Ready to grab a piece of cardboard and fly down some really steep slides?
For the faint of heart, never fear. It's not nearly as scary as it looks!
One of the hidden treats of San Francisco is tucked away on a steep hill in the Noe Valley neighborhood. Two long, cement slides await the brave.
These slides have passed their 30 year anniversary and are still providing thrills for those who know where to find them. The parallel slides were built in 1973 using a design created by a 14-year-old girl, Kim Clark, who won the design competition for the park. Kim grew up on Seward Street.
This very steep and small piece of San Francisco real estate was headed for an apartment building...104 units!... when the residents took action to change the zoning laws and have the plot of land reserved for a park.
Most of the park is taken up with the slides, with a community garden above it, and little flat area at the bottom.
It's much easier to slide down on cardboard. The surface is smooth cement, but clothing will create some friction and therefore some drag. You want to go fast!
The best cardboard shape is a narrowish, maybe a foot wide or a bit wider if you can bend the sides up. The slides are quite narrow. Also, ideally, you want both your bottom and feet on the cardboard, so long enough for that. Some people bring plastic serving trays, but I've never tried one.
There is usually some cardboard there, but not always.
It's not really dangerous - the sides are too high to fall out - but some people do scrape their elbows, so make sure you hold your arms in.
Is it better with or without sand on the slide? The debate continues.
Open Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 10 to 5. Closed Mondays.
Park hours are different than slide hours.
When it's closed, it's really closed. They put metal barriers on the slides at intervals, so you can only slide down small sections. Bummer.
Adults are supposed to be accompanied by children, but many childlike adults go on their own;-)
It's a steep climb to the top of the slides, but there are some stairs and railings to help.
The Red or the Yellow? The two slides run parallel, but the yellow one is slightly steeper and faster.
There's sand at the bottom, so the landing is pretty benign. Little kids seemed to shoot off the end, but I came to a stop before that.
It's fast. What a rush!
It's not that easy to find, stashed away in a maze of winding streets, but it's worth the effort!
From Downtown SF: You can get to within a couple of blocks of the park from downtown. Take the J-Church Muni Metro from Market Street downtown, get off at 24th Street and Church Street, and catch the 48-Quintara bus. The bus takes you to 21st and Douglass Streets, which is a short walk to the slides (on Seward Street, off Douglass Street, right near 20th Street. See map above.
There is free, on-street parking in the area. Depending on the time of day, it can be tricky. Just make sure to look for those Street Cleaning signs: big ticket! And turn your wheels on the hills.
COVID-19 Status: at midnight on Monday, March 16, San Francisco was placed under a "shelter-in-place order.
All residents were ordered to stay home, except for necessary trips to grocery stores and essential medical visits, and solo outdoor activities like hiking.
The city had been gradually reopening of many businesses and activities, but in December, came under a strict, stay-at-home directive, due to a sudden increase in infection and hospitalization rates.
Since then, Covid numbers have dropped significantly.
Big changes coming June 15 (assuming the Covid numbers stay down). California is scheduled to fully reopen, meaning all business sectors will reopen to full or almost full capacity, including concerts, stadium sports and festivals.
Most recently, May 6, 2021, SF has moved to a less restrictive status.
Public transportation options have been cut back. See SF transit for more info.
Cable cars are expected to resume running in the fall; the Powell-Hyde line will be first.
See COVID rules for current SF status.
Mask rules: everyone in SF is required to wear a mask when they are outside and within 30 feet of other people.
Now fully vaccinated people may go without masks outdoors, but must wear masks in indoors settings.
Masks must be worn in stores and places of business and people not within the same household must stay 6 feet apart.
June 15 mask changes: fully vaccinated people can go without masks indoors as well, with some exceptions like hospitals, schools, nursing homes and on public transit.
SF Curfew has been ended.
What is open? Muir Woods, the Botanic Gardens, Golden Gate Park, Japanese Tea Garden, Pier 39, SF beaches, Golden Gate Bridge, and Twin Peaks (car access on Portola, main parking lot open) are all open.
Parking lots for SF beaches, Twin Peaks, and the Golden Gate Bridge are open. But the Welcome Center lot and Merchant Road lot at the bridge are closed.
Restaurants can now be open to 50% capacity for indoor and outdoor dining, and many restaurants are open for take-out or delivery.
Bars that serve food can serve customers indoors.
Businesses can allow customers inside, on a limited basis (grocery stores 50%).The SF Zoo is open again.
Alcatraz is open. Day Tour tickets only. See Alcatraz.
Hair salons, and open air tour buses and boat cruises can now operate.
Indoor museums are open, including the CA Academy of Sciences.
Travel to SF: non-essential travel to SF is discouraged but the quarantine requirements are no longer in effect.
Hotels are accepting reservations, up to 25% capacity, but travelers are urged to limit contact with others in the hotel.
Exploratorium: opening July 1.
Indoor swimming pools are open to 50% capacity.
Schools: many private schools are open. SF public schools started in-person learning for elementary students April 12. Older grades: negotiations are ongoing. Hopefully will open for fall classes.
Limited opening: indoor gyms and indoor movie theaters to 50% capacity.
Indoor concerts, live theater, and sporting events, may open 50% capacity. Proof of vaccination or negative Covid test will be required. See more info on indoor events.
Some venues are waiting until June 15 because capacity limits don't work for those businesses.
Napa and Sonoma county wineries are open.
For a handy list of what's open or closed in SF, plus info on what's open in other cities and counties of California, see California reopening schedules.
See coronavirus news in the SF Chronicle for details and updates.
See SF closures timeline.
Most recent Bay Area stay home order.
Also see site and parking lot closures for the National Park Service (Alcatraz, Muir Woods, etc.)
Plus helpful info on which parks and hiking trails are open in the Bay Area.
Get the latest tips on visiting San Francisco.