The Hills of San Francisco

2014-10-06 17.27.03

A view of Twin Peaks from Bernal Heights

My love for checking things off a list knows few bounds and this collection of San Francisco’s hills is calling my name. I want to go to them all! Per this list, there are 71 mainland hills, which makes this an irresistible challenge. I checked all the places I have definitely been to. As for the rest, here I come.

✓ Alamo Heights
Its summit is Alamo Square Park.

Anza Hill
Bounded by Turk, Masonic, Geary and Divisadero.

Azalea Hill
In Golden Gate Park, south of Rhododendron Dell.

Bayshore Heights
South of the intersection of Bayshore Blvd and U.S. 101, encircled by Hester Avenue, Lois Lane crosses its summit.

Bayview Heights
At the southeast corner of the City, on Candlestick Point, between Interstate 280 and Candlestick Park. A.k.a. Bayview Hill.

✓ Bernal Heights
Its summit is Bernal Heights Park, bounded by the Boulevard of the same name.

Buena Vista Heights
Its summit is Buena Vista Park, bounded by Buena Vista Avenue West.

Bunker Hill
In Golden Gate Park, across Martin Luther King Jr. Drive from Mallard Lake.

Cannon Hill
Its summit is at Pacific & Lyon.
The west end of the ridge of Pacific Heights. Named for the cannon that once stood at the southeast corner of the Presidio.

Casino Hill
In Golden Gate Park, west of the Conservatory of Flowers.

Castro Hill
Its summit is on Collingwood just north of 22nd Street.

Chicken Point
In Golden Gate Park, across John F. Kennedy Drive from the Conservatory of Flowers.
A.k.a. Lawn Point or Favorite Point.

City College Hill
North of Ocean Avenue and west of Interstate 280, its summit is crowned by City College’s Science Hall.

Clarendon Heights
The site of Sutro Tower.
A.k.a. Sutro Crest.

College Hill
Bounded by Mission Street and St. Mary’s, San Jose & Richland Avenues.
This hill would have been merely the eastern end of Fairmont had it not been separated from Fairmont Heights by the Bernal Cut around 1862. St. Mary’s College, for which College Hill was named, opened in 1863.

Corona Heights
The rocky peak between Buena Vista Heights and the Castro District.

Dolores Heights
Its summit is around 21st Street between Noe and Sanchez.
A.k.a. Noe or Sanchez Hill. Liberty Hill is its eastern end. 22nd Street between Church & Vicksburg, with a 31.5% grade, is one of San Francisco’s two steepest streets.

Edgehill Heights
Northwest of Mt. Davidson, its summit is ringed by Edgehill Way.

Excelsior Heights
Between Mission Street and McLaren Park, its peak is at France and Madrid Streets.

Fairmount Heights
The easternmost peak of Diamond Heights. Its summit is on Everson Street near Digby.
Billy Goat Hill is part of its northern slope.

✓ Forest Hill
The southernmost peak of Golden Gate Heights. Two water tanks and a broadcast tower mark its summit at the west end of Mendosa Avenue.
Hawk Hill, above Hoover Middle School, is its southwest slope.

Goat Hill
On Yerba Buena Island.
Several hills in San Francisco have been called Goat Hill or Billy Goat Hill or Nanny Goat Hill at one time or another. Hillsides too steep for houses were heaven for goats.

Gold Mine Hill
Diamond Heights’ central peak. Ora Way runs over its summit.

✓ Grand View Hill
This bare northernmost peak of Golden Gate Heights interrupts Moraga between 14th and 15th Avenues.
A.k.a. Turtle Hill.

Hippie Hill
In Golden Gate Park, north of Children’s Playground.

Heidelberg Hill
North of the fountain in Golden Gate Park’s Strybing Arboretum.
Site of the Heidelberg Castle in the 1894 Midwinter Exposition.

✓ Holly Hill
The hill, southwest of Bernal Hill, whose apex is Holly Park, bordered by Holly Park Circle.

Hunter’s Point Ridge
The eastern of the Hunter’s Point neighborhood’s two hills. Its top is on Whitney Young Circle near Hilltop Park.
A.k.a Stony Hill.

Ignatian Heights
The low hill just south of Lone Mountain. Its summit is on the University of San Francisco campus between Fulton, Parker, Golden Gate and Masonic.

Irish Hill
A remnant of a once much larger hill at 20th and Illinois Streets.

✓ Kite Hill
Grand View Terrace and Corwin Street dead-end at this undeveloped hill northeast of Twin Peaks.
See also Merced Heights.

Lafayette Heights
Its top is Lafayette Square.
The eastern peak of the ridge that is Pacific Heights. Cathedral Hill is its southern face.

Larsen Peak
The highest peak of the four of Golden Gate Heights. Sunset Heights Park, between Quintara Street, 14th Avenue, Rockridge Drive and 12th Avenue, marks its summit.

Laurel Hill
Lupine Avenue runs along the top of this hill.

✓ Lincoln Heights
The Palace of the Legion of Honor sits atop this hill in Lincoln Park.

Lone Mountain
The main building of the University of San Francisco is at the top of this hill between Turk Boulevard, Parker and Anza Streets and Masonic Avenue.

Maintop Hill
On Maintop Island in the southeast Farallon Islands.

Martha Hill
At the east end of Martha Avenue in Glen Park.

McLaren Ridge
Stretches from the blue water tower above La Grande Avenue at its west end to Interstate 280 in the east end.
McLaren Ridge has eight different summits of varying degrees of prominence, but only one has a name: Visitacion Knob, McLaren Ridge’s highest point, just west of the intersection of Shelley Drive and Mansell.Street. University Mound is the area on the northern slopes of McLaren Ridge to the west of the University Mound Reservoir.

