The first thing noticed when entering Lands End this afternoon was the sweet aroma of wildflowers. Passing the doorway (still fenced) of the new Lands End Overlook building, noticed two of Adolph Sutro's lion statues are guarding the entrance.
Down the Merrie Way stairway and over to the Sutro Baths ruins cavetop viewspot, continued onto the west trailhead for the Coastal Trail. This trail (this part called the Sutro Baths Upper Trail) was extended to around 141 steps several years ago.
Headed round the horn to ascend the stairway from the first Coastal Trail Overlook to the upper parking lot Overlook (59 steep steps). From here, east on the El Camino del Mar (the park's upper trail).
Across the footbridge, climbed the uppermost stairway that leads to the end of the parking lot for the Legion of Honor Museum and Lincoln Park golf course.
The trailhead for the Battle of the Bulge Memorial Trail (about 23 steps, first pic) starts up from this parking lot. Was wondering if it had seen any changes since I knew a retaining wall was being constructed along the cliffside at the north edge of the VA Hospital's parking lot. This short trail has been widened, with white gravel underfoot and some new replacement steps. The red flowers I like are still there.
This was a nice enough discovery, but from the parking lot up here spied a couple of new wood stairways descending from the wall a short distance away.
These new stairways and picnic area are open to explore (next three pix). There's a short trail leading to the first stairway, 77 steps. This area is gonna be absolutely gorgeous once the many new plantings grow some more.
Two concrete benches and a few picnic tables are an attractive light-rose shade and there are a couple of short footbridges at the foot of the stairs. Another set of steps from the main stairway leads to a single picnic table. Climbing back up to the parking lot on the opposite side are 72 more steps. So if you count it all as one up-and-down stairway: 149 new steps for the main one, not counting the offshoot steps. The trails are brick-lined and curvy.
At the top you'll still be at the VA parking lot. This unexpected find is partway between the top of the Battle of the Bulge Memorial Trail and the way down (a paved trail for walkers) into the Fort Miley picnic area.
Checked to see if my "secret" steps were still there. Yep, no one has messed with this very old stairway (about 41 steps). This one descends to the Fort Miley ruins under a tree canopy from the edge of the VA parking lot (next to the wider trail to the small picnic area). You can see the bottom part of this stairway from the picnic area but not the short "hidden" part (fifth pic) unless you walk up the bottom set from the paved road at the Fort Miley ruins.
So instead of doing my usual west-to-east hike, this time circled round to come out at the west side of the park again, down through the forest near the upper parking lot Overlook, and across from one of the newer stairways down the west slope.