Urbia Adventure # 1: Treasure in the Hills of San Francisco

Aargh, Batman… there’s treasure in yonder hills!  OK, so pirate speak and Batman don’t really go together, but I can’t seem to get my little one out his Batman raincoat these days… not even for a bit of treasure seeking.  We had an unexpected break in the rain today, so we drove into San Francisco to experience our first Urbia adventure.  For those who missed my last post on the topic, the Urbia Adventure League is a company that has created self-guided treasure-hunting booklets designed to educate kids (and adults!) about the natural areas scattered throughout the urban environment of San Francisco.  Each adventure includes riddles, observations, searches, lessons, and tons of activities to help teach about the natural surroundings and history of the region, all to be completed during a two hour trek through the city.

For our first outing, we chose San Francisco Adventure No 1:  Islands in the Sky, which, as it is described on the Urbia website, “explores a string of hills rising above the Inner Sunset with lots of colorful stairways along the way. Spectacular views and peeks at rare Green Hairstreak butterfly habitat (and possibly butterflies depending on the season!).”  We selected this booklet first, as April is the best month for spotting the little green butterfly.

During our two hour trek around and over the hilltops of San Francisco, we climbed up the beautiful mosaic-tiled Moraga Steps, learned about chert, searched for tiny fossils, explored the habitat of the green hairstreak butterfly, swung on a tree swing, walked through lovely neighborhoods, and enjoyed incredible views of San Francisco and the Marin Headlands.  I was surprised how many stairs my four-year-old was willing to climb without complaint.  The booklet kept him going. With each solving of a riddle or finding of a landmark, he would say, “what’s next, what’s next!”  Packing lots of snacks helped, too.  Alas, there were no butterflies to be seen today.  I think it was too windy and cold.  But that wasn’t a problem at all.  The entire adventure was a fun success!

If you’d like to buy the booklet, go to www.urbiakids.com.  The cost is only $7.50!  It’s even less if you purchase the SF Family Explorer Package, which includes four booklets for $20.00.

Here are the photographs from our outing today…


  1. beechcreekproject says:

    Sounds like it was an awesome day to go with an awesome raincoat. Jeez.. wish I’d had one as a kid. Looks like it was a great adventure. Stay safe and keep exploring.


    1. A Nature Mom says:

      You know it’s a good outing when your child doesn’t whine even once! Super fun.


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