• View of the Golden Gate Bridge, taken from the Marin Headlands, looking towards San Francisco at sunrise.

    Golden Gate

    National Recreation Area California

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  • Tunnel Closure

    The Barry/Baker tunnel on Bunker Road will be closed for maintenance during the weeks of 6/2 and 6/9. The tunnel will be open on the weekends. Please use Conzelman Road instead. More »

  • Muir Beach Overlook closure

    The Muir Beach Overlook will be closed for Accessibility improvements and trail upgrades from June 2 through July 21. Alternate viewpoints are available along Highway 1 between there and Stinson Beach.

Centuries of Defense: Golden Gate's Military Story

Centuries of Defense: Golden Gate's Military Story
Nicole Hayduk/NPS

The exhibit "Centuries of Defense: Golden Gate's Military Story" explores more than 200 years of military history that occurred within lands within Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The Presidio of San Francisco was the oldest continually operating military base in the country, from its beginnings as a military outpost for the country of Spain in 1776 to its decommissioning from use by the United States Army in 1994. Many additional sites, both north and south of Golden Gate strait, lent themselves to defensive positions, some quite successful, and others technologically oudated before they were even completed.

The following pages will follow a timeline to highlight the establishment of military fortifications around the San Francisco Bay Area, show the development and construction of various battery and missile styles, present the Bay Area's efforts in times of conflict, and also reveal the transfer of former military sites into parklands.


Did You Know?

Melange blocks at the Presidio

Mélange underlies much of Golden Gate and is a mixture of rocks created by tectonic activity in and near a subduction zone.