This aptly-named hilltop park in the Sunset District has stunning views stretching from downtown San Francisco and Golden Gate Park to Pt. Reyes and around to Lake Merced. The park features a dune plant community atop 140-million-year-old rock called Franciscan chert, which was first formed when the region was part of the ancient sea floor. Most carbonate shells dissolve in ocean waters before they reach the sea floor, but radiolarian shells are silica-based and do not readily dissolve. Millions of years ago, countless radiolaria combined with mineral dust blown from inland deserts to form layers of chert, which were later uplifted to land.
The brightly colored, nickel-sized green hairstreak butterfly is found in only two regions within the city: the coastal bluffs of the Presidio, and here along Golden Gate Heights, in the nearby Hawk Hill and Rocky Outcrop natural areas. The goal of the Green Hairstreak Project is to reconnect and expand the populations found here so they can interbreed; the group leads spring walking tours of the neighborhood to look for the butterflies.
The predominant plant community at Grandview Park is coastal scrub (bush lupine, dune tansy, beach strawberry, bush monkey flower, and coyote brush). The hill is a harsh environment for plants; the sand retains very little moisture and the plants must survive without rain for six months of the year.
Grandview has a small trail network, consisting of 0.2 miles ascending to the top of the park hill. The majority of the climb is made up of wooden stairs. The short trail around the hill top is made up of soft sand like soil.
Since the supply of wind-blown sand from the ocean has been cut off by urban development, sand eroded from Grandview does not replenish itself. The hill’s fragile plant community and animal habitat depend on stopping erosion. When visiting Grandview Park, please stay on stairways and established paths. You can enter the park via two sets of stairs: a concrete stairway at 14th Avenue and Moraga on the east side, or a wooden staircase that ascends the hill’s southwestern flank from Noriega Street.Street parking is widely available around the park. Muni line 66 has stops near the park.