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Routes with a View

A Tranquil View with A Rocky Past

Friday, June 5, 2015

Twice a month we share some of our favorite vistas and destinations in the city and the Muni routes and lines that will take you there.

Yellow cable car 15 heads south on Hyde Street with Alcatraz and Angel islands in the background.

Over the past 34 years, thousands of the world’s finest athletes have filled the Bay, biked across the Marina Green and legged it across the Presidio to Baker Beach and back. Year after year, the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon participants brave the bay waters as part of a grueling feat of endurance that harkens back to the daring 1962 escape from Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary by Frank Morris, Clarence Anglin and John Anglin.

A great view of the famous island can be enjoyed from the relative comfort of one of the Powell-Hyde Cable Cars. The Hyde Street Hill, which also connects visitors to the curviest stretch of Lombard Street, offers a great vantage point from which to view Alcatraz and its neighboring bay fixture, Angel Island.   

Did you know? For the 1979 film, Escape from Alcatraz, starring Clint Eastwood and directed by Don Siegel, Eastwood and his fellow actors Fred Ward and Jack Thibeau enacted the dangerous escape down the prison wall and into the water themselves—without stunt doubles (yikes!). A couple of times they were thought to have been swept away in the bay’s rough currents.

How to Get There

Cable Car: The Powell-Hyde Line runs between the Powell St. turnaround at Market Street and Victorian Park at Hyde and Beach streets.

Historic Streetcars: Alternatively, you can hop aboard a historic F Market and Wharves streetcar that will take you to Fisherman’s Wharf for a bay cruise to the island itself.