San Francisco, CA
Adventurer | 223 pts
This trial is an urban jewel. My journey began in the Jackson Square neighborhood, nestled between the financial district to the South, North Beach to the West, and the ad agency strip + Levi's Plaza to the North.
I took Market Street all the way up past Downtown and the Castro district to 17th street, and began a long, steep and rigorous climb along city streets to the top of Twin Peaks. As a beginner, I was not ready for this sort of thing. The journey up 17th to Clayton, then Twin Peaks Blvd., and terminating where Clarendon meets Johnstone is a sweet and sour mixture of of the pleasure of sweeping views of the city, and the pain of slopes that periodically touch on 25 degree inclines. Upon reaching the entrance to the student housing for UCSF, the adventure begins. a sharp right turn, and you are enveloped in tall trees and after a short but steep climb, a small unassuming trail entrance greets you. The Sutro Trail itself is narrow and filled with technical challenges. Roots, rocks, and mixture of plants on either side keep the senses alive. Nearly 200 meters into the trail, the UCSF medical center is far below, as you bike along the ledge of the tree shrouded mountain.
A small word of caution - at times the trail is shared by runners and walkers, so moderate speeds are advised. And some of the side trails require advanced skills as the declines can be very steep.
All in all, this was nice little treasure in the middle of the city. Through the trail is short, the sheer delight of mountain biking in the middle of such a dense city is worth the trip.