San Francisco is known for many things. Cable cars, Alcatraz, steep hills, and lots of steps, to name a few. Fortunately, this city has made climbing stairs a bit more enjoyable.
Scattered around the city are several mosaic-tiled staircases. Tourists and fitness enthusiasts alike can enjoy these beautifully crafted steps.
Learn where to find 3 sets of mosaic-tiled steps in the San Francisco area! See the bottom of the post for a map of their locations.
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Where to Find Tiled Steps in San Francisco
16th Avenue Tiled Steps
Located in the Golden Gate Heights Neighborhood, the 16th Avenue Tiled steps are definitely the most famous tiled steps in San Francisco.
This staircase has 163 steps, with each flight of stairs presenting a different design formed by mosaic tiles. Depicted on the steps are ocean life, plants, waves, the sun, moon, and much more.
The 16th Avenue mosaic staircase was the first of several similar community projects in the San Francisco area. Volunteers and residents from the community maintain the steps. You can find out more about the tiled steps at their official website.
Continue your climb to the top of Grand View Park for amazing views of San Francisco. (You’ll understand why it’s called “Grand View” Park!) This is also a great place to watch sunset.
Best time to visit: Remember, these are the most popular tiled steps in San Francisco. Early morning or late afternoon before sunset will be the least busy times.
Hidden Garden Steps
The Hidden Garden Steps are comprised of 148 mosaic tile steps that are separated into 9 sections. Each flight of stairs displays a different design, but they all flow together to form a beautiful collage of mostly flowers and plant life. The largest element of the staircase is the blue and red salamander, which spans 26 steps.
You will also notice well-maintained gardens on each side of the steps. San Francisco Department of Public Works has spent $250,000 turning the once graffitied and littered staircase into the beauty it is today.
The idea to revamp the stairs came in 2010. Local artists started working in 2012 and completed the masterpiece in December of 2013.
Many of the tiles and plants you see have been donated from members of the community (over 600 people donated!). Getting a closer look at these colorful tiles will show you names and messages from the people who donated them.
When to visit: While less busy than the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps, early mornings or late afternoons are again the least busy times to visit, especially if you want to try to photograph the steps without people in your frame.
Photography FYI: You won’t be able to capture all 9 flights of stairs in one photo. Actually, you won’t even be able to see all 9 flights from the bottom.
Lincoln Park Steps
Originally built in the early 1900s, the Lincoln Park steps began receiving their upgrade in 2007. The two flights of stairs are comprised of 52 steps, with beautiful tiled benches placed halfway up if you need to stop and rest.
This bright-colored tiled staircase leads the way to Lincoln Park Golf Course and playground. Once at the top, make sure you turn around to admire the view of downtown San Francisco.
If you want a great hike with waterfront views, hop on the Land’s End Trail. The trail is less than half a mile from the top of the stairs.
Fun fact: This park was dedicated to President Lincoln in 1909.
When to visit: The Lincoln Park Steps area is least crowded in the morning and afternoon.
For photography, visiting on an overcast or cloudy day will make for the best photos. Sunny days will cast dark shadows on part of the stairs.
Tiled Steps Locations
See the Google Map below for the locations of the mentioned steps!
Seeing tiled steps is considered a must-do when visiting San Francisco. Even if you only get to visit just one, make sure you knock this off your bucket list of things to do in this city!