While walking around San Francisco we decided to trek up Coit Tower. Walked up Lombard Street to the Tower was a bit of a challenge because the elevation gain is deceiving and a bit more than I expected. Some of the climb was on very inclined sidewalks and some was on stairs. The Tower itself is impressive. The design is art deco and overall is very minimalist but with many subtle details. From one side you get views of the entire city, from another you get views of the bay and Alcatraz, and from another angle you can see the waterfront and bridges.
While walking around the Tower parking lot we came upon a break in the guard wall and an unmarked stairway. I ventured down the stairway a bit but it just kept going. I asked a weary stair climber where the stairs went and he informed me that these are the famous Greenwich Stairs. He said that continue all the way down the hill and end close to the waterfront. Since we wanted to investigate the waterfront we ventured down the stairs.
This urban trail of stairs is very long and very impressive. You pass through gardens, by quiet homes, and under canopies of trees and flowers. The stairs just keep going and going. At one point you find yourself in a small parking lot and have to look for the sign that marks the continuation of the trail. When you reach the bottom you are near Sansome Street near The Embarcadero. If you are looking for an urban hike in San Francisco then I highly recommend the Greenwich Stairs.
Stand at the statue in front of Coit Tower with the Tower behind you. At about your 3 o’clock you will find a break in the guard wall and a stairway. Just follow the stairway, take your time, and enjoy it.