Merced Heights
Comprises three summits: that in Brooks Park at its west end, the highest, Shields/Orizaba Rocky Outcrop (one of San Francisco’s finest and least-known views), and that at the intersection of Thrift and Summit Streets.
A.k.a. Ingleside Heights. Merced Heights and Ingleside Heights sometimes refer to the north and south slopes of the same ridge. The western summit is also known as Kite Hill. The Columbia Heights neighborhood is around the eastern end of Lakeview Avenue.

Mint Hill
Between Duboce Avenue and Webster, Hermann and Buchanan Streets.
Mint Hill was created by the Market Street Cut and truncated when the New Mint was built.

Monterey Heights
Southwest of Mt. Davidson, between Rosewood and Fernwood Drives.

✓ Mt. Davidson
San Francisco’s highest hill is topped by a colossal concrete cross.
Stanford Heights is a neighborhood on its southeastern slope.

Mt. Lick
Rises up behind the horseshoe pits in the northeastern corner of Golden Gate Park.

Mt. Olympus
The traffic circle at the end of Upper Terrace marks its summit.
Its north face is the Ashbury Heights neighborhood.

Mt. St. Joseph
The summit is bounded by Topeka Drive, Bridgeview Avenue and Newhall Street.

✓ Mt. Sutro
Its peak is at the west end of Behr Avenue.
Parnassus Heights, site of the University of California at San Francisco, is on its north slope.

Nob Hill
The summit of San Francisco’s most famous hill is around the intersection of Clay and Jones Streets.

Potrero Hill
A complex hill between Route 101, 17th Street, Interstate 280 and Cesar Chavez Street, its highest point is around the reservoir at 22nd and Wisconsin Streets.

✓ Precita Heights
The eastern part of Bernal Heights, with summits at the intersection of Rutledge and Franconia and on Peralta between Ripley and Esmeralda.

✓ Presidio Hill
In the Presidio between Presidio, Washington and Arguello Boulevards and West Pacific Avenue. A reservoir is at its top.

Red Rock Hill
Red Rock Way marks the top of this northernmost peak of Diamond Heights.

Rincon Hill
Its apex at First and Harrison Streets is crowned by the One Rincon Hill skyscraper.

Rob Hill
Between Washington Boulevard and Hunter Road in the western Presidio.

Russian Hill
Its twin summits are marked by George Sterling Park and by the architecturally important block of Vallejo Street west of Jones. Filbert between Hyde and Leavenworth is San Francisco’s other steepest street.

Sherwood Forest
Robin Hood Way runs along the crest of this shoulder of Mt. Davidson.

✓ Strawberry Hill
Golden Gate Park’s largest hill rises out of Stow Lake.

✓ Sutro Heights
This bluff above the Cliff House still preserves the ruins of Adolf Sutro’s estate.

Tank Hill
The undeveloped outcrop at the east end of Twin Peaks Boulevard.

✓ Telegraph Hill
Site of Coit Tower and Nob Hill’s rival in fame.

Tower Hill
On Southeast Farallon Island.
A.k.a. Lighthouse Hill, Beacon Hill.

✓ Twin Peaks
The pair of round hills with a single name at the center of San Francisco.
Christmas Tree Point, north of the northern Twin Peak, is the site of the viewing area.

University Mound
This low bluff in the Portola District is the site of the same-named reservoir.
Despite what earlier sources say, there is no summit in the tract west of the reservoir. But the steep edges of the reservoir site, along with tradition, keep University Mound on the list.

✓ Washington Heights
Washington High School, between Balboa, 32nd, Geary and 30th Avenue, tops this broad hill in the Richmond.

✓ Waterfall Hill
The hill at the back of Golden Gate Park’s Japanese Tea Garden.

Whiskey Hill
The ridge in Golden Gate Park between Lincoln Way, Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Kezar Way.

A hill in the San Francisco dump, south of Little Hollywood Community Park, its highest point is at the south end of Tocoloma Avenue.
It’s hard to suggest a name for this one. Hollywood Hill would be a fine name, but Bayshore Heights to the north of the neighborhood displays more of its character and is already named. Dump Hill is not likely to be a popular choice.

A hill in the Bayview District entirely occupied by the Alice Griffith, or Double Rock, housing project, roughly bounded by Fitzgerald Avenue, Cameron Way and Griffith Street.
Double Rock itself is just off shore in South Basin. What more likely name for the hill which overlooks it than Double Rock Hill?

A knob in Visitacion Valley along whose crest Pasadena Street runs.
The hill and street correspond so closely that this could be nothing other than Pasadena Hill.

A substantial undeveloped hill in Visitacion Valley between Geneva, Brookdale and Sunnydale Avenues and the Crocker-Amazon Playground.

A hill at the east end of Noe Valley whose peak is on Dolores Street at Jersey Street.
It would be hard for this hill to inherit a street name: Dolores Street crosses two hills and its name is more or less used for the other, and the stretch of Jersey that climbs and ends atop this hill is not a busy one. Perhaps it’s time to bring back the name of John Horner (whose land holdings, still known as “Horner’s Addition” in city records, became Noe Valley) and call this Horner’s Hill.

The Noe Valley hill at whose summit is the Duncan-Castro Natural Area.
Dominating much of Noe Valley as it does, it’s remarkable that this hill remains unnamed. As this narrow hill runs generally along Duncan Street, and as there’s already a Castro Hill, Duncan Hill would be a natural name for this one.

Golden Gate Heights’ unnamed peak is just north of Larsen Peak and bounded by Aerial Way, Funston Avenue and Pacheco Street.
Its west face is Rock Outcrop Natural Area.

The hill in Golden Gate Park atop which stands Prayerbook Cross.
I don’t know what one would call this hill other than Prayerbook Cross Hill, but I haven’t seen that name used.