The Seward Street Slides

Ready to grab a piece of cardboard and fly down some really steep slides?

All set...

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.

seward street slides, vertical drop
The Drop

History of the Seward Slides

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.




Tips:

  • Bring a piece of cardboard.
  • Keep your arms inside.
  • Don't go after a recent rain.
  • Check the opening hours.
  • Beware the street cleaning times.


Cardboard

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.

Slide Hours

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.

Park Hours and Rules

Adults are supposed to be accompanied by children, but many childlike adults go on their own;-)

The Ride

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.

The End

My first ride down...

It's fast. What a rush!


Visiting the Seward Slides

It's not that easy to find, stashed away in a maze of winding streets, but it's worth the effort!

Kind of Hidden


Seward Street Slides Map
Seward Street Slides
Map data (c) OpenStreetMap contributors, CC-BY-SA

By Bus

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.

Parking

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.


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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.

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Cable cars are expected to resume running in the fall; the Powell-Hyde line will be first.

See COVID rules for current SF status.

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Some venues are waiting until June 15 because capacity limits don't work for those businesses.

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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.

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