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City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

A long weekend is the perfect excuse for another adventure, so we set off to hike in the Mount Sutro Cloud Forest.

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

We took the underground N Judah to Cole Valley, an after a brief lunch at Burgermeister (next time I want to try Café Reverie’s outdoor terrace, which I glimpsed through the bathroom window), we headed to one of the entrances at 17th and Stanyon.  The unassuming staircase is easy to miss – there are two small signs located right between two houses in the neighborhood.  I took a pic of the map to reference later, and I’m glad we did.  Inside the forest, there are small markers pointing out different trails but no other maps… it could be a bit confusing.   (We brought a paper map too… I used this website to print a copy.)

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

Up we went, and within minutes it was like we were miles away from the city.  With trail names like “Fairy Gates Trail” and “Mystery Trail,” you know I was excited about meeting some gnomes in the foggy forest.  No fairy creatures were spotted, but it really did seem like the perfect otherworldly atmosphere.

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

A little reminder that you can never get away from the city…

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

 

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

Putting that map to good use…

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

We came upon this little alter carved into the side of the trail.  Not sure why it’s there…

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

 

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

At first we didn’t see any fog… and I was wondering what the “Cloud forest” thing was all about.  But on the ascent toward the summit, the fog started rolling in and the winds picked up.  Soon we were pulling on our jackets, then slipping and sliding on muddy trails.  Other than a harrowing moment when my foot actually left my shoe behind, stuck in the muck, it was pretty fun… it’s not often we actually get dirty just for fun anymore, you know?

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

We found ourselves dropped unceremoniously off the trail in the middle of a neighborhood, so we relied on our trusty Google maps to steer us back toward home. We passed by some wild gardens on the way… seriously, the plants that thrive in the foggy weather are crazy cool!

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

The Amateur Librarian // City Sights: Mount Sutro Cloud Forest

Soon enough, we were back in our neighborhood (where the fog sometimes visits, but never stays).  Fun stuff!

More city sights coming soon as we explore San Francisco!

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