Hike Mt. Sutro Open Space Reserve

San Francisco Mt. Sutro's Fairy Gates Trail

Added by Julien Bacal

This can be done as a loop with many easy variations. A lush hike hidden in the heart of SF for a quick post-work nature fix.

The Mount Sutro Open Space hike is one of those gems that's just hiding in plain site. Most people live in San Francisco for years without ever knowing this hike even exists - which is totally fine with us. This 1.8 mile loop is an easy, quick way to get back in touch with nature after a long day. As you'll see once you begin making your way towards to top, there are many different paths you can explore This is also a popular trail for mountain bikers in the know, so keep an eye out to avoid collisions.

This hike is walking distance from SF MUNI as well.

Pack List

  • Running shoes
  • Light jacket
  • Flashlight if you're cutting it close on daylight
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Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:



Year Round

Trail Type:



1.8 Miles



Dog Friendly

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How to Get There

10 days ago

Big Fun In Small package

Sutro is great, considering its smack dab in the middle of an urban landscape. Perfect for those who have a busy 9-5 but want to sneak in some outdoor time to bookend their work day. Be sure to watch for cyclists as these are multi use trails. Also a nice bonus is that these woods have very little vagrant presence compared to some other wooded areas of the city.

10 days ago

10 months ago

Great dog walk

This is a terrific spot to take dogs for a walk. I agree with the poster that it is a quick easy escape in the city.

10 months ago

about 1 year ago

this is a serious hidden gem in SF! not too many people are aware that there is a full on forest in the city. the staircase on the west side of the preserve is a great way to jump start your heart rate for a nice trail run to the top of mt. sutro. still haven't busted out the MTB on these trails but definitely will sometime.

about 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

Do it on a mountain bike for extra fun!

over 1 year ago

over 1 year ago

It's more beautiful and ethereal when it's foggy!

over 1 year ago

about 2 years ago

Love hiking in Sutro Forest! The hike is equally beautiful on both sunny and foggy days. On sunny days, you can see peek-a-boo views of GG Bridge and the ocean. On foggy days, you won't see many panoramic view - but the forest takes on a majestic quality as the trees disappear in the fog. The hike is very dog friendly, but watch out because I have seen coyotes in the forest. And on very foggy days, or after light rain - make sure to wear shoes you don't like, because they will get quite muggy! There are multiple entrances into the forest, but the easiest is around Stanyan and 17th street. It's a residential street, but you'll see a sign with stairs up into the forest. The historic trail is pretty flat if you do not want much elevation gain.

about 2 years ago

Added by Julien Bacal

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