40 Stories

FAST Fitness and Adventure Hikes

using public transportation in the San Francisco Bay Area

to get you to your hike right away!!!

10 San Francisco Hikes

HikeElevation GainWalking TimeSummit(s)
1 Classic Stairs55040 minTelegraph Hill, Russian Hill, Nob Hill
2 Two If By Sea49560 minRussian Hill, Telegraph Hill
3 Everyone Loves A Playground40075 minAlta Plaza, Lafayette Square, Alamo Square
4 Quiet Up To The Forest66055 minBuena Vista Park, Mount Sutro shoulder
5 Mystic Summits49545 minMount Olympus, Corona Heights
6 Christmas Tree Challenge52555 minChristmas Tree Point
7 The Lovely Woods62850 minMount Sutro
8 Eureka!46550 minGraystone Terrace, Kite Hill
9 The Twins82065 min22nd St Jungle Stairs, Twin Peaks Boulevard
10 Icon or Eyesore?45050 minSutro Tower

What is 40 Stories?

40 Stories is my collection of 40 hikes in the San Francisco Bay Area. Each of my hikes has at least 400 feet of elevation gain, which is like climbing up 40 stories of a typical building. The hikes are designed to use easily available public transportation in the most efficient and beautiful way.

The first ten hikes cover the northern half of San Francisco.

The maps for these ten hikes are available now. The remaining 30 maps are coming soon.

Why are your hikes called "Fast Hikes"?

My hikes are perfectly optimized for public transportation. All the hike maps begin and end at the SF Civic Center MUNI/BART station, with instructions of how to proceed from there on MUNI or BART routes. The hikes are designed to be completed as round trips from SF Civic Center in 90 minutes.

Transportation routes are selected for reliability, frequency, simplicity, and speed. I give preference to light rail, especially using the MUNI underground stations, in order to save time getting to and from my walking routes.

Why are your hikes called "Fitness Hikes"?

Since each hike has at least 400 feet of elevation gain, you will get a good cardio workout if you follow these tips:

Remember as you go: If you can sing, you're exercising mildly. If you can talk but not sing, you're exercising moderately. If you are exercising vigorously, you are not able to do either.

Why are your hikes called "Adventure Hikes"?

My hikes explore some of the most steep and rugged terrain in San Francisco and the Bay Area, as well as the coolest shortcuts, including many "social" trails that are not on any other map. The designations on the hike table indicate the degree of difficulty of the hike.

How were the walking times for your hikes calculated?

The walking times were calculated based on my own speed of completing the hike. I am a middle-aged woman who is moderately fit.

How were the elevation gains for your hikes calculated?

The old-fashioned way! First, I made careful field notes of the locations of "hills" and "valleys" in each hike, as well as the jumping-off point, and then I studied United States Geological Survey maps provided by the San Francisco Main Library to construct a database storing the elevations of these locations, along with other features of each hike. I believe my elevation totals are accurate within 5 - 10 feet.

Are your hikes loops, or are they out-and-back?

For the most part, they are neither. Since all of my hikes use public transportation, there is no necessity for the walking route to come back to its starting point. For instance, Hike #9, The Twins, walks from the Castro to the Forest Hill MUNI stations by going over Twin Peaks.

The general principle is this: my hikes are perfectly optimized for public transportation, and are not at all suited to be accessed by car. The simple experience of walking in a straight line from one starting point to a different ending point is already tremendous fun. When you add to this spectacular beauty of the views in every hike, 40 Stories Hiking is the very best and healthiest way to explore San Francisco.

You say these 10 hikes cover northern San Francisco, but I don't see Lands End, Golden Gate Park, or the Presidio.

I take these hikes in the mornings before work, so I need to leave the Civic Center BART/MUNI station by 7:00 AM and return to it by 8:30 in order to shower, change, and get to work at 9:00. Unfortunately, there is simply no public transportation that is nearly fast enough to get out to Lands End or the Presidio, hike, and come back in this time frame.

As far as Golden Gate Park, it's very pretty, but there really aren't any hills.