As you walk past the columns at the end of Haight Street, you will find a small lake in Golden Gate Park shaded by a cluster of trees. The man-made Alvord Lake dates back to the 1880s and was a part of the initial development of the eastern sections of the park. Follow the path along the lake to reach Alvord Bridge and Kezar Drive, which leads you towards Sharon Meadow. Named after park commission president William Alvord, it was he who donated the funds that led to the development of the lake.

Things to Don at Alvord Lake

In the past, locals gathered to enjoy the fully functional fountain at Alvord Lake – complete with visits from resident swans. Today, people visit the lake to take in the beautiful setting. Plenty of natural features add to the pleasant surroundings. For instance, the edge of the lake offers the sight of lovely ferns and reeds.

Constructed in 1889, Alvord Bridge is considered the first structure of its kind built with iron-reinforced concrete. Cars pass over the bridge on Kezar Drive, while pedestrians can walk from the east edge of the park into Sharon Meadow without the hassle of having to cross a busy street. Underneath the bridge is an interesting cavern-like tunnel with a ceiling decorated with artificial stalactites that have certainly seen better days. The pedestrian tunnel makes an interesting backdrop for picture-takers.

A joint effort between the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department gardeners and the Alvord Lake Task Force offer a volunteer opportunity to give back to the park. With a wide range of gardening tasks, you can participate in the maintenance and renovation of the lake and surrounding greenery.


Alvord Lake is located on 501 Stanyan Street.