The main reason to visit Alta Plaza Playground is for the view. Even if there was no view, however, the fun and challenging play structures, fully-fenced in playground, and adjacent bathrooms would still make it worth visiting.
The climb up to the playground is steep, but worth it. There is a large staircase in the center of the block on Pierce Street and the ramp is on the corner of Scott and Jackson. The ramp zigzags to climb up the steep hill. Either way, you will get a work out along the way. The easiest/least steep path is from Scott & Washington. The southeast corner of the park is an off-leash dog park. If you climb up the grassy hill from the playground, there are nice views of the Bay.
The playground is fully-fenced in with more than one gate, I think 4. There is a structure for younger children next to a sandbox and a structure for older children divided by a small concrete wall that doesn’t extend the full length, so they are connected.
Additionally, there are several interesting structures to climb and ride on: lots of monkey bars, seesaws, a small train structure, spinners, and swings. There are two sets of swings with 4 on each – a set for toddlers and a set for bigger kids.
On a sunny day, there is no shade. Bring hats and sunscreen. And, as always for San Francisco, also bring a jacket. It can get chilly if it is windy or the fog rolls in.
On the opposite end of the playground from the toddler area, there is a large climbing net. Must be an amazing view from the top!
There are not many restaurants immediately nearby, so it’s a good idea to pack a picnic or plan to eat before/after. There is a great place for coffee and pastries nearby, b. patisserie, about a (very steep) half mile away. There are also lots of places to eat or pick up picnic supplies on Filmore & California.
Fenced In?: Yes, fully gated with four gates
Toddler Swings?: Yes