Here's Why You Want To Visit Twin Peaks In San Francisco

Twin Peaks in San Francisco is named for its two practically identical hills that rise above the city, competing for the title of the city's highest summit. With an altitude of 922 meters (3,024 feet), they are actually the second-highest peaks, trailing close behind Mount Davidson at 938 meters. Locals orient themselves with the Sutro Tower, the TV antenna that soars above Twin Peaks.

The Twin Peaks are a dividing marker of San Francisco's weather. The neighborhoods west of Twin Peaks are foggier than those on the east. On a clear day, you will be rewarded with endless vistas of the city below and the hills beyond. From the tippy top, you can see the best of SF's landmarks — from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Bay Bridge; from Alcatraz to the Transamerica Building, downtown, and Market Street.

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Best Time to Visit Twin Peaks in San Francisco

Come for the views but here's a strong warning — only make the climb to the top on a clear day. Arrive in the fog and you'll feel like you're in a cloud. And remember, it's windy and cold on top in all seasons, so bring a warm coat, a wind breaker, hat, and sturdy shoes

View from Twin Peaks Park

Early Spanish settlers originally named the the two peaks "Breasts of the Maiden", Los Pechos de la Choca, for obvious reasons. You're going to love the sweeping San Francisco vistas and you may want to stay longer to experience the fascinating and diverse native animal and plant world.

Insider's Way to See Twin Peaks

If you arrive on a clear day, parking will be extremely competitive. One of our favorite ways to get to the top is the ascent on the eastern face. Park in upper Noe Valley, take Grand View to the bridge that crosses Portola Street. Signs will then lead you the rest of the way.

It's about a 25-minute drive to Twin Peaks from Fisherman's Wharf. Unfortunately, Twin Peaks is not easily accessed by public transportation. Buses 48 and 52 stop on Portola Drive near the Twin Peaks turnoff. Or take the number 37 Corbett and get off at the #74 Crestline Drive.

Twin Peaks City Tour

Guided Tours That Take in Twin Peaks

Perhaps the easiest and most fun way to get up to enjoy the view from Twin Peaks is on a city tour or on a guided urban hike. Both of these activities let you see a lot of the city, and they both include a trip up to Twin Peaks — one by vehicle and one on foot! Click on the blue buttons to find out more.

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Twin Peaks – The Views & the Park

Most visitors drive to the north peak parking lot for 180-degree views of the Bay Area, but they miss the opportunity to experience the native flora, fauna, and grassland of the 64-acre park. The park gives you an idea of how San Francisco's hills and peaks looked before the city's development.

The Views & the Park

The vegetation is a mix of grassland and coastal scrub. See native plants such as coyote brush, lizard tail, pearly everlasting and lupine. If you're lucky, you'll see the mission blue butterfly. The endangered butterfly has adapted to the strong winds by flying low to the ground. You'll also see Twin Peak's native animal life: brush-nesting birds, rabbits and coyotes.

The Mission Blue Butterfly

This rare butterfly is listed on the federal endangered species and clings to life in a few wildlife areas of San Francisco. Twin Peaks is one of them and the only place where the butterfly can survive in the city. For that reason, there is a release program where pregnant mission blues are released on Twin Peaks.

The mission blue butterfly is recognized by its light blue color and small size (about the size of a quarter). The butterfly's survival depends on three species of lupine, a plant native to the rocky grasslands. The lupine is its primary food source and provides a safe habitat, and nesting place for the eggs.

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