Double Cross Trail

  • Overview
  • Plan Your Trip

Section 1: Fort Funston, Merced and Pine Lakes, Stern Grove 

From bluffs at San Francisco’s southwest corner at Fort Funston, watch for swooping hang gliders, concrete bunkers that were once part of the city’s coastal defense system, and happy dogs at this popular walking spot. The trail continues past Lake Merced and Pine Lake, two of only three natural freshwater lakes in the city (Mountain Lake in the Presidio is the other), a vital part of the Pacific Flyway providing habitat for migrating birds. Along the wooded natural amphitheater of Stern Grove, look for Victorian era roadhouse the Trocadero Clubhouse where bullet holes still mark the exterior, hinting at the former inn’s rowdy past.

Section 2: Edgehill Mountain, Twin Peaks, Mt Olympus

Double Cross Section 2 starts in West Portal, named for the transit tunnel aperture that opened in 1918, spurring development of this and adjacent residential park neighborhoods. Trek along paths unknown to most outsiders, past a long ago rock quarry of radiolarian chert containing marine plankton 100-200 million years old, and up to some of the best vista points in town at Twin Peaks, Tank Hill, and Buena Vista Park.  Finish this trail section with a stop at the Harvey Milk Center for the Arts, named for the famed former city supervisor and civil rights leader.

Section 3: Postcard Row, Civic Center, City Icons

Section 3 offers fresh views of San Francisco’s most iconic sights. Take in the Seven Sisters of Postcard Row at Alamo Square, City Hall, the California Street cable car line and Nob Hill, Chinatown and the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, the Transamerica Pyramid, North Beach cafes and hotspots, Lillie Coit’s Tower, and the steps and views from Telegraph Hill (maybe catching sight of the wild local parrots), before finishing along the waterfront at Pier 23.

Plan your trip

Navigation apps

With the AllTrails or OuterSpatial apps, you can preview the route, download maps for offline use, and track your location on the trail in real time.

AllTrails link

OuterSpatial link

Maps

These detailed maps (courtesy of Pease Press) show complete street and trail names of the Double Cross Trail:

Double Cross maps

Cue sheets

Turn-by-turn directions to follow on the trail, with bathroom information included.

Length and terrain

The trail crosses a variety of terrain, from flat streets to steep stairways, sidewalks, paved trails, roads, and gravel. The full length of the trail is just over 14 miles. Each section has its own characteristics, as illustrated by the table and profiles below.

Connections to public transit

Section 1 (southwest SF)

  • Muni 58 to Skyline and John Muir Drive 

Section 1 & 2 (West Portal, west SF)

  • Muni light rail K, L, M
  • Muni  48, 57

Section 2 & 3 (Duboce Park, central SF)

  • Muni light rail J, N
  • Muni 6, 7, 22, 24, 37

Section 3 (Pier 23, northeast SF)

  • Muni streetcar F 
  • Muni 8
  • Golden Gate Transit 114, 132, 154, 164, 172

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