Brochure of Golden Gate National Recreation Area (NRA) in California. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).
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Golden Gate Golden Gate National Recreation Area California National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior If we in the Congress do not act, the majestic area where sea and bay and land meet in a glorious symphony of nature will be doomed. —US Rep. Phillip Burton,1972 Muir Beach; below left: osprey with prey Alcatraz Native plant nursery NPS / MARIN CATHOLIC HS NPS / ALISON TAGGART-BARONE Tennessee Valley; above: view from Marin Headlands toward city BOTH PHOTOS NPS / KIRKE WRENCH HORSE AND VOLUNTEER—NPS / ALISON TAGGARTBARONE; HEADLANDS—NPS / KIRKE WRENCH Petaluma Tomales 37 101 1 For city dwellers, it’s not always easy to experience national parks without traveling long distances. A new idea emerged in the early 1970s: Why not bring parks to the people? In 1972 Congress added two urban expanses to the National Park System: Golden Gate National Recreation Area in the San Francisco Bay area and its eastern counterpart Gateway National Recreation Area in New York and New Jersey. Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary 140 miles of trails 80 Richmond Rosie the Riveter / WWII Home Front National Historical Park 580 Muir Woods Stinson Beach Mount Tamalpais State Park Muir Beach Angel Island State Park 101 80 Fort Point Presidio Cliff House SAN FRANCISCO Ocean Beach Farallon National Wildlife Refuge Berkeley Alcatraz Marin Headlands FIC 78 shipwrecks species See below for detail Bolinas Lagoon 758 historic structures San Rafael Marin Municipal Water District 1 10,000 years of history S AN PAB L O B AY Samuel P. Taylor State Park Olema Valley 36,000 park volunteers 35 threatened or endangered Novato Point Reyes National Seashore 81,000 acres of parklands 29,000 yearly raptor sightings Vallejo Tomales Bay CI Fort Funston San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park 101 S AN F R ANC IS C O B AY Milagra Ridge 280 12 sand beaches OC 3 lighthouses EA 1 Golden Gate N Come here for the natural cathedral of coast redwoods at Muir Woods or to experience for yourself the harsh conditions on Alcatraz Island. But don’t overlook the out-ofthe-way places to savor the scents of bay laurel and sage, cool morning fog, waves crashing on the headlands, or a tapestry of native spring wildflowers. Golden Gate National Recreation Area invites you to enjoy, explore, and find your own way to experience the parks at the Golden Gate. GOLDEN GATE BY THE NUMBERS PA At nearly 81,000 acres, Golden Gate National Recreation Area is the nation’s largest national park unit in an urban setting. It extends well north and south of San Francisco (see map at right). Along with other public lands and waters in the region, it is recognized by the United Nations as Golden Gate Biosphere Reserve. Offshore, Gulf of the Farallones and Monterey Bay national marine sanctuaries protect ocean habitat and many threatened and endangered species, while allowing for compatible human uses. The national recreation area’s role as the Bay Area’s backyard continues to evolve in ways its early proponents never imagined. Renewable energy powers public buildings and transportation. People of all abilities use accessible trails and other facilities, engaging in activities that promote health and wellness. Volunteers do everything from conducting tours to helping restore native habitat. Golden Gate NRA legislative boundary Countless things to discover Golden Gate NRA water legislative boundary Other public land 0 Mori Point Pacifica 1 Rancho Corral de Tierra Sweeney Ridge San Francisco Peninsula San Watershed Mateo 101 Half Moon Bay North 0 See other side for detail 10 Kilometers Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary 35 Phleger Estate 1 10 Miles 1 280 Experience Your Parks Park volunteers contribute to just about every aspect of your experience at Golden Gate National Recreation Area. GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL PARKS CONSERVANCY / EDDIE ARAUJO WHERE TO BEGIN Golden Gate National Recreation Area includes Alcatraz, Fort Point National Historic Site, Muir Woods National Monument, and dozens more natural and historic places (see maps on both sides of this brochure). There are visitor informa tion centers at Alcatraz, Fort Point National Historic Site, Golden Gate Bridge Pavilion, Land’s End, Marin Headlands, Muir Woods Na tional Monument, Pacifica, and Presidio. Information and schedules are available on site or at www.nps.gov/goga. For a calendar of events and interactive trip planning map, go to www.parks conservancy.org. Alcatraz Reservations highly recommended: 415981-ROCK (415-981-7625) or www.alcatrazcruises.com. Ferries leave from Pier 33 (see map at right). Be advised that America the Beautiful Pass does not cover