Hiking Through Mount Sutro Forest by Tony Holiday (Part I)

Tony Holiday is a San Francisco resident who likes hiking the area. This is republished with permission and minor changes from “Both Historic Trails” on his blog, Stairways are Heaven.

This, the first of two articles, describes a hike that starts at the trailhead on Stanyan just above 17th, and ends at Parnassus near the UCSF campus.


(May 18, 2013)

Mount Sutro’s lower Historic Trail (Interior Greenbelt Park) begins at Stanyan (across from 17th), where another of those park trail infosigns has been added (first pic), and climbs up through the Interior Greenbelt part of the forest.

Trailhead at Stanyan above 17th - Tony Holiday

Two more new signs have been added at this trail head: “Quiet please up to the Forest 125′ ” and “Quiet down to the Street 125′ ” (it starts off between homes on Stanyan): second pic. This trail’s between two others just recently hiked.

trailhead at Stanyan - quiet up to the forest - Tony Holiday
The lower Historic winds up ‘n around (pics 3 through 6) and connects with the Fairy Gates and Edgewood Trails.

lower historic trail - Tony Holidaylower historic trail 2 - Tony Holidaylower historic trail 3 - Tony Holidaylower historic trail 4 - Tony HolidayCrossed the road at the end of the Fairy Gates (pic 7) to continue steeply up, past the nursery and onto the short, unmarked Quarry Road Trail. At the end of this is a marker for the upper Historic Trail.

Fairy Gates Trail start - North Ridge trail to left - Tony HolidayPaused for lunch on the Historic at a favorite rock just off the trail (pics 8 and 9), curving around to the north with the hospital buildings seen below through the trees, and down to the road.
Upper Historic Trail - Tony HolidayUpper Historic Trail - Road below is Medical Center Way - Tony HolidayA THEN pic (10): the grand opening of the newly discovered and renovated Historic Trail back in 2007, a free grouphike.

THE 2007 Grand Opening of newly discovered Historic Trail - Tony HolidayThis was the way we first reached the trail back then, alongside the tank; now the trailhead looks like this: pic 11.

NOW - Trailhead for Historic Trail up from Medical Center Way - Tony HolidayFrom here it’s a short distance through the permits-only parking lot to descend the attractive wood-railed, wood-and-concrete stairway (135 steps: pics 12 through 16).

North stairs up from Medical Center Way - Tony HolidayUp to the permits-only parking lot - Tony Holiday135 steps on this side - Tony HolidayStairs up into the forest - Tony HolidayPartway up - Tony HolidayAt the foot, just follow Medical Center Way around from the backs of the hospital buildings out to busy Parnassus.


[Edited to Add: These maps may help to trace the route.]

Save Sutro Forest Trail Map

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3 Responses to Hiking Through Mount Sutro Forest by Tony Holiday (Part I)

  1. Pingback: Hiking through Mount Sutro Forest – Tony Holiday (Part 2) | Save Mount Sutro Forest

  2. The Sutro Forest should be left alone as is. To destroy it would be a disgrace to nature.

  3. LC says:

    I agree with you Richard! They’ve already partially dried it out with the cutting they’ve done. Enough is enough. It’s gorgeous inside and from all over the city. A truly beautiful sight.

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