After a stop-in at Glen Park’s Canyon Market (highly recommended: healthy stuff and super-friendly people), uphill-hoofed it to the digital-times MUNI shelter on Diamond. But at 34 minutes until the next #52 Excelsior — nope. Up I continue to Diamond Heights and the upper canyon for another good hike even before I get to the park. Sorta like the trekking I do to get up to the Crocker trailhead of San Bruno Mountain Park (but the latter because the #43 refuses to climb into Daly City).
And then when I try to cross Diamond Heights Blvd. at Elk (a stairway into the canyon is here), the cars just keep coming. Would like to see more crosswalks and definitely some speed bumps on curving DHB for easier pedestrian crossovers into the park. This time delighted to see some school crossing guards at this corner who effectively paused the traffic so a few of us could safely get across to the canyon’s east rim. Thanks guys!
Passing the long Onique stairway at Berkeley Way in Diamond Heights, first pic.
Love descending the park’s longest stairway (184 steps) that drops down from an opening for walkers at the dead-end of Crags Court in the Diamond Heights ‘hood (pic 2). This is at the community garden, another treat to behold.
The short stairway that used to be here was replaced with this longer one. It winds around scenically to the main paved trail just before the entrance to the gorgeous tree-canopy trail that begins with the boardwalk and little wood footbridge over Islais Creek. You can detour onto other trails, also with some steps, like the one that will take you up to Christopher Park and the shopping center: 3, 4.
Just before reaching the foot of the stairs, continued on a short offshoot trail: 18 steps directly to the boardwalk. Pix 5, 6.
A bit further along, noticed that they’ve finally removed that unsightly black plastic construction fencing alongside the stairs to the south of the climbing rocks. Thank you! Looks better now: 7, 8.
Pic 9: Steps on the north side of the climbing rocks.
Some THENS — these before all the park changes of the last few years:
THEN: This is how I used to cross Islais Creek to what’s now the Portola Trail: From 2010, pic 10.
THEN: The Portola (northernmost) trail before it was widened and when it dead-ended at impenetrable brush: From 2009: 11, 12.
THEN: Older stairways leading up to the rocks area: 13 thru 18. 2004, 2005, 2009.
THEN: End of steps from Turquoise in Diamond Heights before the park-rules signs. Near what’s now the trailhead for the Portola Trail. From 2005, pic 19.
THEN: Before this narrow upper eastside trail was widened and some steps added: From 2009, pic 20.
THEN: A groupwalk from 2005: 21, 22.
THEN: From 2003, pic 23.
THEN: The main trail (with the much-loved viewbench) leading down on the eastside from the edge of Christopher Park before the streps were extended: 24 thru 30 (2006), 31 (2009).
At the end of the main canyon floor dirt trail, now up to a slightly higher trail (pic 32), to again descend (easier now) for the now extended and widened Portola trail, long my own favorite in the park.
This used to be a truly “secret” trail. I’d rarely see anyone else on it; a fun wiggle-and-scramble under and over treelimbs. Love that kinda thing. It was best in the park for blackberries. Still is, even with all the hacking-back of the bushes. Even though I’d need to carefully push aside the biting brambles that reached out into the trail, could also reach the berries more easily; they were all right there in my face.
Still no steps on the steep now-out-to-Portola Trail, this part starting at the end of the playing field gate. People and their dawgs are scrambling up and down it anyway though. If they ever needed to create new steps in this park, this is the place where they're most needed. So I keep checking. Anyone know? Pix 33, 34, 35.
Out at Portola, just across from Midtown Terrace’s Glenview, a stop was marked for the #44 and #52 but no shelter-with-time. So after waiting a few minutes got impatient and turned back into Diamond Heights, finally ending up at the bus shelter near the Safeway at Gold Mine. But this one said 20 minutes for the next #52; didn’t wish to wait that long either. So a steep descent into Noe Valley to wait for the more frequently running #24 Diviz. First necessary to inch my way a block down 28th, then a right turn for the Valley stairway.
The first flight is 69 steps: 36, 37. At the foot of these, Valley dead-ends as a divided street with a center median. The uphill part leads after a few yards to the second flight: 52 more steps alongside homes. So 131 for both the main stairs and north sidesteps on the upper (west) block of Valley.
Castro between the foot of the Castro steps and 29th has certainly changed a lot in the last decade. Such a turnoff to see so many newer residences around here, but also cheered to still see oldies, especially some cottages on 29th between Castro and Noe. Last pic: Castro near 29th.