Cross It Off Your Bucket List

Hike the Crosstown Trail in San Francisco

Crosstown Trail San Francisco may be one of the most beautiful city walks in America. It passes through many of the less-visited nooks and crannies while also taking in the greatest hits. Cutting diagonally across San Francisco from Candlestick Point in the southeast up to Lands End in the northwest, the entire journey is just under 17 miles, with a variety of terrain from sidewalks to stairways and dirt trails. 

And the views? Well, there are multiple spots where the word “sweeping” comes to mind—like Grandview Park. If you don’t want to knock it all out in one day, we recommend this 7-mile hike from Glen Park BART to the Rose Garden in Golden Gate Park. It combines Sections 2 through 4 as defined on the official Crosstown Trail site (you’ll definitely want to download a map, directions, and even the app to stay on the route). 

This section is generally lightly trafficked. Grab a coffee in Glen Park, then start walking to its namesake park, winding up through it, joining some residential streets, and continuing through the trails at Laguna Honda. The quiet streets of the Forest Hill neighborhood are perfect for walking.

From here you make your way north, taking in Grandview Park and San Francisco’s most Instagrammed staircase—the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps (okay, so you will see tourists here, lots of them). Tip: The equally beautiful Hidden Garden Tiled Steps are just a couple of blocks away and not nearly as busy. The homestretch takes you through Golden Gate Park. Watch the paddleboats and ducks at Stow Lake for a little meditative time. When you reach the Rose Garden, you’ll have wandered about 7 miles—well done! 

The Crosstown Trail website has great information on this hike. You can take MUNI to various parts of the trail: Here’s transit info for the Crosstown Trail. Dog-friendly!

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