6-Mile Run up Twin Peaks and Mt. Sutro
San Francisco › Stanyan St & Parnasus Ave
Added by Tyler Drake
This ~6-mile run offers up challenging inclines, which lead to great views of the city. Total elevation gain for the run is ~900ft (you might hate this decision in the beginning, but you'll be glad you did it). You also get to conquer 2 of SF's highest peaks in 1 run. Here's a map view of what you're getting yourself into.
Are you thinking, hit up two of the bigger peaks in SF, what a great idea? Well, you thought right! The first mile and a half is uphill as you charge to the top of Twin Peaks. This 6% grade leads to a 460 ft elevation gain. The good news is, if it's not foggy, the views of the bay are stunning, especially if you're running this route just before sunset. Once you get up to the parking lot at Twin Peaks, take a breath, then head up and down both peaks. Circle around Twin Peaks Ave until you hit Woodside Ave. Woodside will run you past Laguna Honda Hospital, so if you don't see the hospital after leaving Twin Peaks, double check as you might be headed in the wrong direction. Woodside Ave turns into Laguna Honda Ave and leads you to up the hill toward Mt. Sutro. Keep an eye out for Oakhurst Ln on your left, it's easy to miss. This stairway can put the hurt on you, but will save you some time and distance by getting you up to Crestmont Dr quickly. Head east on Crestmont and enter Mt Sutro just passed where Christopher Dr connects with Crestmont (see map of Mt Sutro).
If you're looking at the entrance and thinking, man this looks tough, it's time to choose your adventure! You can make it back to the car by taking Christopher out to Claredon until you hit Johnson, hang a left and head toward the Fairy Gates Trail, head right when you connect with the trail, which will shoot you out onto Belgrade. Belgrade connects with Stanyan.
However, if you decide to go for it (read it's not dark yet), head in to Mt Sutro at the steep entrance, to Quarry Road Trail, until it connects with Nike Road. From here, you'll make a few trail switches, but bear with us. Take the Nike Road until you hit West Ridge Trail, and head to your left on West Ridge. West Ridge will shortly meet up with the Historic Trail. This is your ticket home, hang a right and head northeast on the Historic until you exit at Stanyan and 17th.
Keep in mind that if it's dark, Mt Sutro can be fairly difficult to navigate as some areas are not as well maintained as others. If you think it might get dark while you're on Sutro, bring a headlamp just in case!
Click here for a detailed map of the route.
If you got a little turned around on the run or your legs are going to give out, no worries, head over to The Kezar Pub, they'll know how to cure whatever ails you.
- Running or trail shoes
- Athletic clothes
- Money for
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Includes some high traffic streets
Twin Peaks offers obviously terrific views, but Twin Peaks Blvd does not have a proper bike lane or sidewalk to run up, and many people unfortunately drive very fast up and down that street. I'd suggest you run on the side against the traffic so as to at least see oncoming traffic in time. Woodside and Laguna Honda are big streets with pretty fast traffic and LH has only a narrow bike lane, so I would not go back there. Running Mt. Sutro is always lovely, but can be muddy. Quarry Road trail was difficult to find because it's not marked on that side; West Ridge was pretty slippery and steep - more of a hike than run. I would suggest to stay on the Historic Trail which is the best running path.
If you decide to start this run after work, I recommend either running the route starting w/ Sutro first or bringing a headlamp. Even with the headlamp, it was a little tricky. A definite plus was the IPA at Kezar Pub afterward!
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