Books about stairs:
Finding Los Angeles by Foot: Stairstreet, bridge, pathway and lane. Bob Inman. 2013. Self published. 280 pp. This book is about finding what is notable, historical, quizzical and beautiful in this great city while walking. It is about learning and using pedestrian-ways where a car may not go: public stairways, walk streets, pedways and pathways. This guidebook describes nearly 500 walkable passages and over 300 great things to see while you are there. From Highland Park to Venice, from Beachwood Canyon to San Pedro, 29 great walking neighborhoods are covered by 40 annotated maps drawn just for the urban explorer on foot. The book includes 150 photographs. The author has led hundreds on LA city walks and he narrates 23 of his favorites inside. Described are 175 miles of walking from Palos Verdes to the Arroyo Seco, from Boyle Heights to Rustic Canyon. This is a book about history, about architecture and about neighborhood character. Discussed are pedestrian and planning issues in Los Angeles. Included in the back is a concise directory of 336 public stairways in Los Angeles and its surrounding communities.
Seattle Stairway Walks. Jake and Cathy Jaramillo. 2013. The Mountaineers Books, Seattle, WA. 208 pp. A pocket guide to 25 stairway walks around and near Seattle. Includes color photos and maps and QR codes for the walks. QR codes are Quick Response codes that can be read by smart phones and provide directions for each walk.
The 300: The Way of the Stairs Across Los Angeles. Bob Inman. 2012. Blurb.com. 140 pp. The story of the 10-day epic walking journey by Bob Inman, Andrew Lichtman and Ying Chen across Los Angeles in the spring of 2012 to and up and down some 300 stairways. The book is filled with photos and maps. Is this a one-time adventure or the start of a new urban event? Only time will tell.
The Gentle Art of Wandering. David Ryan. 2012. New Mountain Books, Albuquerque, NM. 105 pp. A small book advocating the idea of wandering to explore one's surroundings, whether they be urban, rural, or wilderness. Chapter 4 describes the author's exploration of Los Angeles on foot via public outdoor stairways and other stairways that he has encountered in his trips around the country and elsewhere.
Secret Stairs East Bay: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Berkeley and Oakland. Charles Fleming. 2011. Santa Monica Press LLC, Santa Monica, CA. 231 pp. Includes 38 stairway walks and more than 400 individual stairways and paths found in Berkeley, Oakland, Albany, El Cerrito, and Kensington. Plus an architectural guide of the many spectacular houses and buildings found along the walk routes.
Steps, Lanes, and Paths of Mill Valley. Robert Skip Sandberg. 2010. John Carter & Company, Publishers. 120 pp. This is a beautifully photographed photo essay showing the best of the Mill Valley, California, stairways and pathways. Specific stair information is sparse, but references to the city's stair map (see below) help the reader locate the stairways photographed. Caution: reading this book may cause the reader to fall in love with Mill Valley.
The Portland Stairs Book. Laura O. Foster. 2010. Timber Press, Portland, OR. 141 pp. Includes 207 public outdoor stairways plus some interesting indoor stairways open to the public. As with her other books, Portland Hill Walks and Portland City Walks, she includes lots of interesting history and facts. This book is a worthy successor to Stefana Young's Portland's Little Red Book of Stairs (now out of print and difficult to find).
Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles. Charles Fleming. 2010. Santa Monica Press LLC, Santa Monica, CA. 235 pp. Includes 42 stairway walks and more than 275 individual stairways found between Pasadena and Pacific Palisades.
A Guide to the Public Stairways of Los Angeles. Bob Inman. 2010 (Second Edition). Blurb.com. 79 pp. Includes some 200 stairways (including color photos for many) and 19 maps showing their street locations. Lists the number of stairs for each stairway and includes a stairway scoring grade from A to D. Incorporates information from the other Los Angeles books listed below.
Stairway Walks in San Francisco. Adah Bakalinsky with Marian Gregoire. 2008 (Sixth Edition, 4th Printing). Wilderness Press, Berkeley, CA. 251 pp. Includes 630 stairways and 27 stairway neighborhood walks. Comprehensive list of stairways by Charles Brock.
Stairway Walks in Los Angeles. Adah Bakalinsky and Larry Gordon. 1990. Wilderness Press, Berkeley, CA. 102 pp. Includes some 200 stairways and 18 stairway neighborhood walks.
Portland’s Little Red Book of Stairs. Stefana Young. 1996 (currently out of print). Coobus Press, Portland, OR. 207 pp. Includes more than 150 stairways and 15 stairway neighborhoods with directions to find each stairway.
Portland Hill Walks. Laura O. Foster. 2005. Timber Press, Portland, OR. 280 pp. Includes 20 hill walks, many with stairways, and the history of each neighborhood visited. A valuable guide for both the visitor and resident.
