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Aside from Karl the Fog and Golden Gate Bridge, if there's one thing San Francisco's known for, it's our brutaly steep hills. Love or hate them, our gravity-defying hills uniquely define our city (and your calves), inviting a challenging trek that lead to the most panoramic summit views. An ever-popular question from both tourists and locals is where exactly are the steepest areas here, and so we've listed 10 of our most angled streets that make for a rewardingly exhilarating hike.
Running parallel above the Robert C Levy Tunnel, this street is so sloped that it requires steps cut into the sidewalk to keep up with the incline! Taking on this stretch leads to gorgeous views of the downtown skyline, and marks only the tenth steepest on this list.
If you think hiking to the top of Dolores Park was enough of a challenge, this Mission District hill makes that walk the warm up. This is an peaceful and quiet street that immediately gets your heart rate up, but at least you have the classic houses as a pleasantly distracting view.
As another stair-lined sidewalk, start at Leavenworth Street and head up towards Hyde Street beofre turning around at the top and looking straight on at Coit Tower greeting you. This is a booty-burning march that treats you to a speactacular view of Telegraph Hill and the water behind.
Potrero Hill lives up to its name, and so does this street leading up to the Starr King Open space. This is a great climb to do if you need some cardio after relaxing at nearby Dogpatch.
Many skateboarders love to safely bomb our angled hills, and we can see why! This is the longest street if you can endure it either on wheels or on foot, and it can be found in the Peralta Heights neighborhood.
Moving up to a 34% incline, this Sunnyside street is a driveway that leads to a resident's property, so props to them for mastering this hill every day!
As another neighborhood street within aptly-named Bernal Heights, this is a tight and tucked-away path that connects to the Nevada Open Space to the mountain and the Mayflower Garden, but we recommend just sticking to the more spacious, but equally imposing, Bernal Peak trails.
Just when you think it couldn't get more riveting, Prentiss Street's 37% grade is accompanied with a sinewy curve for extra flair. Luckily, there are thoughtful handrails and lush foliage to keep you motivated.
This is a tiny tilted alleyway in the North Beach neighborhood, but it sure packs a 37.5 grade punch! Next time when exploring this deeply historic area, make a point to mark this off as an exclusive site not ventured by many.
The grand honor of San Francisco's steepest hill goes to Bradford Street's 41% grade! While the street itself is unassumingly not decorated, it is a long and impressively impending road that eventually boasts endless sunny views of the Alemany Farmers’ Market, John McClaren Park, and more of the southern side. Just be sure to bring some water and a hat!
This data was compiled from computer scientist Stephen Von Worley, city surveyor Bruce Storr, and more, answering a popular question for either those simply curious, or those also wanting to conquer them all. Our hills are a trademark identifier of our magical city, and whether you enjoy climbing them or not, there is no denying their colossal charm.
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