Take a Hike To Mount Davidson

Walk through a foggy trail on Mount Davidson in San Francisco November 2023. Joan Walsh/The Guardsman

By Joan Walsh

jwalsh14@mail.ccsf.edu

 

Looking to take a study break? Mount Davidson is a good hike not too far from City College to relax, explore, and unwind.

At 928 feet, Mount Davidson is the highest peak in San Francisco, even more than nearby better-known Twin Peaks. The park contains 40 acres of open space and is a lush wonderland of trees and wilderness right in the middle of urban San Francisco.

Walk through a foggy trail on Mount Davidson in San Francisco November 2023. Joan Walsh/The Guardsman

There are a few different trails to explore walking through the park which has dense foliage. It’s so green here and by being engulfed in trees you feel as if you are in a magical land far away from civilization with just the sounds of birds instead of still being technically located right in the middle of the metropolis. The trails have wild blackberries in the summer and some wildflowers in the spring.

View of Sutro and Twin Peaks on Mount Davidson in San Francisco November 2023. Joan Walsh/The Guardsman

At the top is a large 103-foot white concrete cross which sits in remembrance to the Armenian Genocide of 1915. It lights up every Easter and April 24th which is the Armenian Genocide Memorial Day.  This cross can be seen from many parts of the city.

View of the downtown city skyline on Mount Davidson in San Francisco November 2023. Joan Walsh/The Guardsman
Cross at Mount Davidson in San Francisco November 2023. Joan Walsh/The Guardsman

Mt. Davidson can be a different experience depending on the weather. On a super foggy day, it looks like a fairytale forest and a little eerie and foreboding. This neighborhood is known for thick fog, and it can get quite intense sometimes with more limited visibility.

Trail on Mount Davidson in San Francisco November 2023. Joan Walsh/The Guardsman

On a Sunny day the views are vast of the downtown Skyline, East Bay and San Mateo mountains. These beautiful views can get completely obstructed when it’s foggy.

To make the walk in the park a little longer there are some noteworthy staircases in the neighborhood such as the Dragon Tale and Bengal Alley staircases. The Dragon Tale staircase is a mosaic staircase located off Bella Vista Way and goes up to the back entrance of Miraloma Elementary School. The same designers who designed the Instagrammy 16th Avenue Tiled staircase also did this one, so it has a similar artistic look. The tiles on the stairs depict different leaves and shrubs with the Dragon’s Tale and the side of the staircase on the wall has a colorful mosaic of the dragon breathing fire. The Bengal Staircase called Bengal Alley on the east side of the park on Miraloma Drive are a zig zag pattern going around planter beds then ascending an old cobblestoned stretch of stairs. Altogether it’s around 113 stairs which brings you from Miraloma to Lansdale Ave.

Cobblestone steps on Bengal Alley between Miraloma Drive and Lansdale Ave in San Francisco November 2023. Joan Walsh/The Guardsman
Dragon Tale Staircase in San Francisco November 2023. Joan Walsh/The Guardsman

The 36 Teresita Muni line stops at the Dalewood Way and Myra Way entrance, but it’s also doable as a walk. From City College’s main entrance on Frida Kahlo Way up to the southern facing entrance of the park on Dalewood Way is about 1.2 miles and takes only 35 minutes to get there walking through the hilly Sunnyside and Miraloma neighborhoods.  The park has many different entrances but this one is the closest to City College.

Dragon Tale Staircase in San Francisco November 2023. Joan Walsh/The Guardsman

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