"The Twin Peaks" California Things to Do Tip by traveldave

California Things to Do: 1,034 reviews and 1,951 photos


At the center of San Francisco are the Twin Peaks, two adjacent hills that are each 922 feet (281 meters) in elevation. The north peak is called Eureka Peak and the south peak is called Noe Peak. Together, both peaks make up the second-highest point in San Francisco after Mount Davidson. Because of their height, the peaks catch summertime fog that rolls in from the Pacific Ocean to the west. Frequently, the west-facing slope of the peaks is covered in fog, and the east-facing slope is clear and sunny.

The Twin Peaks are popular with tourists because of the spectacular 240-degree view they offer over San Francisco and the Bay Area. From the north, moving toward the east, the view encompasses the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, the Embarcadero, the Bay Bridge, the downtown area dominated by the pyramid-shaped Transamerica Tower, and Oakland across the bay. Access to the peaks is via Twin Peaks Boulevard that forms a figure eight around the peaks as it winds its way to the top.

It is believed that the American Indian tribe that originally lived in the area used the Twin Peaks as a hunting ground. The Spanish later used them as a grazing area for their livestock, and named them El Pecho de la Chola, meaning the "Breasts of the Indian Girl," for their shape. Nowadays, the Twin Peaks are protected from development by the 31-acre (13-hectare) Twin Peaks Natural Area.

Directions: The Twin Peaks are located off Twin Peaks Boulevard, just west of downtown San Francisco.

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  • Updated Jan 14, 2012
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