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A nine-mile loop that highlights ~seven miles of central SF's singletrack network.


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Map Key

9.3

Miles

14.9

KM

80%

Singletrack

940' 286 m

High

417' 127 m

Low

1,580' 482 m

Up

1,570' 479 m

Down

6%

Avg Grade (4°)

26%

Max Grade (15°)

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Unknown

Features Views

Mt Sutro Open Space has multiple restrictions as of October 2020: Upper Historic Trail is only open to bikes in the uphill direction and several other trails (including the Mystery Trail and Fairy Gates Trail) are closed to bikes.

This route respects all trail closures as of October 2020.

Overview

This route stitches together two of San Francisco's primary singletrack networks (Laguna Honda and Mt Sutro Open Space), maximizing the distance spent on singletrack, minimizing the distance spent on roads (and those are mostly quiet residential streets), and finishing with a side visit to Twin Peaks to top off the entire experience.

Need to Know

Some of the Laguna Honda trails are part of the Crosstown Trail and can be busy with hikers on weekends. The Mt Sutro Open Space trails are very popular at most times of day.

Take care (especially around blind corners), use a trail bell, be polite, and give way to other trail users!

Description

Start at the intersection of Twin Peaks Blvd and Portola Dr. Head up Twin Peaks Blvd then left on Panorama Dr (steep!) to the start of the Troop 88 Trail.

Laguna Honda Section (~three miles, 100% singletrack)

Follow the flowy Troop 88 Trail until you reach the first parking lot. From here, join the Steep Ravine Trail and follow it until the Knob Trail splits off to the left. Take this left and follow the Knob Trail uphill to the corner of the second parking lot, and then straight ahead and downhill into the sandy switchbacks.

At the intersection halfway down the switchbacks, turn left and follow the trail down to Laguna Honda Blvd. Continue straight ahead onto the Victory Trail, which gently climbs and winds around until you reach the corner of the parking lot once again. Take the hard left turn onto the Knob Trail a second time, but at the intersection halfway down the switchbacks go right this time, to eventually exit onto Clarendon Ave.

"The Commute" (~one mile, 0% singletrack)

Head right up Clarendon, then continue straight onto Olympia which gets steeper until it dead ends into Panorama. Turn left here, climb some more, then take the right onto Marview. Yet more strenuous climbing will get you closer and closer to the Sutro Tower, and just after Farview Ct (on the left), you'll see the start of the Sutro Tower Trail.

Sutro Section (~four miles, 99% singletrack)

Take the Sutro Tower Trail all the way around to rejoin Clarendon Ave. Note that this is the most technical section of trail on the entire route, and gets exceptionally muddy whenever there's fog or rain. It also dries very slowly.

Carefully cross Clarendon Ave to start the Clarendon Connector uphill. At the four-way intersection at the top, take a right then an immediate left to start the West Ridge - South Ridge Connector. Where this finishes at the road, turn left and head uphill to the roofed information sign near the summit.

From here, you can choose the 1st of 3 optional "out and backs": the East Ridge Trail (turn around at Johnstone Dr).

Once back at the roofed information sign, follow the North Ridge Trail all the way down to and across Medical Center Way until you reach another four-way intersection. The 2nd and 3rd "out and backs" start here: the Lower Historic Trail to the right (turn around at the stairs down to Stanyan), and the Edgewood Connector straight ahead (turn around at Edgewood).

Note:
  • Of the 3 "out and backs" only the Edgewood Connector is not really worth doing (it's quite short and doesn't offer anything particularly technical). The other two are well worth doing.
  • When/if the Mystery Trail and Fairy Gates Trail reopen, there will be some better/longer loops available that should eliminate some of the "out and backs".

Once back at the four-way intersection, head north up the Upper Historic Trail, crossing back over Medical Center Way and after a long, gentle, picturesque climb, you'll reach the original four-way intersection at the top of the Clarendon Connector. Take a quick side jaunt around the Sutro Root Loop (optional), then take the Clarendon Connector downhill, carefully cross Clarendon Ave and then reverse the Sutro Tower Trail (being relatively flat, this trail is good in both directions).

Twin Peaks Section (~2 miles, ~15% singletrack)

Cross Marview and follow the Twin Peaks Connector across and up to Twin Peaks Blvd. Turn right, head around both peaks (the eastern side has spectacular views of the city), then bomb the southern downhill section of Twin Peaks Blvd. At the last left hand curve, duck left onto the dirt trail beside the road and follow this back to the start of the route.

Shared By:

Peter Monks

Trail Ratings

  4.4 from 5 votes

#1924

Overall
  4.4 from 5 votes
5 Star
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4 Star
60%
3 Star
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Recommended Route Rankings

#245

in California

#1,924

Overall
75 Views Last Month
4,165 Since Oct 16, 2020
Intermediate Intermediate

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Photos

Bike on North Ridge Trail
Feb 19, 2019 near San Fra…, CA
Headed up the Historic Trail
Sep 6, 2018 near San Fra…, CA
Steeper than it looks; loose rocks on this short down hill; ending with narrow bush surrounded path.
May 31, 2022 near San Fra…, CA
Starting point short trail up Twin Peaks from Twin Peaks Blvd and Portola Drive.
May 31, 2022 near Daly City, CA
View of SF, the bay, and the Golden Gate Bridge
Feb 19, 2019 near San Fra…, CA
Trailhead at 17th & Stanyan
Feb 19, 2018 near San Fra…, CA

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