Moving west, you’ll soon see steps that will take you to the top of the Painted Rock stairway. More steps have been added in the last several years to this east side stairway collection so that there are now 118 in all for this side.
The Painted Rock stairway boasts approximately 139 steps down the west side. There are two stone benches alongside: 36 steps down to the first one; 72 to the second.
As I was looking for nasturtium seeds, spied my first two ripe blackberries of the year.
At the second Coastal Trail overlook as you continue to the west, 59 steps will take you to the newer upper parking lot overlook near the USS San Francisco Memorial.
Descended 41 newer wood steps a short distance south of this newest overlook and curved around on the paved trail over to the top of the Sutro Baths Upper Trail. This trail’s approximately 140 steps lead to the cavetop viewspot above the Sutro Bath ruins -- the west trailhead for the Coastal Trail.
Downtrail from here, climbed the 128 wood steps of the Merrie Way stairway (wood steps and wood posts - see first pic) so called by me as it ascends to the lower parking lot overlook at Merrie Way, a 2008 addition to the park.
Construction has commenced for the future 1,400-square-foot visitor center at the south end.
Crossed Point Lobos to enter Sutro Heights Park via a short uphill trail leading directly to the little gazebo.
I prefer the wilder south side of this park that's not as well manicured as the main, north part. The south side’s trails (Balboa Natural Area) are steep in places with butterflies, bees, lots of wildflowers, thick dune sand, and some tree trunks to sit on: didn’t want to leave.
The Sutro Heights Stairway (see second photo) that descends to La Playa between 48th Ave. and Great Highway/Ocean Beach has 117 log steps; counted ‘em twice today: down then back up. The wood walls and steps at the duney top are still very colorfully graffitied.
Crossed over into the main part of the park again and up to the castle-like turreted viewplace on the west side (see third pic). Surrounded by the overlook's walls and benches is this plain dry-dirt circle where I'd love to see a native plant garden happen.
Up here you’ll be treated to an unobstructed view of the ocean from about 300’ elevation. Gulls, distant ships, and the view and sound of the waves hypnotized me as I sat briefly in the warm sun before descending 32 steep stone steps to the walkway below.