The San Bruno Mountain Archives seek to:

  • Share stories that illuminate the unique significance of San Bruno Mountain

  • Give voice to grassroots and unconventional understandings and experiences of San Bruno Mountain

  • Explore the lively and complicated political history of San Bruno Mountain

  • Record the changing environmental and social conditions of the mountain and its surrounding communities

  • Establish a platform where people can both personally and collectively gain a wide-ranging and intimate appreciation of San Bruno Mountain and its ecological and cultural dramas

  • Gather, digitize, categorize, and circulate a vast collection of photographs, articles, leaflets, and more regarding San Bruno Mountain from a variety of sources.

  • Serve as a wholesome resource for those involved in the creation and delivery of engaging educational and interpretive materials and services on San Bruno Mountain.

The public is invited to contribute relevant materials to the collection. Email or call the office at 415 467 6631 to discuss further.

Please continue to check in with the San Bruno Mountain Archive as new material will be continuously uploaded to both expand the collections shown below and create new collections.



Saving San Bruno Mountain is a never-ending journey. Explore the creativity and heart of the grassroots communities that have fought for their vision of San Bruno Mountain.

San bruno MOuntain


The mountain is a place of refuge and healing. Its slopes and canyons have provided the essence of “home” in a unique way to countless people, plants, and animals. The stories of the San Bruno Mountain hermits have proved captivating and important in the folklore of San Bruno Mountain. Their presence on the mountain sparked difficult conversations about homelessness, mental health, the place of humans in nature, scales of environmental destruction, authorized and unauthorized housing, life ways, and more.

San bruno mountain art

These works of art express many moments of intimate connection between the people and San Bruno Mountain. We are grateful to those who open themselves to patiently witness the life of mountain and interpret its character through art.


Paradise valley, ssf

Tucked between the northern side of Sign Hill and the southern slopes of San Bruno Mountain, this Paradise Valley in South San Francisco changed significantly in the 1990s with the creation of the TerraBay developments. It was previously known for its abundance of coast iris, critical butterfly habitat, and pastoral character as the site of a 4H farm.

northeast ridge

The Northeast Ridge forms the northern boundary of San Bruno Mountain’s Guadalupe Valley. These grassy hills, prime habitat for the endangered mission blue and callippe silverspot butterflies, were the site of controversial developments in Brisbane allowed under the habitat conservation plan.

David schooley

David Schooley joined the original Committee to Save San Bruno Mountain nearly 50 years ago; since then, his life has been thoroughly intertwined with the saga of San Bruno Mountain. At the heart of David’s existence is a raw dedication to a steady and sensitive watchfulness over this special place on Earth. David has inspired and touched countless people with his gentle jolliness and the depth of his humble familiarity and care for the plants, animals, and people of San Bruno Mountain. From David we learn how to seek, savor, and guard the soul of a place with all of the stubbornness, sweetness, and silliness of our wild, human hearts.


San Bruno Blazes

Whether indigenous burning practices, firecrackers, matches, or power lines, people of all ages have sparked fires on the mountain for ages. Fighting fire on the mountain is an old tradition as well, shared by ranchers, firefighters, townspeople, and others.



on the slopes

The letters of Sign Hill were not the first to mark mountain slopes. Learn about the many placements of signs on San Bruno Mountain. Some inspired local pride; others sparked community opposition.

Towers on the peaks

Television and radio towers, those beaming structures emerging as light-houses among the howling sea of fog, began broadcasting from the peaks of San Bruno Mountain in the 1950s.


Snow on san bruno

Experiencing the mountain covered in snow has been an uncommon but delightful occurrence, whether enjoyed from afar by commuters driving by the mountain or up close by kids.

MysterIES, Murders,

Mischief, Misery, &

Misfortune on the mt

The mountain is more than a public park, an ecological refuge, and a scenic backdrop. It has been a site of tragic blunders, gruesome violence, delinquency, desolation, mystery and assault.


Hunts & Mishaps On

mount san bruno

Hunting and target shooting were common on San Bruno Mountain through the 1970s.



san bruno mountain

Illegal dumping was widespread on San Bruno Mountain. It is still common to see discarded junk along the roadside of Guadalupe Canyon Parkway, but it doesn’t compare to the trashing of the mountain that was more widespread and before the designation of public parkland on San Bruno Mountain.


The Crocker Land coMpany

& the mountain estate

For nearly 100 years, most of San Bruno Mountain was under the private ownership of the Crocker Land Company, primarily used for ranching and dairies. Various development plans for their mountain estate were proposed in the 60s and 70s, sparking the beginning of the movement to save San Bruno Mountain.

Exploring “Nearby wilds”

The emergence of nature-based group recreation on San Bruno Mountain has roots in the Bay Area hiking clubs beginning in the 1930s.


Bayshore heights

The foothills of the mountain’s Northeast Ridge, forming the southern boundaries of Visitacion Valley, were gradually transformed into housing, become an area of Daly City known as Bayshore Heights.



Northern San Mateo County cities and residents lacked access to public open space. They pressured hesitant elected officials to purchase portions of San Bruno Mountain for a park. Furthermore, there were competing visions of what type of recreation the mountain would provide.


mount san bruno

bayfill battles

There were many schemes put forth to tear down San Bruno Mountain and use its rock and earth as bay fill. Various actors, including Save the Bay, local cities around the mountain, and the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, thwarted such plans.

The collections shown above are stored on our Flickr page.

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