Strawberry Hill Hike
The Strawberry Hill Hike is a wonderful adventure in the Golden State Park that boasts countless photo opportunities. Explore the lovely park at your leisure, enjoying the diversity of flora that hem the trails and the sights of the mesmerizing cascade that adorns the hillside.
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Route Description for Strawberry Hill Hike
The Strawberry Hill Trail is the ideal urban escape in San Francisco. Located west of the city center, Golden Gate Park attracts plenty of city-goers seeking a breath of fresh air. This park is conveniently located and accessible and heavily frequented on the weekends, so expect to share the trail. Those seeking a more tranquil experience are encouraged to explore on weekday mornings. Note this area is often shrouded in fog due to its proximity to the coast, so dress in layers as insurance against changing conditions.
Escape the busyness of San Francisco City and reconnect with nature along the Strawberry Hill Hike. This wonderful nature trail exhibits a diversity of the area’s native flora and offers excellent views of Huntington Falls cascading down the hillside. Observe birds and butterflies, ducks and turtles, and meditate in the Chinese Pavilion. This route boasts an abundance of opportunities, including the possibility to rent a paddleboat and enjoy the picturesque human-made lake from a different perspective. Open 7-days a week, year-round; this fantastic trail can be appreciated by hikers of all skill levels and ages!
Setting out from the parking lot and trailhead at the Stow Lake Boathouse & Bike Rental off Stow Lake Drive, the Strawberry Hill Hike follows the rightmost trail heading southwardly along the shoreline trail. Enjoy the scene of the charming lake adorned with adventurers enjoying the paddle boats and ducks swimming around. Continuing along the lakeside path, you will eventually pass a bridge onto Strawberry Hill, ignore this route and maintain along the shoreline. Ultimately the route will redirect you north, exposing wonderful views of the Chinese Pavilion and Huntington Falls cascading into Stow Lake.
Curving westwardly, you will eventually reach the second footbridge over to Strawberry Hill. Cross over the charming bridge and turn left at the first intersection. Follow this route through the lush woodlands around the perimeter of the island, passing the Huntington Falls and Chinese Pavilion along the way. A switchback will reroute you in the opposite direction at the path's end, climbing up the hill. Now traveling in a counterclockwise manner, you will eventually confront another junction atop Huntington Falls. Here, veer left and climb up to the summit of Strawberry Hill.
Revel in the beauty of the overlook and have lunch atop the island. After exploring the mountaintop and indulging in the vistas, keep right and hike east past the charming pond atop the hill back to Huntington Falls. At this point, simply navigate the stairs down the profile of the waterfall back down to the shoreline. Veer left here, making your way back to the bridge and over the waters again. To get back to the trailhead from here, simply head left, wandering along the lakeshore trail back to the Stow Lake Boathouse & Bike Rental.
Strawberry Hill M
Strawberry Hill is a small island located in Golden Gate Park’s man-made lake—Stow Lake. This lovely island is adorned with walking trails and steps up to the summit of the hill. Covered with a diversity of shrubbery and trees, this hill also contains a wonderful artificial waterfall named Huntington Falls that surges over 37 m into the lake below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is it called Strawberry Hill in San Francisco?
The name Strawberry Hill comes from the wild strawberries that once adorned the landscape.
How long is the Strawberry Hill Hike?
The Strawberry Hill Trail is a 3.4 km hike in Golden Gate Park.
Are dogs allowed at Strawberry Hill and Stow Lake?
Yes, dogs are welcome at Strawberry Hill and Stow Lake as long as they remain on-leash.
Insider Hints for Strawberry Hill Hike
- Head over to Peet’s Coffee for some java and a treat after your walk!
- Explore in the early morning for a more tranquil experience
- The weekends are very busy—so expect plenty of traffic
- Charge your camera, the scenes along this route are picture-perfect
- Pack a picnic and have lunch atop Strawberry Hill
- If time permits, rent a paddleboat and explore Stow Lake
Getting to the Strawberry Hill Hike Trailhead
Access the Strawberry Hill Trail via the parking lot and trailhead at the Stow Lake Boathouse & Bike Rental off Stow Lake Drive.
Strawberry Hill Hike Elevation Graph
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Strawberry Hill Hike Reviews
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