Mount Davidson, at 927 feet, is the highest point in San Francisco. Mount Davidson Park is often overlooked as a hiking (or really, walking) destination; most people know this parcel of land as the hill with the cross on top. Although the cross and the land immediately surrounding it no longer belong to the City of San Francisco, the whole mountain top is laced with trails and one wide fire road. Some paths lead down to the edges of the park, and if you really get the itch to explore Mount Davidson, you might want to drive on the streets that circumnavigate the mountain and look for steps leading uphill.
The 40 acre park has expansive views south to San Bruno and the main trail at Mount Davidson north to the city skyline, but I enjoyed visiting Mount Davidson on a foggy summer day. The sound of the wind blocked noise from the surrounding city, and all that I could hear was sporadic bird song. Soft pale billowing fog wrapped around the mountain, making me feel far from San Francisco.
Start at the park gate and head uphill on the main trail, a broad dirt fire road. A eucalyptus forest obstructs any views. Blackberry bushes are common, and there's a lot of red elderberry, ivy, and cotoneaster. Small paths depart from both sides of the trail; all are options if you'd like to explore Mount Davidson, but for the quickest trip to the top, stay on the gently graded main trail. At 0.24 mile, the trail ends at a broad bare spot. A break in the tree cover permits views of the downtown skyline to the north. A rough path continues downhill, but turn around and head toward the cross. Look for an unmarked small path to the left. After a few steps the trail splits; stay to the right. The narrow path squeezes through blackberry and cotoneaster. After descending on some stone steps, the path meets the main trail. Turn left and return to the trailhead. The address of the Cross site is 125 Dalewood Way, San Francisco, California 94127-1606.
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Historic Walking Tours by Jacquie Proctor
Site source of info on trail:
Get driving or public transit directions from Transit and Trails:
125 Dalewood Way, San Francisco, California 94127-1606