ferry ride. Muir Woods National Monument Reservations required! Visit early in the day for a more relaxed and crowd-free time in the redwoods. Make parking or shuttle reservations at: GoMuirWoods.com or call 1-800-410-2419. (www.bart.gov), Marin County (goldengate.org); East Bay (www.actransit. org); and Peninsula (www. caltrain.com and www. smctd.com) Getting Around MUNI bus es (www.sfmta.com) serve most park sites in the city and the Marin Headlands. MUNI lines connect to other systems in the Bay Area Left: Crissy Field, Alcatraz in background. NPS / KIRKE WRENCH HIGHLIGHTS FOR TWO HOURS OR LESS • Spot whales at Muir Beach Overlook during their winter migration (December–February). • Take a cell phone tour of Fort Baker, an Endicott period army post from the early 1900s. • Tour the Cold War-era Nike Missile Site in the Marin Headlands. • Play with interactive exhibits at the Presidio Visitor Center. • Scan the sky for migratory birds of prey (raptors) soar ing above Marin Headlands on Hawk Hill (in fall). • Walk around restored wetlands at Crissy Field. • Touch the historic 16-inch gun at Battery Townsley in Marin Headlands. • Watch the sun set over the ocean at Cliff House. • Learn about two centu ries of Presidio military life on a rangerguided tour. • Discover what makes Fort Point noteworthy and col lect an NPS Civil War trad ing card. • Explore the ruins of Sutro Baths and nearby Sutro Heights Gardens. • Enjoy spectacular views of the Golden Gate at one of the many overlooks. • Walk the Esplanade at Ocean Beach. • Take a history walking tour of Fort Mason. • Take a wildflower walk at Fort Funston (in spring). • Look for red-legged frogs in ponds at Mori Point. Above: Miles of roads and trails—ideal for hiking and biking—traverse the Marin Headlands. GOLDEN GATE NATIONAL PARKS CONSERVANCY / MICHAL VENERA IF YOU HAVE A HALF DAY OR MORE • Hike from the ocean to the top of Montara Moun tain (2,000 feet) at Rancho Corral de Tierra. • Find the Bay Discovery Site on Sweeney Ridge where Spanish explorer Gaspar de Portolà first saw San Francisco Bay in 1769. Accessibility We strive to make our facilities, services, and programs accessible to all. For additional informa tion ask a ranger, check at a visitor center, visit the park website, or call 415 5614958. Camping The park has four campgrounds, tents only. Bicentennial, Hawk Hill, and Haypress are small with limited services; Kirby Cove accommodates larger groups. Call 415-3311540 for information. Reserve Kirby Cove and Bicentennial at www.recreation.gov. Rob Hill in the Presidio is reserved through the Presidio Trust at www.presidio.gov. Volunteers In Parks Golden Gate National Recreation Area has one of the largest and most diverse Volunteers In Parks (VIP) communities in the nation. Call the VIP Hotline, 4155614755, or visit www.nps.gov/goga/ supportyourpark. Park Partners The park works closely with Golden Gate National Parks Con servancy and dozens of other park partners to en hance the experiences of visitors and build communi ty support. For a full list of park partners, visit www. nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit/ partners. • Catch fish at Fort Point, Baker Beach, or Ocean Beach. • Camp at Kirby Cove, with a panoramic view of the Golden Gate. • Join in the Junior Ranger program at Alcatraz. Re serve tickets ahead! • Take the rocky trail out to the Point Bonita Light house (limited hours). • Bicycle along the water front from San Francisco Maritime National Histori cal Park across the Golden Gate Bridge to Battery • Spot wrens, jays, spotted owls, and other wild crea tures among the coast red woods at Muir Woods Na tional Monument. MORE THINGS TO KNOW For a Safe Visit Federal laws protect all natural and cultural features in the park. Please enjoy things in their natural habitat and leave them undisturbed. • Dogs are allowed in most areas of the park; check the park website for area-specific regulations. Clean up waste. • Be prepared and dress in layers. Weather is unpre dictable. • For a full list of regulations, including fire arms information, check the park website. Spencer—and panoramic views of the city. More Information Golden Gate National Recreation Area is one of over 400 parks in the National Park System. To learn more about national parks visit www.nps.gov. Golden Gate National Recreation Area Fort Mason, Bldg. 201 San Francisco, CA 94123 415-561-4700 www.nps.gov/goga Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Emergencies call 911 Right: Fort Point National Historic Site NPS / ALISON TAGGART-BARONE • Hike, bike, or ride a horse to the ocean on the Ten nessee Valley Trail. • Spend the day at Stinson Beach, the park’s only life guarded beach. Left: Muir Woods boardwalk. Below: Mission blue butterfly (actual size), an endangered species native to the Bay Area. MUIR WOODS—NPS / ALISON TAGGART-BARONE; BUTTERFLY—NPS / KIRKE WENCH