Some attractions in this park, like the Academy of Sciences and Japanese Tea Garden, charge admission to everyone.
My long overdue visit was a pleasant one and all the same sections remembered are still there. On the way out at the main gate, picked up a free newsletter, "Leaflet," that says they plan to replace the old nursery facilities built over 45 years ago with a new teaching nursery called "The Nursery Center for Sustainable Gardening." It's to be near the Children's Garden (first pic). A park map says the current nursery is closed; I used to stroll through it.
As I was sitting on one of the many benches: pic 2.
The whole 55-acre gardensite is fenced but I used to sometimes exit at the west end of the garden, beyond the John Muir pond and Children's Garden. This is an area that's wilder than the rest of the garden, including piles of concrete, logs, and wood chips. Noticed an opening in the chainlink fence back there this time; one would have to lie flat and wiggle under without much room.
There aren't any really long stairways. Longest counted this time was 42 wood ones (3, 4). There are around 33 up to some benches (pic 5); 30 down to the Moon Viewing Garden (pix 6, 7); 19 wood up nearby (8, 9), and 17 in the Succulent Garden (pic 10, 11).
Various garden themes, like the Ancient Plant Garden with its boardwalk (pics 12, 13), Garden of Fragrance (pic 14), Redwood Grove, Australia, Cloud Forest, etc. show that San Francisco's climate can grow many different kinds of world plants.
A small bookstore at the main entrance has seed packets and books to browse out in front, plus a plant sale was going on. If you love plants, pay a visit:
They have a Facebook page:
It's just off Ninth Ave. and Lincoln, barely into the park. I take the N-Judah Metro and walk downhill a couple of blocks.
Pic 15: Waterfowl Pond. Last pic: Exhibition Garden planters near the main entrance.