Perched on a hilltop between the Corona Heights and Castro neighborhoods, this park is home to a mile-long network of trails and an exposed rock summit that boasts some of the best views in San Francisco. While best known for its urban vistas, Corona Heights Park offers a surprising diversity of amenities within its hillside setting.
At the turn of the 20th century, Corona Heights Park was home to a quarry and brick factory operation that exposed much of the red rock seen throughout park today. Comprised of Franciscan chert that underlies much of the area, the red rock was used for bricks in the construction of nearby buildings (at least one house built with the local chert bricks still stands in the neighborhood today). The distinctive quarried summit blocks give the park and local neighborhood its name.
On the northeast side of the park sits a steep and polished rock face known to climbers as the Beaver Street Wall. While climbing was freely permitted in the past, climbers must now obtain a permit from the park to climb here. The rock wall is an example of a "slickenslide," a smooth, polished face created by two masses of rock during tectonic shifting.
Considering the park's small size, the impressive trail system provides good walking and running options. Hillside trails wind their way around and over the summit and provide views of the surrounding neighborhoods, Twin Peaks, and downtown San Francisco. From the peak, various trails descend to a popular off-leash dog area, tennis courts, playgrounds. You'll also find the Randall Museum, a community museum offering natural history exhibits as well as children and adult arts and science programs. For a longer outing, consider combining a visit to Corona Heights Park with nearby Buena Vista Park, just a short walk west.
Corona Heights Park does not have a designated parking area. Look for street parking near one of the park entrances on Roosevelt Way, Museum Way, Beaver Street, or 15th Street. Alternatively, Randall Museum has a small parking lot that is usually busy with the museum's visitors.