One well-designed stairway can be accessed behind medical buildings on Parnassus (get off at the Hillway/Parnassus stop). Years ago there was another stairway back here. The steps will take you to a parking lot for UCSF employees (permits only). Hikers can continue uphill a short distance to upper Medical Center Way where you will soon see trails leading up and down from the road.
This stairway is not as well known as the others in the area. It’s shown as a trailhead on Google Maps, however. The Medical Center Way stairs, about 136 steps: 1 thru 12.
Uphilling steepishly to the road, crossing it for the trailhead for the (upper) Historic Trail. This time the whole trail, winding round the north, then west side of the mountain to the summit: 13 thru 24.
Right next to the upper trailhead for Christopher, a trail blockage for "treework." Also caution signs for upper Medical Center Way at the guardrail, like last time. No need for me to detour though.
The summit benches: pic 25.
Down the East Ridge Trail: 26 thru 30.
Another gorgeous way to enter the forest is from the south dead-end of Edgewood Ave. onto the Edgewood Trail.
Edgewood Trail: 31 thru 43.
The Farnsworth Lane steps (149) will take you to the north dead-end for vehicles of redbrick Edgewood Avenue. Farnsworth, up from Willard: 44 thru 48.
Another way into the forest is from the top of Farnsworth (at the swing, miraculously still there) a few yards west to a trail behind Edgewood homes -- to come out at the parking lot very near the top of the above described Medical Center Way stairway.