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 »
Comprised of native bunchgrasses and wildflowers, grasslands once covered large areas of the California coast. As their name implies, bunchgrasses such as purple needle grass, tufted hair grass, blue wild rye, and California oat grass form discrete clumps and are not matt forming. Small plants such as checkerbloom, iris, sanicle, and lomatium filled in the spaces between the grasses along with an abundance of bulbs such as red onion, soap plant, Ithuriel's spear, and brodiaea.
Tiny annuals such as goldfields, tidy tips, and clarkia carpet the grasslands each spring. In the summer the grasslands turn from green to golden as species go dormant during California's yearly drought. Native Americans gathered the bulbs and seeds from grasslands for food in the fall harvest, and burned them to create lush green grass to attract prey animals such as deer and elk in the spring. Many of the coastal grasslands around the San Francisco Bay have been lost to development. What remains is impacted by invasive plants and changes in patterns of fire and other disturbance like grazing, among other factors. The intact coastal prairies in Golden Gate National Recreation Area are a rare ecological treasure to be enjoyed and protected.
Did You Know?
California could see more than 50 percent more large wildfires in this century due to global warming and its consequenses.