At 520 ft. above sea level, Corona Heights Park is the rockiest hilltop park in San Francisco but it also has a panoramic view that extends from downtown San Francisco to Twin Peaks. The city purchased the 16 acres for the park in 1928 after Josephine Randall, the Superintendent of Recreation of the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department, proposed that the land be set aside for public recreation. After much debate, the land was bought by the city for $27,333. The Randall Museum in the park contains interactive exhibits about science, nature and the arts, and it also has art and ceramic studios, a wood shop and a theater. Visitors to Corona Heights Park will usually find that it’s not crowded.
For children, Corona Heights Park contains the Corona Heights Playground and a nursery school. There’s also a community garden and the famous “Slick’n’Slides” 60 ft. high sheer rock wall that looks like it had been polished by a jeweler. Along the corkscrew paths that wind around the hill, walkers will find barbecue pits and many breathtaking views. A flat lawn with picnic tables is located just below the peak and this area has spectacular views. Near the Randall Museum and its parking lot at the end of Museum Way, dog lovers will find a fenced area where dogs are allowed to run without leashes. Even though it’s relatively small, the views from this area of the park are so attractive that people without children or dogs also enjoy it.
Under San Francisco’s Natural Areas Program, parts of Corona Heights Park consist of protected native plants, non-local plants, and unusual butterflies such as the anise swallowtail, the cabbage white and the red admiral. Birds that can be seen in the park include red-tailed hawks, white-crowned sparrows, chestnut-backed chickadees, dark-eyed juncos, American goldfinches and house finches, downy woodpeckers and pygmy nuthatches. People who appreciate beautiful flowers can see checkerblooms, mule’s ears, Douglas irises, footsteps of spring and Johnny jump-ups, which is the only plant host for the very sensitive callippe silverspot butterfly species. In the rocky areas of Corona Heights Park, the Franciscan chert rock formations are the dominant feature.
Situated south of Buena Vista Park, Corona Heights Park has 16th Street on the south side, Roosevelt Way on the north side and Flint Street on the east side. Parking is available at three locations:
1. at Museum Way and Roosevelt Way
2. at the end of Museum Way
3. at the end of Flint Street (off 16th Street)
Park facilities include tennis courts, picnic tables, restrooms and water.
Peter Cross is an accomplished article writer and creative writer who has produced hundreds of articles for many different clients since 2006 when he retired from his consulting business.