Unusual Streets of Telegraph Hill

Urban Explorations



• Views of the Bay
• Filbert Steps
• Greenwich Steps
• Coit Tower

Difficult hills and stairs
1.5 to 2 hours

This urban hike takes in lots of hills and stairs, but you'll encounter some of the city's more unusual and picturesque streets.

Printable Map (pdf file)

Updated 11/7/01


• Start at Washington Square Park, corner of Filbert and Columbus Streets.
• Facing the church, turn right and walk 1 block down Filbert alongside the park.
• Left on Stockton Street and walk 2 blocks.
• Right on Lombard.
• Where Lombard starts to curve at Pioneer Park, climb stairs on your left up to Coit Tower.

Coit Tower
Yes, it's a big tourist draw, this tower in the shape of a fire hose nozzle erected to honor San Francisco firefighters, but if the line's not too long, you might want to go up in the tower. Otherwise, just take in the glorious panorama of San Francisco Bay.

• Take the pedestrian sidewalk that parallels the road to the left of Coit Tower for about 1 block.
• Watch for street signs that denote "Filbert" and "Telegraph Hill," turning to your left at fire hydrant.

Filbert Steps
Along this long series of cement and wooden stairs you'll see gardens, paths leading to houses and cottages, and a couple of "side streets" leading farther back into the huddle of houses.

• Descend the Filbert Steps, crossing Montgomery Street, to the bottom of Telegraph Hill.
• At bottom of hill, turn right on Sansome Street and walk 2 blocks.
• Right on Vallejo Street.

Vallejo Steps
These garden stairs are only a short section of the block but are attractively landscaped.

• Climb the Vallejo steps.
• Right on Kearny Street and go 1 block.
• Right on Green Street.
• 1/2 block on your right is tiny Reno Street, which passes underneath a Victorian building to its end.
• Continue ahead on Green Street 1/2 block.
• Left on Montgomery Street and ascend Montgomery stairs at end of street.
• Continue ahead on Montgomery Street a little over 1 block.
• On your left is mossy, brick-paved School Street, which goes back 1/2 block and ends.
• Turn back on Montgomery Street and make immediate left on Union Street, walking 1 block.
• Right on Kearny Street and walk 1 block.
• At end of block, ascend stairs on your right. Coit Tower will then be to your left.
• You'll be back a the top of the Filbert Steps, but this time follow driveway veering to the left.
• Follow pedestrian sidewalk that goes 1 block beside buildings along hillside.

Greenwich Steps
These landscaped stairs descend the hill for 2 blocks like the Filbert Steps, with paths leading to homes.

• Turn right and descend the Greenwich Steps, crossing Montgomery Street, to bottom of the hill.
• At bottom of hill, turn left on Sansome Street and walk 1 block.
• Left on Lombard Street and walk 1 block.
• Right on Montgomery Street and walk 2 blocks.
• Left on Francisco Street and walk 1 block.
• Ascend the wooden Francisco Steps on the lush hillside.
• Continue on Francisco Street 3 blocks.
• Left on Powell Street and walk 4 blocks back to where you started the hike.