busy. BRING A PICNIC LUNCH and a CHAIR OR BLANKET to sit on. Presidio guidelines allow alcoholic beverages, but not glass bottles, so bring your cans of bubbly to this one. No fires allowed, so leave smokey joe at home.

Well behaved dogs ON LEASH are welcome to join us. Note that the crowds and noise from the airshow can overwhelm them.

How to get there:
DRIVING: Follow Lombard to Letterman Avenue, then turn right at Lincoln. From 25th Avenue (Baker Beach) follow Lincoln through the park to Graham. Parking is $2.50 per hour and maxes out at $15.00 but is likely to fill up quickly at the parade ground. Try the lot at Presidio Way just past Letterman, or the YMCA lot (watch for posted limits).
BY SHUTTLE: The free Downtown Presidigo Shuttle leaves the Transbay Terminal every hour (at the :30) It stops at Embarcadero Bart then Van Ness at Union before arriving at the Transit Center. The ride takes about 25 minutes. I EXPECT THIS SHUTTLE WILL BE VERY FULL, ESPECIALLY FOR THE RIDE HOME.

Another option is to take the #1 (California) or 28 (19th Avenue) to Park Presidio/California, enter the park at 14th and Lake, then walk to Wedemeyer Street to catch the Presidigo Presidio Hills shuttle. It leaves building 1450 every 1/2 hour (on the :19 or :49) and takes about 10 minutes.

BY BUS: Muni Line #43 (Masonic) stops at the Transit Center, just across from the Parade Grounds. THIS BUS WILL ALSO FILL UP QUICKLY.
The next closest MUNI bus is #45 Union which ends its run just outside The Lombard Gate at Lyon and Filbert. The #28 (19th Avenue) stops at Richardson and Divisadero or Francisco. The #30 Stockton is a few blocks away with a stop at Broderick and Chestnut.

We hope to see everyone there for this fun annual event. Friends and family are also encouraged to attend.

Playing Tourist: Aquatic Park, North Beach, and Fishermen's Wharf at dusk.

San Francisco's northeast waterfront is mostly known for its hordes of tourists, but when they're not there, we can experience its beauty and charm, and take a peek into the city's past.

We meet in front of the Maritime Museum at the Sala Burton Building at the corner of Beach Street and Polk. WE BEGIN WALKING AT 5:30 on the dot. Please arrive a few minutes early to check in and use the restroom (there's one in Ghirardelli Square. Look for the entrance at the Ghirardelli sign on Polk Street. Walk down the corridor past the brewery, the restroom is on the right).

This walk hits lots of spots normally reserved for the tourists, but filled with beauty that's hiding in plain sight. We'll discover the gardens of Aquatic Park, Pier 39 , and Ghirardelli. Let's find mansions on Russian Hill, and secret pathways to North Beach. We'll get to see the twists and turns of Lombard Street on our own. We'll walk along the waterfront at sunset and find the fishermen of the wharf.

The beginning of the walk has a bit of uphill, and a couple of stairways, but it's downhill to Washington Square Park (restrooms) and mostly flat from there. The walk should take about 2 hours, plus break time. We walk in a loop, so we end at Ghirardelli Square, across from our starting point.

GETTING THERE: The Sala Burton Building is the beautiful Streamline Moderne ship-inspired building at the very end of Polk Street. It's the last stop on the #19 (Polk) Bus, the #49 (Van Ness) ends a block away. Muni lines #30 (Stockton) and #28 (19th Avenue) stop one block away at Polk and North Point. Ghirardelli has a paid garage, but you should be able to find a spot on the street at the end of Beach Street, or near the high school. Watch for time limits and meters, which are in effect durng the school year.

Dogs are always welcome on my walks. Please observe our Doggie guest rules. (http://www.meetup.com/San-Francisco-City-Steps/pages/Doggie_Guest_Rules/)

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

Tourists freeze at the wharf, but we locals know to bring a jacket and dress for the ever-changing weather.
Wear sturdy shoes.
Bring water (and extra for your pup).
A snack you can eat while walking (we won't be taking a break).
Hand sanitizer.
Feel free to bring your camera- we love to see your photos!
Bring your sense of adventure, camaraderie, and fun.

Sunrise on the Golden Gate Bridge and hike to a Sausalito morning

Needs a location

I know, 6:30 in the morning is VERY EARLY, but the sunrise over The City from the bridge is an amazing treat- not to be missed. Let's spend a brisk morning walking across the Golden Gate Bridge. It's absolutely gorgeous, and surprisingly peaceful.