Portland City Walks. Laura O. Foster. 2008. Timber Press, Portland, OR. 319 pp. Similar to Portland Hill Walks by the same author, but extends to other parts of the city and into the neighboring suburbs, stairways included.
Urban Details Los Angeles: Stairways. Virginia Comer. 2000. Balcony Press, Los Angeles, CA. 59 pp. A photo essay with narrative of LA’s indoor and outdoor eclectic stairways.
The Steps of Pittsburgh: Portrait of a City. Bob Regan. 2004. The Local History Company, Pittsburgh, PA. 141 pp. Includes 712 sets of steps (stairways) and six walking tours. Many excellent historic and current photographs of Pittsburgh's rich stair heritage.
Walking the Steps of Cincinnati. Mary Anna DuSablon. 1998. Ohio University Press, Athens, OH. 165 pp. Includes over 400 sets of steps (stairways) and 35 walking tours.
Exploring Sausalito's Paths and Walkways. Dorothy E. Gibson. (out of print). Scope Publishing, Sausalito, CA. Available for viewing at the Sausalito Historical Society. A photocopy of the book can be purchased for $8.00 (which includes first class postage) by sending a check to Doug Beyerlein, 15800 Village Green Drive #3, Mill Creek, WA 98012. Note that some pages are missing, but all stair-related pages are included.
Printed stair maps:
Map of the Pedestrian Public Stairs of Queen Anne Hill in Seattle, WA
. Thomas Horton. 2008. Available for sale at Queen Anne Books, 1811 Queen Anne Ave North, Seattle, WA 98109 (phone: 206-283-5624), or from the the Queen Anne Historical Society
. Includes all of the stairways (major and minor) on Queen Anne Hill.
A Guide to Mill Valley Steps, Lanes, Paths. City of Mill Valley, California. 2006. Available for sale from the City of Mill Valley, Parks and Recreation Department, 180 Camino Alto, Mill Valley, CA 94941. Includes all of the stairways (major and minor) include the famous Dipsea stairs, in the City of Mill Valley in Marin County, just north of San Francisco.
A Map of Berkeley Pathways.
Berkeley Path Wanderers Association. 5th Edition. 2007. Available for sale from www.berkeleypaths.org
. Includes all of the stairways (major and minor) and paths in Berkeley, California.
San Francisco Stairways. Sutro Media.
"In this app you'll find 49 of San Francisco's most beautiful and unique staircases, from Telegraph Hill's famous Filbert Steps with its wild squawking parrots, to hidden steps that many locals have never explored. As a fun reward for all the climbing, a set of semi-secret slides is included too. Everything is mapped and categorized by neighborhood, length, staircase materials and special features (like impressive views or great gardens), giving you everything you need to start exploring these unique urban staircases. Happy climbing!" Requirements: Compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. Requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later.
Blogs and other on-line resources:
The Gentle Art of Wandering. David Ryan. Describes wandering trips in the American Southwest and the discovery of public stairways in Bisbee and Miami, Arizona. Also information on how to order Ryan's book of the same name.
"I’m an urban hiker/”Old Hippie”/Strong Preservationist/San Francisco History Buff. A rider of public transportation (no car) who enjoys walking San Francisco’s hundreds of public stairway-streets and park trails. A favorite pastime is to meander about taking photos and appreciating the city’s various architecture, things of nature and parks, including San Bruno Mountain."
Cincinnati Hillside Steps Map. This interactive map of Cincinnati shows all of the city stairways: open, closed, and missing. A total of 365 stairways are listed on the map, so be patient while the map loads on your computer screen.
Pittsburgh Step Photos. John Walter. John has the goal of photographing all 712 stairways in the city of Pittsburgh. Many of his photos can be found with the Pittsburgh map info.
Flight Club Seattle, Seattle, WA. PJ Glassey. If you are a competitive stairclimber then this is the web site for you. It is full of information on how to train for and compete in stairclimbing events. PJ also offers group training programs.
"I’ve been told there are 300 stairways in San Francisco. My goal is to visit them all and catalog them here, however long that may take. I hope you’ll use this as a guide to explore on your own."
Seattle Stairs, Seattle, WA.
Susan Ott Ralph. Seattle has about 600 public stairs, and Susan decided to map, climb and photograph all of them. Follow her progress on Google Maps.
Seattle Stairway Walks, Seattle, WA.
Jake and Cathy Jaramillo. Provides detailed walking instructions, maps and pictures linking together some of the best neighborhood stairways in Seattle as 1 -2 hour neighborhood walks. A great way to explore Seattle neighborhoods on foot.