San Bruno Mountain 2x P1K CC / NN

Thu, Nov 5, 2020
Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 GPX Profile
previously climbed Sat, May 1, 2010

A cold weather front was scheduled to sweep across the state starting Friday, bringing snow and very cold temps to the Sierra. I decided to spend the last warm day on another bike tour of San Francisco, this one taking in the east and south sides of the city and neighboring towns of Brisbane and Daly City, with a traverse across San Bruno Mtn. Once again, I was visiting a collection of PB-only summits. San Bruno Mtn was the only one with any real prominence and the only one found on LoJ. For a look at all the PB summits visited, see this PB map .

Irish Hill

I got off at the Embarcadero BART station to begin my ride on the east side of the city. There is a fine bike/pedetrian path running along the edge of the financial and other districts on that side of town. My route took me around Oracle Park (the new-ish home of the SF Giants), Mission Bay, and more. I made my first stop in the Dogpatch district for Irish Hill. The topo map shows nothing here, but there is a small hill maybe 40ft high in this industrial area. The hill has been nearly quarried out of existence. I climbed through the brush from the north side, leaving the bike in the parking lot below. It's weak as a summit goes, but there are views, even if they aren't very pretty.

Mount St. Joseph

A few miles to the south in the Silver Terrace neighborhood, the highpoint is found along Bayview Circle in a somewhat upscale neighborhood. No views.

Candlestick Point State Recreation Area HP

This was the worst of the lot. The Giants' old stadium, Candlestick Park, was demolished some years ago and is now a brown, empty lot. The state park is in bad neglect and closed for Covid. Homeless encampments have taken up much of the space along Hunters Point Expy. The highpoint abuts the old Candlestick Park grounds, now fenced and forlorn-looking. It was a little embarrassing to notice a pair of SF's finest watching me climb up to the fenceline in the vicinity of the green circle on my peakbagger app. Thankfully they sat in their cruiser and didn't investigate my doings. This HP is a complete joke.

San Bruno Mtn

The real work on the day was the 1,000-foot+ ascent of San Bruno Mtn, another few miles to the south and just outside the city boundary. I rode south through Brisbane to the edge of town at Firth Park. An informal trail starts here and makes its way steeply up the north side of San Bruno Mtn. The going is pretty rough with encroaching brush and loose footing. I had to push the bike up the entire distance, a tiring exercise. Once on the ridgeline, there is a fireroad that doubles as the Ridge Trail with fantastic views looking both south and north. A sign indicated that it wasn't open to bikes. Oops. Luckily there was only one other person using the trail today, a woman who was taking in the views atop East San Bruno. I was happy not to get chastised as we exchanged greetings. I alternately walked and rode the bike several miles to the northwest and the highpoint of San Bruno Mtn. The State Park HP is found somewhere along the paved road leading to the various telecom towers that crowd the summit. The more interesting highpoint is found above the KCNZ-CD installation. There were technicians working there, so I went down the road to the next installation and climbed up the hillside on the northwest side of the summit. I was up at this same location 10yrs earlier with my son, but I have no real recollection of it. Views stretch as far as the haze would allow.

Excelsior Heights

I had a pleasant ride down the paved road and through the north portion of the park as I returned to the city. Excelsior Heights is a small bump atop which is built a portion of the Excelsior neighborhood. This one is pretty much a dud.

University Mound

Another mile or so to the northeast is this last one in the University Mound neighborhood. You have to look for it on the north side of Bacon St, but there is a small mound with perhaps 5ft of prominence on the grounds of a convent behind the Cornerstone Academy. After visiting this last point, I rode my bike to the Glen Park BART station where I picked up my train back to San Jose. My total time on the bike ride was a bit less than 4hrs, covering about 22mi. Good fun.

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For more information see these SummitPost pages: San Bruno Mountain

This page last updated: Fri Nov 6 08:14:59 2020
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