When I first moved to SF a college friend described it well, “In New York City when someone asks you about your weekend, you tell them what you did at night. In SF you tell them what you did during the day.” That was about 20 years ago and I still think about it all the time. While we do have the best restaurants in the country (take that NYC!), it’s SF’s proximity and access to nature that makes us gush with delight.
The beach is always in reach and great skiing is just a few hours drive, but it’s the inner-city hiking that gets me time and again. Offering killer views, a great workout and lush surroundings, a hike up Mt. Davidson is the perfect immediate getaway from the hustle and bustle of city living. And after 2 weeks of rain, you can bet you’ll find me and my pup charging up the trails later today.
At 938 feet, Mt. Davidson is actually the highest point in SF. That means if you start your hike from West Portal (like I do), it can be quite the thigh burner. Head South on the footbridge over Portola and continue up Marne. You’ll see a stone staircase on your right hand side. Enter here.
While there is a leash law on Mt. Davidson, this is an ideal romp for any furry friend. (I’m not going to lie, you will find plenty of Fido’s running freely.) Trails traverse the mountain, criss-crossing in a variety of different ways, each revealing a different vantage point. At the top a massive cross marks the top of the trail. That little piece of land is a memorial for the Armenian Genocide during World War I and serves as an ideal spot for a deep breath and brief meditation. New York may have brought us Soul Cycle, but on a sunny SF day this is a natural choice for locals looking to find their inner peace.
Mt. Davidson, Miraloma Park, SF, CA.