Brochure 'The Lights of Fort Point ' for Fort Point National Historic Site (NHS) in California. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).
Fort Point is a masonry seacoast fortification located at the southern side of the Golden Gate at the entrance to San Francisco Bay.
From its vantage point overlooking the spectacular Golden Gate, Fort Point defended the San Francisco Bay following California's Gold Rush through World War II. Its beautifully arched casemates display the art of 3rd system brick masonry and interacts gracefully with the Golden Gate Bridge.
Fort Point is located at the south anchorage of the Golden Gate Bridge at the end of Marine Drive on the Presidio of San Francisco. By car take Highway 101 N or S, exit at the Golden Gate Bridge toll plaza at south end of bridge. From S turn right at end of exit ramp, or from N go straight on Merchant Drive. Turn left onto Lincoln Boulevard. Take a left onto Long Avenue and follow onto Marine Drive.
Fort Point National Historic Site
Rangers at Fort Point provide information, tours and demonstrations. A small Sutler's Store in the fort offers park passport stamps and some merchandise related to Civil War and local history.
Fort Point from Marine Drive
Fort Point with visitors approaching on road in front and Golden Gate Bridge above.
Fort Point offers stunning views from under the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Fort Point Sunset View
Golden sunset light on the roof of Fort Point with Golden Gate Bridge and bay behind.
Visitors can enjoy winter sunsets from the top of Fort Point.
Arched red brick casemates extend into the distance at Fort Point.
Fort Point is known for its masterful masonry work.
Civil War Days at Fort Point
A cannon stands in front of Civil War re-enactors talking to the public.
Visitors can interact with Civil War re-enactors twice in January and August at the Fort.
Fort Point Lighthouse
View of Fort Point lighthouse through red brick arches
Fort Point has a historic lighthouse mounted on its top.
NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Fort Point National Historic Site, California
Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. Links to products from Baseline Geologic and Soil Resources Inventories provide access to maps and reports. [Site Under Development]
fort parade grounds with golden gate bridge above
The Civil War at Golden Gate
The National Park Service is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Civil War (1861 – 1865.) We acknowledge this defining event in our nation’s history and its legacy in continuing to fight for civil rights.
Southwest National Parks Climate Roundtable Webinar Recording Now Available
Following the publication of the Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II: Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States (NCA4), the National Park Service began hosting a series of roundtable webinars to convey relevant findings to national parks. Each roundtable covers one of the 10 geographic regions defined in the report. This month, they hosted their seventh regional installment, the Southwest Parks NCA4 Roundtable.
Fourth National Climate Assessment: What Does it Mean for National Parks in the Southwest Region?
The Fort has been called "the pride of the Pacific," "the Gibraltar of the West Coast," and "one of the most perfect models of masonry in America." When construction began during the height of the California Gold Rush, Fort Point was planned as the most formidable deterrence America could offer to a naval attack on California.
Fort Point and Golden Gate strait before the Golden Gate Bridge
Third System of Coastal Forts
How should a country protect its borders? The United States had to consider this question when the War of 1812 ended in 1815. One year later, the federal government believed it had an answer. The nation created a broad national defense strategy that included a new generation of waterfront defenses called the Third System of Coastal Fortifications.
Cannon manufactured for use in Third System forts are called seacoast ordnance. These were some of the largest and heaviest cannon available at the time. Cannon at forts Pickens, McRee, Barrancas, Massachusetts, and Advanced Redoubt fell into three categories: guns, howitzers, and mortars. Each had a specific purpose.
A cannon is mounted over a brick wall, an American flag is flying to the left.
Pacific Border Province
The Pacific Border straddles the boundaries between several of Earth's moving plates on the western margin of North America. This region is one of the most geologically young and tectonically active in North America. The generally rugged, mountainous landscape of this province provides evidence of ongoing mountain-building.
Drakes Estero in Point Reyes National Seashore. NPS photo/Sarah Codde
Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas
The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available.
park scene mountains
Series: Physiographic Provinces
Descriptions of the physiographic provinces of the United States, including maps, educational material, and listings of Parks for each.
George B. Dorr, founder of Acadia National Park
POET Newsletter February 2014
Pacific Ocean Education Team (POET) newsletter from February 2014. Articles include: A Beacon of Light for the Channel Islands; A Challenging Place; Isolation within Isolation; Destruction Island Lighthouse
A black and white historic photo of the Destruction Island lighthouse tower on a bluff top.
Rare Damselflies in Distress: Scientists Work to Sustain an At-Risk Species in the Presidio
This year has been a roller coaster for scientists keeping tabs on the Bay Area’s most at-risk insect—the San Francisco forktail damselfly. They’ve had some good news—the first population estimate in five years revealed stable numbers despite the drought—but also been confronted with diminishing water levels threatening the species' remaining stronghold near Fort Point like never before.
Iridescent black, green, and blue insect with a long, slender abdomen and long, folded wings.
Mary C. Lange served at Fort Point as the sole hospital matron, and one of few women, in the period 1861-1862 at the recently constructed brick garrison that protected Unionist San Francisco from Confederate attack by water during the US Civil War. While no military threat materialized, Lange’s work exemplifies the expanded roles women began to play in medical support during the Civil War.
Artistic rendering of long room with arched ceilings and hospital beds
Staff Spotlight: Rebecca Au and Jackson Lam
Meet Rebecca Au and Jackson Lam!
Becca and Jackson at Muir Woods on Earth Day 2022
Series: Pacific Ocean Education Team (POET) Newsletters
From 2009 to 2015, the Pacific Ocean Education Team published a series of short newsletters about the health of the ocean at various National Park Service sites in and around the Pacific Ocean. Topics covered included the 2010 tsunami, marine debris, sea star wasting disease, ocean acidification, and more.
Ocean waves wash in from the right onto a forested and rocky shoreline.
Series: Women's History in the Pacific West - California-Great Basin Collection
Biographies from Northern California, Central Valley, Sierra Nevada Mountains and Nevada
Map of northern California, Central Valley, Sierra Nevada Mountains and Nevada