Towering at six hundred and sixty-six feet above sea level, many local residents call this place Turtle Hill. However it is officially known to the public as Grand View Park and is located in the Sunset district of San Francisco. It contains a 360-degree view of San Francisco and could be found between 14th and 15th avenue on Moraga Street.
On January 2003, The Golden Gate Heights Neighborhood Association and The San Francisco Parks Trust funded the start of a mosaic tiled stairwell project. The project was a neighborhood effort to cover all one hundred and sixty-three steps with hand-made artwork. Over 300 neighbors participated in the creation of these mosaic panels.
On Saturday, August 17, 2005 the inaugural celebration of the completed stairwell brought people like the Mayor of Caltagirone from Italy to watch the opening.
As you climb the stairs, don’t forget to turn around, for the view behind you will leave you breathless.
After reaching the top of the stairs, heading south will lead you directly to Turtle Hill. Only an acre large, Grand View Park has a lot to offer with its views.
Going up the hill, several dusty paths will take you to the summit. As long as the weather is somewhat nice, the hike is relaxing and well worth the climb.
At the the peak, you may see more fog than San Francisco skyline. But on a clear day, the hill can offer views of San Francisco’s downtown, Golden Gate Park, Sutro Heights, the Pacific Ocean, and the Marin headlands.
Words and Images by Justine Shek