Wind your way through Buena Vista Park's stands of coast live oak as you follow the trail to its peak. Named for its beautiful views, observe city landmarks from the peaceful woods atop San Francisco's oldest park.
An island of green in the midst of busy neighborhoods, Buena Vista Park—San Francisco’s oldest—offers 36 acres of forested land crisscrossed by trails. An ideal destination for a morning stroll or casual urban hike, trails gently traverse the slope, climbing 300 feet to the crest of the hill. From the grassy meadow at the top of the park, branches frame views of the city skyline to the east and the Golden Gate Bridge to the north. Hike a peaceful loop on the park’s well-maintained trails to stretch your legs and escape the bustle of the city without ever leaving.
What Makes It Great
San Francisco park-goers flock to the bald slopes of Corona Heights Park directly south of Buena Vista for panoramic views, to Dolores Park to see and be seen, and to Golden Gate and the Presidio for recreation and longer trails--often overlooking the subtle beauty of Buena Vista Park. While you will have difficulty mapping a route longer than about one mile, the gentle, shady trails of the park make for a relaxing urban hiking experience.
You can access the park's trails from several entrances around the perimeter. Consider starting from Upper Terrace Road and following the paved path as it traces the hillside, winding its way to the crest of the hill and the unexpected views of the city skyline and the Golden Gate Bridge. Descend towards the main park entrance just off Haight Street, appreciating the ancient oak trees in the park's north end. Either exit the park into the Victorian neighborhoods of Haight-Ashbury, or follow the trails south to return to complete a loop.
Who is Going to Love It
Urban hikers looking for an easy trail, families, morning dog walkers, anyone looking to escape the city for a few minutes will Buena Vista Park offers gentle trails, some of which are paved, making the park accessible for almost anyone.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
Parking can be tricky to find on neighborhood streets. Allow enough time to look for parking, and bring a few quarters in case you park in a metered spot.