Get a New View of San Francisco via the Crosstown Trail
- City Sophistication
- Photo Ops
Get an intimate, beyond-the-guidebooks view of San Francisco by walking the 17-mile Crosstown Trail. You’ll discover hilltop views, natural greenbelts and open spaces, public art, parks, residential neighborhoods, and even a farm.
Whether this is your first trip to San Francisco or your tenth, the Crosstown Trail is a great way to see the city. The trail traverses the city diagonally, starting near the bay in the southeast corner and ends at the beaches in the northwest corner near the Golden Gate Bridge. You can travel in either direction, but most people prefer to reward themselves with an ocean view at the end.
Walking the whole trail in one day is achievable but strenuous. If you choose to break it up, five defined sections vary in length from two to five miles. Each part has a few must-see highlights. The beautiful and peaceful Visitacion Valley Greenway is one of the stars of section one. In section two, Glen Park Canyon will make you forget that you’re in the middle of a bustling city. In section three, be prepared to climb some stairs! This hilly area offers incredible views in all directions, and the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps public art project will brighten your Instagram. Section four goes through Golden Gate Park. And finally, section five finishes at the coast at Land’s End.
There’s lots more to see than those highlights, but the fun lies in discovering them yourself!
Arrive on Friday so that you have the entire day on Saturday to walk the trail, especially if you plan to hike the whole route. You can stay anywhere in the city and take public transportation to your start and endpoints.
You can expand this trip to include a visit to Crissy Field or Cavallo Point.
Things to Do
- Walk or bike the Crosstown Trail.
- Take photos at the numerous scenic spots.
- Eat and drink at restaurants and cafes near the trail, and then reward yourself with dinner at a world-class restaurant.
When to Go
San Francisco’s dry season runs from May through October. Fall is particularly nice because it’s less foggy.
It’s free to hike the Crosstown Trail.