Mountains in San Francisco

Twin Peaks (San Francisco)

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The Twin Peaks are two prominent hills with an elevation of about 925 feet (282 m) located near the geographic center of San Francisco, California. Only 928 foot (283 m) Mount Davidson is higher within the city.

Location and climate

The North and South Twin Peaks, also known as "Eureka" and "Noe" respectively, are about 660 ft (200 m) apart; Twin Peaks Boulevard runs a figure eight around them. The peaks form a divide for the summer coastal fog pushed in from the Pacific Ocean. Their west-facing slopes often get fog and strong winds, while the east-facing slopes receive more sun and warmth. Elevation at each summit is just over 900 feet (270 m). Thin, sandy soil is commonplace on Twin Peaks, making them susceptible to erosion.

History

Before the arrival of the Europeans, the native Ohlone people may have used Twin Peaks as a lookout or hunting ground. The ecological diversity of Twin Peaks provided medicinal or ceremonial plants, grains and berries. When the Spanish conquistadors and settlers arrived at the beginning of the 18th century, they called the area "Los Pechos de la Chola" or "Breasts of the Indian Maiden" and devoted the area to ranching. When San Francisco passed under American control during the 19th century, it was renamed "Twin Peaks".

Attractions

Christmas Tree Point lies some 70 ft (21 m) below the North Peak and offers vistas of San Francisco and San Francisco Bay. The view to the north extends no farther than Cobb Mountain () 120 km away, but looking southeast down the Santa Clara Valley on a clear day, Santa Ana Mountain is just visible 143 km away.

To the north is one of the city's many reservoirs. It is owned by the San Francisco Fire Department, and supplies water to the Fire Department's independent HPFS water system for fighting fires, established after the 1906 earthquake and fire.

The top of Twin Peaks is undeveloped. It is part of the 31 acres (13 ha) Twin Peaks Natural Area, managed and owned by the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. These preserved areas are home to many natural resources and wildlife. As part of the Mission blue butterfly habitat conservation, Twin Peaks is one of the few remaining habitats for this endangered species. Many bird species, insects and vegetation thrive in these areas.

The Muni Metro Twin Peaks Tunnel runs beneath Twin Peaks, linking Downtown San Francisco with West Portal and the southwestern part of the city. There is no public transportation all the way to the top of the Peaks, but the 37 Corbett Muni line stops on Crestline Drive near a path up the hill.

The San Francisco Police Department Academy is at the base of the peaks.

The name "Twin Peaks" is also applied to the surrounding neighborhood.

View to the northeast towards downtown San Francisco

See also

  • 49-Mile Scenic Drive
  • List of San Francisco, California Hills
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Tips & Hints
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Travel Channel
9 December 2011

The geographic center of the city – with an amazing view! As seen on Travel Channel’s The Layover with Anthony Bourdain.

Corinna P
7 August 2011

Take in Le View. It may convince you that San Francisco is the best city on earth.

Valentine's Day Movie
2 February 2010

Ignore the usual tourist railing and walk up the lone peak just to the south for stellar and secret views. Steal a kiss or two while you’re at it! #vday

Zipcar
6 June 2011

When people come in from out of town, they all want to see the Golden Gate Bridge. Take ‘em here instead. With beautiful views of the cityscape worthy of a Will Pearson photo, they’ll forget the rest.

Kelly Strodl
9 September 2011

Most complete & breathtaking view of the city, bridge to bridge. And almost every part of the city from one spot, all except the sunset, but you'd only see fog there anyways. Pano that ess.

SF Weekly
13 June 2012

SF Weekly's Best of Winner 2012 - Reader's Poll - BEST VIEW

Max S
14 February 2010

View is good

Tiffany Byrd
17 October 2013

A must see if you go to San Francisco!!!!

David Janis-Kitzmiller

Great view of the city!

Tony Rouse
5 February 2013

If you are only going to climb up one, I would suggest the one to your right when standing in middle looking at the city

AskMen
25 March 2011

Bombing down from Twin Peaks on a bike - The view of the city is stunning, and the ride down is the most fun we've had since grade school.

Chicken Little
19 March 2010

Bring a nice THICK jacket!

Fodor's Travel
28 January 2016

Twin Peaks, a sixty-four-acre mix of grassland and coastal scrub, offers 180-degree views that will give you a glimpse of what San Francisco looked like in its natural state prior to development.

Arthur Chang
26 October 2012

Sunrise is the best time to view the city from here!

Fernando Ortega
14 October 2012

It's windy up here!!

David Thornell
26 August 2012

Great view over San Francisco. Photography by David Thornell http://www.davidthornell.com

Greg Wohlenberg
13 October 2010

Some of the best views in the city...and free!

Nikita Patel
8 June 2010

Must check out this amazing view of the city. <3

Cameo Wood
27 April 2009

Drive to the top. Enjoy the view.

Laurie V
13 March 2009

Pick a cold clear morning, around 8am. Put a Sigur Ros album on your iPod. Climb to the top of the hill and look around. Feel at peace with the world.

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Location
Map
Address

501 Twin Peaks Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94131, USA

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Open hours
Mon 3:00 PM–8:00 PM
Tue 8:00 PM–9:00 PM
Wed None
Thu 2:00 PM–3:00 PM
Fri Noon–Midnight
Sat 10:00 AM–Midnight
References

Twin Peaks Summit on Foursquare

Twin Peaks (San Francisco) on Facebook

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