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Urban Hike: Pemberton Steps and Tank Hill

Yesterday’s Urban Hike took Spoon and me along a path I walk almost every week. I do some some weekly garden maintenance over in the Cole Valley neighborhood of San Francisco. It’s a mostly uphill journey to get there, so I take the 33 Stanyan bus to the top of the hill at Clayton and Twin Peaks Blvd, and walk from there. Coming home, it’s a much easier walk than it is to get there. 🙂

This map of Tank Hill shows its location and relative position to other parks I've covered as Urban Hikes.

This map of Tank Hill shows its location and relative position to other parks I’ve covered as Urban Hikes.

After walking home from the job yesterday I decided to grab the dog and walk back, and highlight the fantastic plants and paths and views I get to see every week. My previous Urban Hikes have focused on many of the hilltop parks that I pass on this walk. (Click the links to explore those individual posts.) This is the exact reverse of my walk home from the garden gig.

Spoon posing in Kite Hill Park as we ascend. Tank Hill is the group of trees across the valley, right above her head.

Spoon posing in Kite Hill Park as we ascend. Tank Hill is on the other side of the valley, right above her head.

From home I climbed up and through Seward Mini Park on my way to Kite Hill. I sneaked out the back of Kite Hill via a path that leads to Stanton Street. Ringing the rim of Eureka Valley, I crossed Market and headed up Clayton, where Tank Hill looms overhead. Just above the intersection of Clayton and Corbett is the base of a staircase called Pemberton Place. I love staircase streets! Can you imagine, though, parking at the bottom of a hill and climbing a hundred steps just to get to your front door? The views make the inconvenience worthwhile in my book!

I just switched to this cool new gallery format to try it out. Mouse over a pic to see captions, or, when you click on any you can scroll through them all as a slideshow by clicks or by using your keyboard arrows… Fun stuff!

From the top of the Pemberton steps I turned onto Crown Terrace. The steepness of the hill is such that the uphill homes are Crown Terrace addresses, but the ones on the downhill side of the street with garages have Graystone Terrace addresses, since their front doors are actually on the street below Crown Terrace. Crown Terrace ends at Twin Peaks Blvd, directly across from the base of some wooden steps into Tank Hill Park.

The views from Tank Hill are amazing! You can see all around from there. Twin Peaks is to the south, across Cole Valley is Sutro Forest to the west, across Golden Gate Park all the way to Marin County in the north. You can see Buena Vista Park, Corona Heights Park, Kite Hill Open Space, Bernal Heights Park, and the whole bay. Really a lovely park for the worthwhile views.

Tank Hill Park is a bit of a “natural-ish” open space. The hill is so-named because it was once the site of (wait for it… wait for it…) a TANK! A big water tank, for the sake of gravity-feeding water to the homes below. That’s now accomplished via the reservoir up at Twin Peaks, but a big cement circle and remnants of pipes hint at its historic past. It’s not a picnic table kinda park. No matter how you get into it, you have to climb. The plantings are pretty wild, and it’s preferred that you stay on the bordered paths to avoid trampling habitat restoration. But the views really make it what it is. I’ve actually encountered a coyote in this park once!

Thanks for coming along on another Urban Hike! Until next time…

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One response to “Urban Hike: Pemberton Steps and Tank Hill

  1. Pingback: Garden Installation: Mount Olympus Rental | boZannical Gardens

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