Classic San Francisco and Coit Tower Walk

San Francisco is best explored on foot. There are 47 named hills in San Francisco, and with all of these hills come a large variety of pedestrian staircases. This one-mile San Francisco Coit Tower walk explores the scenic stairways that lead from the Embarcadero waterfront to Coit Tower before ending in North Beach.

The stairs leading to Coit Tower have inspired visitors and residents for generations. With sweeping views of Alcatraz and the Bay these stairs have inspired moviemakers and set the scene for many events in Armistead Maupin’s literary hits. This one-mile walk leads you up the classic wooden stairs of Filbert Street before continuing on the red brick of the Greenwich steps. Visitors have a chance to take in the views and famous murals of Coit Tower before heading down to North Beach and ending at Washington Square Park.

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The Trailhead

The walk begins at Levi’s Plaza, easily found between Sansome Street and the Embarcadero.

The Route

From your starting point, you'll see the San Francisco's Coit Tower looming high on the hill in front of you. From the Embarcadero walk through Levi’s Plaza Park and cross Sansome Street. Begin your stairway walk by walking up the concrete staircase at the end of Filbert Street. The concrete stairs will soon lead you to a wooden staircase surrounded by lush landscaping and private gardens. Make a right onto Montgomery Street, follow the street until it dead ends, and then take the brick Greenwich steps up to Coit Tower. When you reach the tower you will follow the pedestrian path past the tower and to the left to connect with the Filbert Street stairs that lead into North Beach. Make a left on Grant and walk two blocks before making a right onto Green Street. You’ll find Mara’s Italian Pastry on Columbus, near the corner of Green Street. I highly recommend making a right onto Columbus and stopping at Mara’s before ending the walk at Washington Square Park.

Other Details

Trail Safety

Like all outdoor pursuits, hiking can be dangerous. It is up to you to assess your fitness level and education yourself about any potential dangers. While I try to regularly update these hiking guides, you should always research trail conditions before heading out.

Being prepared means arriving at the trailhead with water and some basic provisions. Each and every time I hit the trail I bring a backpack with more water than I think I need, a small first aid kit, and a snack. I also share my itinerary and plans with friends or family and I carry an InReach so I can summon help if needed. If you want to know what I carry in my pack during day hikes check out my blog post about essential gear for day hikers.

Stay safe, enjoy the trail, and soak up the magic of nature!

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