The Grand Staircase offers a steep climb toward a panoramic view and is commonly known as “The Steps” or “The Stairs.” The staircase leads to the top of Communications Hill, named for the 114-foot decommissioned microwave tower at its peak.
Architect Daniel Solomon designed the stairs utilizing inspiration from the better known Telegraph Hill, which leads visitors up 400 steps to San Francisco’s Coit Tower. The Grand Staircase is actually two staircases with a walking trail between them.
On any given morning, it’s not uncommon to find people exercising along the stairs. After sunset, the area transforms into a popular hangout destination for the younger crowd. At night, the stairs offer unparalleled views of the city lights shining in front of the dark expanse of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
The area is popular for prom and wedding pictures. Visitors also flock to the hill for the best view of July 4th and New Year’s Eve firework shows. During the spring, a massive herd of sheep inhabit the hill to consume the dry brush in preparation for fire season each year.
The incredible view makes the steep climb worthwhile.
Know Before You Go
The stairs are open to the public, but technically close at night. Please be respectful of the residents by keeping the noise down if you choose to go at night and take your trash with you.
The top of the staircase is at the intersection of Casselino Drive and Lina Street. The stairs start at the corner of Mullinex Way and Montevarchi Street. You can access them from either end, but the top tends to have more street parking available.