Tank Hill Park is located in San Francisco, near the intersection of Clayton Street and Twin Peaks Boulevard, which surrounds the hill to the south and east. A rocky outcropping defines the north side, which falls into the cliffs of the houses below.
From the south, and on the top of the hill, along Twin Peaks Boulevard, steps and a path leading to the top of the hill, offering wonderful views of downtown San Francisco and the Golden Gate.
The top of the hill offers flat and paved areas that date back to the civic waterworks that once stood on the top of the hill. Tank Hill is a popular area for local residents to gather to watch municipal fireworks on 4 July. Crissy Field, to the north, is the usual site for a large display of fireworks in San Francisco, but the hills also offer a view of the fireworks in Oakland and the East Bay.
Tank Hill is one of the secret treasures of San Francisco. Its name comes from the Clarendon Heights Water Tank built in 1894 by the Spring Valley Water Company to store water pumped from Laguna Honda. Tank Hill became a town property in 1930, when Spring Valley was acquired to establish the San Francisco Water Department. The prominent water tank was removed in 1957, and all that remains is its round base. Residents remember seeing the golden fish flowing down Belgrave Avenue when the old tank was drained. In 1960, Tank Hill was sold for $230,000 as surplus property. In 1977, developers proposed building 20 houses, but the community convinced the city to buy Tank Hill back for $650,000 from the recently created Open Space Program.
At an elevation of 650 feet, Tank Hill's main attraction is its panoramic view from Point Reyes to Bayview Hill. But what makes the 2.8 acre rocky promontory unique is that it is a remnant of San Francisco 's native landscape, containing 60 species of native plants. The easiest way to get there is a stairway at Twin Peaks and Clarendon.
The hill 's rich native plant community contains larval food plants for endangered butterflies (Mission Blue and Callippe Silverspot) as well as shrimp snake habitat, alligator lizards, western meadowlarks, kestrels and hawks. The spring wildflower show is one of the most spectacular sights in the city as the hill changes colors from yellow in March to purple in April and pink in May. The site also displays some beautiful Franciscan radio-line chert rock outcrops, the city's oldest natural features, formed on the ocean floor 130 million years ago.
Tank Hill is a fragmented natural habitat, which means that it is an island of natives surrounded by an ocean of exotic plants. Invasive exotic plants commonly known as weeds pose the greatest threat to this native plant heritage. Since there are no natural predators in non-native plants, the 10,000-year-old native plant community can be destroyed in just a few years. Weeds invade when the ecological balance is changed. Soil disturbance, extreme chemical change or erosion, elimination of sunlight, or increased moisture may create a breeding ground for weeds to thrive and spread.
Drive to Belgrave Avenue and park on the street to get there. Walk to the east end of Belgrave and you'll find a slightly hidden trail on your left that winds up Tank Hill via a small path. Once you get to the top, you'll find some fun rock outcroppings, plenty of room to lay down your blanket, and an epic view from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Bay Bridge.
This amazing landmark is located in San Francisco, California and is only a short distance away from:
- Camera Obscura
- The Vulcan Stairway
- Labyrinth at Lands End
- Yerba Buena Gardens Sculptures
- Seward Street Slides
- Urbano Sundial
- Shakespeare Garden at Golden Gate Park
- Balmy Alley
All of these wonderful attractions are located just a short distance from our location, conveniently located just down the freeway at 1261 Locust St, Walnut Creek! Stop by for a visit anytime!