Temporary Closure of Waters Around Alcatraz Island
From 7/3 to 9/22 a 500’ marine buffer zone is in effect, closing the perimeter of Alcatraz Island to all private vessels to protect nesting seabirds during America's Cup racing. Tours to Alcatraz continue as usual during the races. More »
Muir Beach (but not nearby Muir Woods) closed July 8-November 2013, but local businesses are open
Though Muir Beach is closed from July 8-November 2013 due to construction, the PELICAN INN IS OPEN. Restrooms and parking are not available at Muir Beach. Pacific Way is closed except to residents. Check back for updates or call (415)561-3054. More »
CAUTION: Post Storm Damage to Coastal Trail
The Presidio Coastal Trail segment just north of the Pacific Overlook and adjacent to Lincoln Blvd remains CLOSED indefinitely. We have posted signage to alert bicyclists and hikers and with information for safe trail alternatives. More »
Bateria de Yerba Buena, 1797
In an effort to strengthen the defenses of San Francisco Bay, Governor Diego de Borica decided to construct a battery to protect the quiet cove immediately to the east of Point Medanos (now known as Fort Mason). Since the Punta Medanos promontory commanded not only the cove but also the passage between the mainland and Alcatraz Island, it was chosen as the ideal spot to fortify. After being constructed between April and June of 1797, De Borica fortified the battery with five, eight-pounder brass cannons sent from Castillo de San Joaquin (at the present site of Fort Point), where they were deemed too small to be of use.1
The new installation was named Bateria San Jose but soon became known as Bateria de Yerba Buena. However, this fortification soon fell into disrepair. In 1806 Governor Arrillega's inspection of the fort reported that three of its five cannons were functional, and there was substantial damage to the battery structures. In 1822, after a successful Mexican revolt against the Spanish empire, the derelict Bateria de Yerba Buena came under the auspices of the Mexican government.2
1.John Phillip Langelier and Daniel Bernard Rosen, El Presidio de San Francisco: History under Spain and Mexico, 1776-1846. California: National Park Service, 1992.
2. Public Affairs Office, Western Area, Military Traffic Management and Terminal Service. The Story of Fort Mason: Historic U.S. Army post in San Francisco. California: National Park Service, 1971.
Did You Know?
The trail to Point Bonita lighthouse is the location of what is likely the earliest detailed geologic map in the state, completed by F. Leslie Ransome in 1893.