Rating:
Area: San Francisco Peninsula
Distance: 1 mile
Type: Loop
Difficulty: Easy
Elevation gain: 200ft (from 750 - 938ft)

Take in the superb views across San Francisco from the highest point in the city, yet far away from the throngs of tourists and tour buses of Twin Peaks. These less well known vistas from Mount Davidson are a short hike away from the roadside, which means there's a good chance that you'll have the city to yourselves when you reach the top.

Our recommended short loop trail begins at a fire road at the top of Dalewood Way and spirals up through a non-native eucalyptus forest to the summit marked by an enormous 100-foot high cross. Though this cross is commonly used for Easter services, though it's much more likely that you've seen it before in a slightly more secular location - namely a location for a key scene in the 1971 Dirty Harry movie set in San Francisco.

The park is also accessible from several other places around its boundary thanks to the many other trails that criss-cross the hilltop. Security is a particular concern when hiking in parks near the city, and you'd be wise not to hike this park unaccompanied, particularly when it gets dark. Street parking is available and there is no fee for use of the park.

Tangents:
- Trailspotting Images: Mt. Davidson on Flickr
- Wikipedia: Mount Davidson
- Mt. Davidson.org: Trail Map (via)
- Film In America: Dirty Harry Filming Locations

California Hiking by Tom Stienstra and Ann Marie Brown