Filbert Street (San Francisco)

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Looking east up Filbert Street toward Coit Tower
Looking east toward Coit Tower
Looking up the steps

Filbert Street in San Francisco, California starts at Lyon Street[1] on the east edge of The Presidio and runs east, crossing Van Ness Avenue and Columbus Avenue. It ends on Telegraph Hill[2] at Kearny Street below Coit Tower and eventually resumes as a pedestrian stairway known as the Filbert Street Steps.

The Filbert Street Steps, a step street, descend the east slope of Telegraph Hill along the line where Filbert Street would be if the hill weren't so steep. The steps run through the Grace Marchant Garden, which resident Grace Marchant started in 1949 and is now tended to and paid for by the residents of the "street."[3] From there, the steps run down to an eastern stub of Filbert Street and the walkway through the plaza to The Embarcadero. Many houses in this residential neighborhood are accessible only from the steps. As on paved streets, several fire hydrants and a solitary parking meter are located along the steps.

Gradient records[edit]

  • Filbert Street has a maximum gradient of 31.5% (17.5°).[4] The steepest hill on Filbert is the one-way down east half of the block between Hyde and Leavenworth. The city map shows a descent of 65 feet, which based on a half-block being 206.25 horizontal feet makes the grade 31.5%, the official figure.
  • 22nd Street in San Francisco shares the same 31.5% (17.5°) maximum gradient, between Vicksburg and Church Street.,[4] also one-way down.
  • The sidewalk-only section of Broderick Street (between Broadway and Vallejo, where the city map shows a climb of 96 feet in the 275-foot block) is steeper than Filbert, just under 35% grade
  • The sidewalk-only block of Baker Street, just one block west of Broderick, also between Broadway and Vallejo is a bit steeper than Broderick.
  • An unofficial survey of San Francisco streets declared the steepest street in San Francisco to be a 30-foot section of Bradford Street,[5] paved in 2010, with a 40% grade.[6]
  • The curvy Lombard Street started as a 27% grade.[7]
  • Three streets in Los Angeles are steeper—28th Street in San Pedro at 33.3%, Eldred Street in Highland Park at 33%, and Baxter Street in Silver Lake at 32%.[8]
  • Canton Avenue in Pittsburgh is said to have a 37% grade; the length of that grade is unknown.
  • Baldwin Street in Dunedin, New Zealand, may be the steepest residential street in the world; it reportedly averages 1:3.41 (16.33° or 29.3%) for 161 meters but its maximum is claimed to be 35% for an unknown distance.[9]
  • Ffordd Pen Llech in Harlech, Wales is now declared as the steepest in the world according to the Guinness World Records at 37.45%.

The feral parrots of Telegraph Hill, which were the subject of the 2003 documentary The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, may often be seen along the Filbert Street steps.


  1. ^ 37°47′48″N 122°26′49″W / 37.7966°N 122.447°W / 37.7966; -122.447
  2. ^ 37°48′06″N 122°24′22″W / 37.8018°N 122.4062°W / 37.8018; -122.4062
  3. ^ Habegger, Larry (Spring 2016). "Saving Grace's Garden: 30 Years Since the Battle of Filbert Steps". The Semaphore. Retrieved 2018-09-03.
  4. ^ a b Lombard Street Archived 2020-02-17 at the Wayback Machine,
  5. ^ 37°44′14″N 122°24′35″W / 37.7373°N 122.4097°W / 37.7373; -122.4097
  6. ^ "More Steep Streets of San Francisco".
  7. ^ Saperstein, Susan. "Lombard Street". San Francisco City Guides. Archived from the original on February 22, 2014. Retrieved June 22, 2011.
  8. ^ Pool. B.(August 21, 2003)."Getting the Slant on L.A.'s Steepest Street", Los Angeles Times.
  9. ^ Charles Rawlings New Zealand's South Island Lonely Planet, 2009

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 37°47′58″N 122°25′27″W / 37.79948°N 122.42425°W / 37.79948; -122.42425