Noe Stairway Walks

One of the best things about living in the Castro were the walks we took from our old apartment, particularly the stairway walks. We could cross Castro Street and wander up the many different stairways on Liberty Hill, or we could cross Market Street and walk the Vulcan or Saturn Street staircases in Eureka Valley. The closest stairway walk to our Castro apartment were the stairs at the corner of 20th and Douglas Streets. They led up to Corwin Street, where we’d walk past the little community garden and out to Kite Hill, one of the City’s open space areas that offers an expansive view of the City.

But I’ve grownDay Street stairs to love the stairway walks in Noe Valley, too. There are many stairways in Upper Noe Valley, especially up where the streets begin to head uphill toward Diamond Heights. There are stairs at Noe and 27th, Castro and 28th, Duncan and Noe, and Valley and Diamond. My Noe version of our old Castro walk is to head up Day Street to where the street begins to make its odd 90-degree turn to meet Castro.

On the left-hand side of the street, next to the very last house on the block, there’s a little walkway. It looks private, but it’s not. It leads to a short staircase, which isn’t the longest or the prettiest staircase in the City, but it wins points for seeming hidden and like a place only locals would know.

The stairs lead up to 30th Street near Laidley, right at the base of Billy Goat Hill. (I’m sorry to say that I’ve never seen any billy goats on this hill.) Billy Goat is essentially the Noe equivalent of Kite Hill: a nearby open space area with great city views. The wooden stairs in the picture, below, lead down to a little viewing area that also has a rope swing. The swing seems so San Francisco to me: why would you merely sit and take in the view when you could be swinging?! (This post about the rope swing made me laugh.)

billy goat

We were up on Billy Goat Hill recently just as the sun was setting and casting an orange glow over the City.

sunset City

View of downtown SF


View down 30th to Bernal Heights (and Mt. Diablo across the bay)

From the top of Billy Goat Hill, two other stairways are easily accessible. Head to the right and you’ll find stairs off Diamond Street down to the top of Valley Street. Head to the left and you’ll come to the Harry Street stairs (pictured below).


Harry Street stairs

The Harry Street stairs are one of my very favorite stairways in the City. Unlike most of SF’s cement stairways, the Harry stairs are wood. Like the stairs on Telegraph Hill or the Vulcan stairs in Eureka Valley, there are little homes along the Harry Street stairs. Harry street stairs take you back to Laidley Street, a street with lots of interesting architecture, if you want to keep walking.


One Response to “Noe Stairway Walks”

  1. Mary Evelyn Says:

    The secrets and hidden treasures of SF

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