Bernal Hill Rock - Atlas Obscura

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Bernal Hill Rock

This colorful boulder serves as a canvas for political statements and artistic expression. 


A boulder on the side of Bernal Hill in San Francisco serves as a public forum for the local community. Ever-changing, the Bernal Rock is frequently painted to communicate cheeky ideas, political messages, current events and other sentiments important to the local community. 

The rock’s infamy is due to the city designation of the paint jobs as graffiti. In the summer of August 2020, a battle ensued over the rock after a “Black Lives Matter” message was painted over a whopping six times within a week. The rock fluctuates between homages to dead celebrities, seasonal homages, political statements, and world events.

Locals don’t know when the rock was first painted, but it is a beloved symbol of Bernal Heights. A local resident set up an instagram account, @bernalhillrock, to document its many changing faces.



Know Before You Go

Walk along Bernal Heights Boulevard at the base of Bernal Hill. The rock is located on the left side of the boulevard. 

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