Storied SF Adventure

San Francisco Storywalk at the Presidio and Crissy Field

The Presidio San Francisco Storywalk

Step outside and into a storybook adventure that also includes majestic horses, West Bluff Beach waves, and iconic San Francisco views. One square mile is all that’s needed for this A+ outing that’s great for a family.

Gallery image 1 of 3
Gallery image 2 of 3
Gallery image 3 of 3

Start near McDowell Avenue and Cowles Street, where the Buffalo Soldier Cavalry once housed their horses (free all-day parking). Walk east along Presidio Promenade to the intersection of Lincoln Boulevard and Patten Road. From the top of this hill, embark on a storybook adventure reading Allison Farrell’s story “The Hike,” a tale that unfolds as you walk panel to panel looking at the illustrations overlaid with text. As you pass story-panel #11, be sure to also turn around to see the majestic horses housed in the area.

Gallery image 1 of 3
Gallery image 2 of 3
Gallery image 3 of 3

Traverse a wooden footbridge, and cross beneath a thundering concrete jungle of crimson overpasses leading to the Golden Gate Bridge. The Storywalk concludes at the Crissy Field Overlook and its exceptional views of the bay, Golden Gate Bridge, and ships sailing past Alcatraz. There’s also a lime-green box here titled “Adventures,” providing illustrated maps of the Presidio. Grab one for reference.

Gallery image 1 of 3
Gallery image 2 of 3
Gallery image 3 of 3

Approximately 50 meters beyond the end of the Storywalk, make a sharp right at the intersection of Lincoln Boulevard and Crissy Field Avenue. Descend along the scenic bike-and-pedestrian-only pathway, then continue north (towards the water) to West Bluff Beach, where you can splash in the gentle waves amidst the backdrop of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge.

undefined

Find parking across the street at Presidio Cavalry Barracks and Stables near McDowell Ave. and Cowles St. West Bluff Beach is dog-friendly. Picnic tables and restrooms are closed due to Covid-19, but well-maintained port-a-potties near the Warming Hut offer a decent substitute. To get back to your car, use your map (from the green “Adventures” box) to navigate back to McDowell and Cowles. 

Approximate Distances and Locations of Points of Interest:

Stables (parked car) to Beginning of Storywalk: (0.2 mile)

Storywalk: (0.5 mile)

End of Storywalk to West Bluff Beach (0.6 mile)

West Bluff Beach to car (0.5 mile)

Equestrian Field: (Location: off to the side of the Storywalk. If you look back when you get to the wooden footbridge around Story Panel #11, you should see the horses)

Buffalo Soldier History Plaque: (Location: close to Story Panel #11. Next to the bridge you will also see the Buffalo Soldier History Plaque along with some very interesting history about horses in the Presidio).

Trending Stories Northern CA

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Tamtastical Hike

    This 6.8-mile loop through the woods and ridges that make up the northern foothills of Tam offer the best of both worlds: solitude and grandeur. Enjoy quiet trails, tranquil forest, and big views.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Hawk-Eyed Sunset

    It's one of the best sunset spots in the Bay Area. And Hawk Hill in the Marin Headlands is quieter than usual this year because of few tourists. Enjoy a sweeping panorama 923 feet above the Pacific.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Thank You to Our 2020 Team

    Thank you to our wonderful 2020 team for bringing the great outdoors home in a most challenging year. Meet our contributors and get ideas from their personal favorite CA adventures this year.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    2021 Hiking Calendar!

    Ready to kick off 2021? (Like we have to ask.) Literally kick it off, with a hike! Download the 2021 POST Hiking Calendar (complimentary)—with recommended trails for every month of the year.

    View

Trending Stories SoCal

View all Stories
  1. Image that represents the story

    Trebek Open Space

    While most hikers head over to adjacent Runyon Canyon, instead do the 2-mile hike at Trebek Open Space and pay your respects to the legendary Jeopardy host and philanthropist, Alex Trebek.

    View
  2. Image that represents the story

    Rock the Hope at Lake Elsinore

    Hike the 4-mile Levee Trail on the shores of Southern California's largest natural freshwater lake, Lake Elsinore, and get a splash of positive energy thanks to the Rock Snake started earlier this year.

    View
  3. Image that represents the story

    Weekend Sherpa Podcast: Take it Outside

    Amid a new year that's already had challenges, Brad and Holly discuss the realities of what's happening in the country. And (!) some of the best new hiking trails locally in the Bay Area and SoCal.

    View
  4. Image that represents the story
    Sponsored

    A Very Reno Winter

    You’ve never had a winter vacation like Reno Tahoe! The Biggest Little City in the World is also one of the best winter basecamps. The Truckee River flows right through its lively Riverwalk District.

    View