We’ll meet at the SAN FRANCISCO side of the Golden Gate Bridge. We'll be in the little space in front of the restrooms (which might not be open- but the porta-potties will be) We'll take off exactly at 6:30 so we can watch the sun rise as we cross the bridge. This part of the walk takes about 45 minutes, so we should hit the Marin side just as the sun finishes its ascent. We'll take a short break to ooh and aah (also: restrooms) before hitting the trails to Sausalito.

San Francisco will be glistening behind us as we hike SCA Trail at that time of day. This trail winds over the hillside of the Marin Headlands, with views in every direction. It's a hiking trail, not a paved fire trail, so expect uneven terrain with occasional rocks, roots, and wooden stairways. There are some uphill sections, mostly at the beginning, but none particularly steep for long, and the payoff of the view is worth it! We should have the trail almost entirely to ourselves.
The SCA trail veers into the Alta Trail, and finally the (appropriately named) Morning Sun Trail to the Spencer lot at the top ridge of Sausalito. We cross a very haphazard road, then we'll stop in Cloud View for a quick break before heading down the hidden stairs of Sausalito to Bridgeway.

This walk should take just about 3 hours. By then you'll be hungry, and Sausalito will be waking up and ready for brunch. There are multiple cafes and restaurants waiting to serve you. Also, Lepperts Ice Cream, which opens at 9:00.

MUNI bus #28 leaves DALY CITY BART and 5:40 and arrives at the bridge at 6:07 (there's also one at 6:00 that arrives at 6:28, but that's cutting it close).
From the other direction, it starts Van Ness and Beach, leaving at 6:00 and arriving at 6:11 (or leave at 6:20, arrive at 6:31. You'll have to run to catch us)

DRIVING/PARKING: The bridge main lot is closed on weekends. I think your best bet might be the Employee Overflow lot on the WEST side of the toll plaza, at $5 per day. The information I have shows that it is open on weekends, but double-check with Golden Gate Transit https://www.goldengate.org/bridge/visiting-the-bridge/directions-parking/

GETTING BACK FROM SAUSALITO: Well, you could walk (taking South Street to East Road), but it's mostly uphill.
BUS: GOLDEN GATE TRANSIT bus #130 leaves El Portal at Bridgeway (next to the Wells Fargo) once an hour at :27 past. It takes about 20 minutes to get to the Golden Gate Bridge Parking Lot, then has stops along Lombard, Van Ness, Civic Center and the Transbay Terminal. $8 cash or $6.40 with the tap on/tap off Clipper system.

FERRY: The Golden Gate Ferry leaves Sausalito at 11:20 and arrives at the Ferry Building at 11:50 ($14 / or $7.50 with Clipper). https://www.goldengate.org/ferry/route-schedule/sausalito-san-francisco Blue and Gold Ferry departs at 12:30 ($14.25/$8.50 senior. No Clipper).

PLEASE NOTE: If you park in the Golden Gate Bridge lot, the ferries drop you far from your car and you will probably have to take a cab to it.

DRESS IN LAYERS has never been more true. It will be dark and cold when we start our walk. The bridge can be windy. Bring a warm jacket, hat, scarf. etc. I would also bring a sweatshirt for when it warms up.
COFFEE?: The coffee shops at the bridge will NOT be open. If you need your cup of coffee in the morning, it's best to make a thermos-full and bring it with you. Likewise a snack.
CAMERA: Oh yes. My crummy camera took some really great pictures. If you have a good camera, you will be very happy you brought it. Please note that this is NOT A photography group, so we won't be taking long stops for vista shots
WALKING POLES: The trail can be steep and uneven. Poles aren't necessary, but could be handy.
CLIPPER CARD for the ride home. You can download one to your phone.

DOGS are NOT ALLOWED on the Golden Gate Bridge (just as well, as the noise would be very difficult for them) so it’s not possible to bring one on this walk.

WEATHER/CONDITIONS:The weather forecast calls for clear, but a week away things could change. If we have a huge storm this week the SCA Trail will be too muddy, so we'll re-route and take walkable surface roads to Sausalito.
If the same-day weather is not cooperative and we have rain, strong winds, or extremely dense fog we’ll reschedule the walk. I’ll make that decision either the night before or by 5:00 AM on the day of the walk, and send everyone a message. I’ll also update the Meetup page.

ATTENDANCE- 6:30 is early, so be realistic about the likelihood that you'll get there. This group takes its attendance policy seriously. We try to keep our walks to a comfortable number of people, and to do so we need cooperation from the membership.

  • NO-SHOW and LATE CANCEL- If you add a guest who doesn’t come- that’s a no-show on your record.
  • CRASHERS You must RSVP “ yes” to attend this walk. This includes any guests.
  • CHRONIC CANCELERS (or “place-holders”) We know who you are

You are responsible for your safety on all City Steps Meetup events. Your yes RSVP indicates that you have read and agreed to our Liability Waiver

Photos (15,453)