Esmeralda Slide Park – San Francisco, California - Atlas Obscura

Esmeralda Slide Park

A pair of slides and a tree-lined stair corridor have been an urban oasis for nearly 40 years.  


One morning in 1979, a fierce and loud contest took place on the slopes of Bernal Heights, in San Francisco. The city’s then mayor Dianne Feinstein won a shriek-filled sliding competition against the district supervisor Lee Dolson, on the newly constructed Winfield Street slides.

The 40-feet metal slides on Bernal Hill run alongside a section of the Esmeralda street stairs, that are a direct steep climb up to the picturesque Bernal Heights park from Esmeralda and Elsie streets. The tree-lined corridor offers progressively better views of the city as you make your way up.

Like the Seward Street slides, these structures and the gardens around the stairs came up as a result of initiative taken by and cooperation of the local residents, with the assistance of the city. After a couple of decades of delighting those who knew about them, the slides were nearly dismantled in 1997-98, when expensive repairs were needed. The community stepped in and saved the day again, by volunteering labor to lower the price.

Cardboard pieces to amp up sliding speeds can be found right near these slides, that are as popular with adults, as with children. 

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