The big wild right in our backyard? You bet! San Francisco’s Glen Canyon Park is 62 acres of dramatic rock formations, whimsical tree tunnels, and calming views amid constant city motion. Go on a 1.6-mile loop hike here and enjoy a piece of the wild, with a little urban flair too.
Start at the brand-new recreation center (targeted to open this month), nestled at the base of the park alongside a playground and sports fields, and make your way under the cover of eucalyptus trees. An 0.8-mile ascent along the Islais Creek Trail passes by a fern-bank creek and ivy-dressed pine and then through wildflower patches before breaking out into the clear.
The last 0.4-mile moderate climb offers no shade as you pass stilt-structured homes and the bones of an abandoned basketball court. Once you reach Portola Drive, near San Francisco’s School of the Arts, look south for canyon views. Return the way you came, and when you reach the Coyote Crags Trail, go uphill to hike ridge-side among open canyon views and dramatic crags. At a signed juncture, head 0.2 mile back to the recreation center.
Tip: Continue across Portola Drive to go up to Twin Peaks another 0.6 mile (each way). There you’ll encounter the famous wide-sweeping city vista beneath Sutro Tower.
San Francisco’s Glen Canyon Park is located at the intersection of Bosworth and O’Shaughnessy. Street parking available. Dog-friendly.